Wednesday, 12 January 2011

P Is For Pavements, Peeing And Posterity

Carlisle, the Border City is always full of surprises. Today was no exception as I walked past the Cathedral on my break. There were many yellow jacketed workmen standing around doing very little. The road was dug up in many places, the vast new pavement was half completed and there were piles of gravel and sand everywhere.

In amongst this chaos was a film crew who were seemingly about to shoot some footage of the city centre improvements. I overheard the tv reporter pleading with the workforce to start doing some work so that he could get some good shots. They ignored him.

Carlisle City Council, according to its website, is shelling out £843,000 for these improvements and on these runway-like pavements will be fitting 'high quality street furniture' or in layman's terms, nine stone benches. That should be interesting as the pavement seemed to be steeply angled downwards towards a new drain which ran the length of the street. If ever they wish to turn the pavement into an outdoor cafe the tables and chairs will have to have two legs chopped down so that people can sit on the level. It will be worth keeping an eye on what happens.

Other things never change. The student in the Burberry tartan baseball cap had still lost his free bus pass and wanted a free ride. "Oh so you're going to charge me?" I thought I'd better get the name calling in first and said,"yes, I am. I'm a mean git."

The little service bus pulled into the coach park and the driver rushed out of the doors and relieved himself on his back wheel. "You know it's quite legal, goes back to the horse and cart days when the driver was allowed to hold the reins and pee on his back wheel. Bet you didn't know that."

"No I didn't,"I replied, lying through the back of my teeth. I hadn't the heart to tell him that he'd told me this dubious fact the last time we had met and the time before...and the time before....

When he came back for his second break, the same thing happened again. The rush out the doors, the peeing on the back wheel and the sound of intense relief and then the banter: "Did you know......"

I looked up at the security camera attached to a lamp post and wondered if it was working. You Tube will be interested.

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