The idle ramblings of a Jack of some trades, Master of none

Sep 30, 2008


At one time, the river Thames was the sink into which flowed every manner of refuse, trash and garbage from myriads of filthy humans and animals all the way from the Cotswolds to London. There was a joke: No swimming in the Thames. Just go through the motions.

It is said that Queen Victoria once caught sight of lots of pieces of paper floating down the river. When she asked what they were, it required a courtier quick on his feet to respond, "Those are noticing prohibiting bathing in the river, Your Majesty."

(It should be fairly clear what those pieces of paper were. Hint: I don't mean Parliamentary documents.)

Fortunately, the Thames has been cleaned up in more recent times, and is one of the cleaner rivers in Europe. Read all about the great effort here.

What about the rest of London? It is cleaner than earlier, although we are still cursed with mounds of dog doo-doo. Much as I'd like to rub the noses of their owners in it, I'm pleased enough that we are spared the sight of the poor collecting the muck to sell to tanners. That is one way of keeping the pavement clean that I'm happy not to see today.


C K said...

Dog poo is certainly more noticeable in Singapore than in London simply because the higher temperature (and humidity) cause its smell to be stronger. So you'll always have people giving them a wide berth and not clearing up after ones' pet is frowned upon.

But over here in London, because of the cooler weather, people don't tend to notice it and quite often stepped on it only to notice when they reach home. :)

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