HOME + LIFESTYLE
BY ANDREW SOUTHWOOD
t’s Fathers Day morning and I’m out with my three beasts having some quality Daddy playtime. We decided to venture to the newly opened play area, opposite the new high school/building site on Moreton Hall, and see what it had to offer. Experience has taught me 8:30am on a Sunday is generally a good time to go to these places. After all, having a 2 year old fixated with swings, the risk of them being occupied is just too great during peak hours! I’ve also found that keeping tabs on three kids in empty parks is far easier than busy ones. Sadly, what we were greeted with was not really what I had in mind. In a word – ‘litter’. Or more accurately, in three words - ‘lots of litter’. An utter disgrace. Another Dad with his young son was there litter picking, trying to make sense of it all. I found a load of half burnt school exercise books, fully named etc. which I have followed up with the
54 | JULY 2016
school – although of course the pupils in question will be leavers. How is it that even here, in beautiful Bury St Edmunds, there are kids that behave this way? The dumping/ burning of school notes is one thing, a sort of forgivable ‘one off’ stupid act, no doubt goaded on by their piers. But the sack full of coke cans, crisp packets and wrappers collected in a few minutes is more worrying. At what point do they decide tossing their rubbish on the floor is acceptable? And to make matters even worse, we are talking about an amazing new facility, just opened, in their community... for them! My kids are young, and don’t understand (not that I do) what motivates the litter louts. I try to explain but it’s tough to know what to say. “The thing to remember”, I say, “is that it may be only a small number of inconsiderate people, not everyone that comes here”.
Although deep down I fear the proportion of offenders may be much higher than I infer. I’m not a perfect parent (I know many of you will be shocked by this!). My little ones are taught right from wrong and hopefully have reasonable manners, although they are usually too shy to use them. However, if I ever found out that they had been responsible for mindless littering I would be mortified. It’s right up there with, saying please, or not hitting, on my list of things they learn from year zero up. I can only hope that these youngsters grow out of this phase and become normal adults with at least some basic social skills and common sense. In the meantime this has motivated me to work extra hard to ensure none of my brood ever behave that way, even when they reach the teenage rebellious stage. End of rant.