Anyone carrying a drone-sized rucksack out along the private edge of Motney Hill is always going to pique my curiosity. And concern me when, as today, the tide is in and the roost is formed.
Thanks to one of the landowners I can get close to the beach, and was able to watch closely. Never expected what happened next.
Kneeling by the small undercut shoreline edge, the elderly gentleman opened the rucksack and pulled out three full plastic shopping bags and a half-dozen fast food restaurant cups. Through the scope I could see, pressed tightly to the thin plastic, fast food logos. A rucksack full of once happy mealtimes, being tucked tightly into the sea-purslane.
So, I politely (but firmly) asked what he was doing.
"I'm only throwing away a little bit of rubbish" came the reply.
So, I politely (but firmly) explained why he shouldn't really be doing that. I persuaded him to take the litter elsewhere and, hopefully, dispose of it appropriately. I made sure he knew I had taken photographs, so, also hopefully, I won't be coming upon the rubbish further down the Peninsula any time soon. I also made sure he knew I had his registration and was passing on to the landowners so, hopefully, he wouldn't be coming back.
I'm hopeful, but...
I actually had some sympathy for him. Because, like him, once a week, I pick up several fast food wrappers from my front garden. I grimace at the half-eaten contents and drop carefully into the rubbish sack. I always do it on refuse collection day, I refuse to take in other people's shite off the streets. And this chap had had enough. Something had clearly snapped, and he was no longer going to associate all that mess with his bin, his home. He'd make the futile gesture of throwing it as far as possible from his sanctum as he could, to exorcise these demons. Here really was a case of rubbish driving someone insane.
Just under a decade ago, I too made my own futile stand. I stopped using fast food outlets. I knew my small gesture wouldn't register on their registers, but I had to do something to 'own' my situation. (Anyone who knew me back then will know it was a big thing for me! They'll never believe how much of a rice and a bit of veg skinny boy I am now.)
Yesterday's newspapers were full of reports on the continuing rise of rubbish on the UK's shoreline. As the articles say, much of it, fast food 'leftovers'. Up around 10% since I started my rather hopeful anti-burger stand. Yeah, that's how much I'd stuck it to the Man. I could only be hopeful today's efforts might have an effect. As the company behind the plastic bags he was going to dump always likes to say, 'every little helps'.