Sunday, 5 August 2012

Respect my A***

Don't you just love people?  Their kindness, courtesy, consideration?  Mind you, there are some out there where I'd be tempted to give them a dictionary but I suspect they wouldn't know what to do with it.  Apart from use it as a doorstop.  Or a missile.

We live in Cardiff, Wales.  The city has things wrong with it (people, for a start), but generally speaking the city fathers done good.  Yes, the latest additions could be anywhere in the world, but we do have some very nice 19C and 20C architecture, the plumbing is generally okay and - best of all - we have parks.  Everywhere you go in the city (especially the older parts) there are little - or not so little - parks.  Well kept, too. There are also little trails you can follow off the beaten track. Not in the parks, just winding their way past the backs of houses, following little streams (cricks for the Americans out there).  My mother lives about 9-10 miles away - the other side of the city, anyway - and I'd say 2/3 of the walk would be not on the streets.  If that isn't good then what is??

We are blessed by living on the Taff Trail, an amazing route that follows the river Taff from the sea right up to Brecon - thirty-odd miles. We're at the southern end.  Grangetown, in Cardiff.  Has seen better days and, according to various neighbours there are drug users and prostitutes plying their business around us but, as Tevye says, 'we don't bother them and, so far, they don't bother us.'

I like it here. I like it on still nights when I can hear the clock at either the city hall or Cardiff castle strike.  I like hearing the wind in the trees and the birds chirruping.  Personally I'm not too keen on the seagulls (anyone who says they're asleep at night is lying.  They're nocturnal.  Trust me, I know) and it's a shame people can't pick up their rubbish (I've actually seen a dog walker collect her dog's faeces in a bag then throw it in the river.  Weird) but I try to be tolerant.  No, really.

Unfortunately, since the trail is also the fastest means to get into Cardiff for a large number of people we also get individuals who should really not be let out without a gag.  Last night was a case in point.  Two groups of people.  First one around 2-3 in the morning.  Female (young, going by the voice) walking along slowly (speed up dear.  Please), sounding off.  If only she'd walked as enthusiastically as she shouted.  I gather her parents made every attempt with her education.  She certainly used f*** in numerous and interesting ways.  Maybe I should have taken notes.

An hour or so later another, equally as considerate neighbour.  I rather got the impression he was seeking a gentleman by the name of Andrew.  Could be wrong, but the single bellow of, 'An-DREW,' repeated every three seconds rather makes me suspect I'm not.  After ten-twelve attempts  there came a, 'Yo,' from the distance but our hero wasn't the sort to take success for granted.  Nup.  He made sure he had the right Andrew (after all there are many of them out there, wandering the Trail at 4 in the morning) by continuing to demand assurances.

I know I could, maybe should, have got up and told him to go somewhere else - warm with a hint of sulphur but I'm afraid confrontation and I aren't good together.  He was probably bigger than me, definitely younger and whereas I have qualms about hurting peoples' feelings (let alone actually putting a finger on them) I rather got the impression that this wouldn't be something he'd worry too much about.  So I did what I always did and fumed from the comfort of my bed.  Doubtless if I had called either the young woman or man on their conduct I would have been in receipt of an earful where their demand for 'respect' would have been paramount. That and exactly what I could do with myself in physical impossibilities.

I'm tired of people demanding my respect. I think it's time they start giving it.

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