You know, all those years ago when I first started commenting on Stratford-upon-Avon, there were two things that used to crop up with annoying frequency.
One. Dog shit.
Two. The Town Council.
Interestingly enough, these days they are hardly worth a mention.
Dog poo has vanished from the agenda because, some might say, people pick it up and take it home. There may be some truth in this but I’m not convinced it’s the whole story. I don’t believe for one minute that there’s been a huge swell of civic pride or that dog-owners have suddenly become aware that their furry friends harbour all sorts of horribly diseases. I think there’s another reason why piles of the brown stuff (you don’t see white dog poo anymore do you?) have suddenly ceased to be.
I’d like to think it was the threat of a fine but because the dirty deed and the dirty do-er in most cases will have long since left the scene of the crime it can’t be that. And anyway, signs threatening prosecution are far and few between.
Thinking about it, I believe it is something to do with where dog owners take their doggy friends for walkies.
For instance, where I live there are a couple of large fields well within walking and therefore shitting distance. Early mornings these vast expanses are full of dog people and dogs all doing their business before work.
I suppose in one sense it’s a good thing. However, it’s one less place for the kids to play isn’t it? You obviously wouldn’t want your children flying their kites on these fields but hey…I suppose its better than returning from the Coop with a turd clinging to your smart shoes.
The Town Council is an interesting one.
In the old days one blamed them for everything. From the ‘Disneyfication’ of Stratford-upon-Avon i.e. too many Americans. To the blocking of pavements by the previously mentioned Americans (there-bye stopping you from stepping in dog shit – ha. Every cloud does have a silver lining). But all that seems to have ended too. There are hardly any American tourists anymore (replaced with the Japanese) and the Town Council seem more inactive than they ever used to be.
Their influence is hardly felt anymore as Stratford realises it doesn’t need anyone from officialdom to drive it to ruin. Ruin is something it is now quite capable of driving itself.The other thing is there are no identifiable Pantomime Villains in power anymore. There’s no-one left to boo and hiss at. ‘The Saint’ (da-da-da-da-da-da-daaaa. See what I did there?) has retired from mischief-making (SDC) and those left seem oddly respectful, although Tory. Still, time will tell.
My own hope left that might liven up the old place, is that our MP will make another brilliant mistake and become a headline for a week or two. But to be honest these days and since the warm horse debacle, he’s being very careful and staying out of the limelight more than usual. Also, since receiving his much wanted promotion (any promotion) as a Children and Families Minister so soon after the Jimmy Saville scandal, it makes sense to curtail any nefarious activities that I’m sure he doesn’t partake in anyway.