Claire Smith: Give a miss to the hanging garlands of dog poo in Leith
I love living in Leith. I love the open, easygoing and slightly battered-by-life quality of the people.
And I love living near the Water of Leith – not strictly speaking a natural river but a canalated urban waterway diverted to serve the water mills in the early years of the industrial revolution.
At night the Water of Leith walkway is particularly atmospheric. You see the Leith swans, circling like sinister sharks, men bouncing along the footpath with their hyperactive staffie dogs, giant Leith foxes with huge fluffy tails and orange flashing eyes.
But my scrubby urban paradise is being blighted by a disturbing trend. To paraphrase Billie Holliday, there are strange fruit hanging in the trees of Leith.
The trouble is, there are no rubbish bins. Nor are there any places to scoop the poop. And, as you may have noticed, Leith loves its dogs.
Probably the thinking is that if you lavish bins on people they will either steal them or set them on fire. However, in the absence of bins a far worse thing has come to pass.
Short of a place to lob their rubbish, the good citizens of Leith have resorted to tying bin bags to trees. And short of any place to stash their dog poo, they have come up with the notion of tying it up in cheap blue shopping bags and flinging it up into the branches.
It is hard to miss the black bags tied to the trunks, soaked with rainwater and disgorging nappies and empty lager cans onto the path. And if you glance overhead on your midnight walk you will realise the branches are hung with tiny swinging bags of poo – like some particularly unpleasant kind of piñata.
I wouldn’t go so far as to volunteer to get them down myself, but I would be more than happy to join a neighbourhood clean-up patrol.
But I was embarrassed when a theatrically inclined house guest suggested the solution to my mid-festival malaise would be to skip down to the riverside and indulge in a spot of good old hippy tree-hugging. Proud Leither that I am, I had to admit I really can’t bring myself to hug any of the trees round here.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Wednesday 19 June 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 12 C to 20 C
Wind Speed: 8 mph
Wind direction: North east