February 5th, 2015

Bush Fire Hazard

Wish to advise on amusing sights I have seen recently.

Exhibit (A): The baby-changing room at the Bullring shopping centre in Birmingham. It is nice and clean and very orange. It also has a spinning disco ball above the changing table. Which, apart from actually being rather good at keeping baby mesmerised, is just so very Brummie. (Shiny metal sign reads: "In the interest of safety, please do not leave your child unattended on the changing facility".)



Exhibit (B): British Waterways public notice on a bridge over the canal.



I consider this worthy of a full transcription [parenthesised comments by me]. It reads: "British Waterways Board*: The waterways are meant to be used and enjoyed by the public. It is an offence to:
  • Waste water by interfering with locks and sluices [Fair enough]
  • Ride a bicycle or bring a vehicle on the towing path without a permit [A vehicle I can understand, but I wonder how many cyclists know they're supposed to have a permit! And where exactly to obtain one?]
  • Obstruct the towing path
  • Damage the canal or towing path
  • Interfere with boats
  • Leave litter [Hollow laughter. Also, someone please tell that to the people who put their dogs' poo in plastic bags and then hang the bags from the hedgerows. Speaking as one of the people who cares for a section of hedgerow next to her back garden: NO. NO NO NO. You have taken a problem - people leaving their dogs' poo in public places - and made it worse by rendering it immune to the process of decomposition. I DO NOT LIKE YOU.]
  • Pollute the canal [More hollow laughter. And please tell it to the people I see using sticks to flick their dogs' poo into the canal instead of bagging it up and taking it away like decent responsible dog-owning human beings.]
  • Fire guns or throw stones [I don't want to meet the person who would go duck-hunting with their shotgun on the canal.]
  • Ride a horse on the towing path (unless it is a designated bridleway) [I've walked a fair few miles of the towpath and have yet to encounter any sections that are bridleways.]
  • Bathe in the canal [WHAT DEAR LORD NO]
  • Fail to obtain or display an appropriate licence or river registration on craft navigating the waterway"


* Now the Canal and River Trust

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