Vomit Etiquette

student vomit on a wall of a residential block

Horrible isn’t it?

But this is what residents in university cities face on a daily basis. I took this photo (above) of a wall of a residential block of flats, which means that no-one from the block will come and clean the offending spew, nor will the town council – so it might be there for well over a week. Thank heaven for British rain – but hell if it freezes over.

It has been freshers’ week and I have had to clean up three lots of the stuff. One lot on the pavement, one on my door step and another from my recycling bin. Recycled sick?  Come on guys I can feel the subconscious guilt – the well-meaning gesture, but no-one is going to re-use your puke!

Fortunately while you are young your body take the abuse of alcohol and junk food
behind the bush

Students are basically jobless alcoholics, but their parents are proud of them.

Well, it is a rite of passage, we have all been there. (Yes even me).

Fortunately, most students are at an age when their bodies can take all the abuse of alcohol and junk food. I am not giving advice on your choice of life-style. But you would do well to learn that this is not cool as there is in existence:-

Vomiting and Litter Etiquette

A typical British street scene the night before bins are due to be emptied in a university town.

If you feel a need to chuck up, and it is better out than in, then it should be offloaded into the gutter, preferably on double yellow lines.

Ideal place to chuck-up

No cars can park on them and these are usually cleaned by the Council each morning. This enables, say, a working mother to get her kids off to school and get to work in the morning, totally oblivious to what has happened the night before. If the chunder falls on her pavement, she’ll end up muttering “bloody students” under her breath and the chunks won’t be rinsed until she has time to do so in the evening, if she finds time at all. This also means that anyone passing the foul-smelling matter will also think: “bloody students” which does not make for good student-resident relations.

It is similar to litter. If you cannot bear to hold on to your left-over take-aways and drink cans until you find a public bin, then we would rather you used our bins than throw it at our front porch or hide it behind a bush in our green spaces. But please use the ordinary green-lidded rubbish bins, not the recycling ones.

Squashed chips better off inside the bin

Find out from your council’s website what the recycling policy is in your neighbourhood. Students can also arrange to have their old mattresses collected cheaper or free in some areas, so you don’t need to dump them on parking spaces.

If you accidentally drop your take-away chicko-land & chips, then try to kick them into the gutter. This will prevent them being trodden on and squashed, and any that the gulls don’t breakfast on will be swept away in the morning.

Too good to use?

Okay. I realise that not everyone who makes a mess is a student and that not every student trawls around the streets at night screaming drunk. But you will be stereotyped, unfortunately, as it is predominately students who do this.

I know that coffee shops, ice cream parlours and shisha lounges have become more popular in student areas and open later now to meet the demands of the alternative life-styles. The pendulum seems to swinging more towards an addiction to healthy green drinks and gyms these days.

ice cream parlours open late for students

But until I stop having to check my bins for contamination, I will give my pennyworth.

Study reveals most people in Southampton count people living close to them as friends

Reblogged from http://www.dailyecho.co.uk article published Monday 23 February 2015

Alma Road is at the forefront of showing how neighbours can be there for one another.
Alma Road is at the forefront of showing how neighbours can be there for one another (Echo).

It is a city brimming with community spirit where neighbours become friends.

That’s the findings of a survey released today that has Southampton topping the charts when it comes to the most “neighbourly” city in the UK.

The research – carried out to mark the start of Love Your Neighbour Week – revealed how 90 per cent of people who were asked said they would count people who live close to them as friends.

One area in Southampton where there is real community spirit between neighbours is the Outer Avenue in Bevois Valley.

With its mixture of long-term residents and newly-moved in students in Avenue Road, Alma Road, Gordon Avenue and Earls Road, Outer Avenue Residents Association (OARA) has been at the forefront of showing how neighbours can be there for one another.

The group hold regular litter picks, parties to welcome students to the area, a cherry planting programme, table top sales and even have a wheelie bin management system.

They also rallied round to help a student who was assaulted in Portswood and bought him chocolates and a card, another example was when they brought tyres to help a resident whose car was vandalised.

Chairman of OARA, John Hayward, said: “It is good to reach out and get on with your neighbours for the common good.”

“From a personal point of view it makes a big difference, my wife and I have got to know lots of people we would have never met.

“It is nice to walk around and see the students clean and seethe planting going on and to feel like you are supporting each other.”

The survey was carried out by chocolatiers, Lily O’Brien’s and saw 5,000 people polled.

Des Hayward, 66, retired from Avenue Road, said: “We have grouped together because we wanted to have a community rather than being transient. We live here and we love the area and we wanted it to be a nice area to live in.”

Fiona Barnes,57, administrator from Avenue Road, said: “It has always been a friendly area here. We moved away in 1987 and moved back nine months later.

“People look after one another and I like the fact that even if you do not know someone’s name people say hello to each other.”

My photo of of Alma Road, Bevois Town, Southampton.
My photo of of Alma Road, Bevois Town, Southampton
Any season is street party season in Alma Road.
Any season is street party season in Alma Road.

Graffiti 2 – Control and Tipping Point

Graffiti at Hoglands Park
Further to my blog about Banksy art being whitewashed in Southampton (see under older posts) whereby I told of the Council’s zero tolerance to graffiti. I wanted to show examples of Southampton Council’s ‘controlled graffiti’ at the cricket pavilion and public toilets in Hoglands Park, which is located nearby a skateboarding area.

The Council must have realised that, by constantly painting this Victorian wooden structure white, they were merely providing a blank canvas for ugly slogans and therefore allowed some of the ‘better artists’ to cover the structures completely.

Graffiti Hogpark 3

To show how quickly Southampton City Council respond to graffiti, I have posted my before and after photos of a wall that was spray-painted with “Widzew nigdy nie zginie”, which is Polish for “Widzew (Polish football team) never dies”. This was sprayed on a Friday; the slogan removed by Monday, leaving clean brickwork.

Before – graffiti sprayed on a wall in a local Southampton community:

Polish Graffiti

After – the next working day the graffiti has been removed:Gone Grafitti

This idea of a zero tolerance towards graffiti comes from the book, ‘The Tipping Point’ by Malcolm Gladwell.

In this book the author describes how small actions at a certain time, in a certain place, and with a certain type of person, can create a ‘tipping point’ for anything from an action to a product to turn into a trend. (It’s an excellent book — do read it if you get the chance.) The ‘tipping point’ is that crucial moment when this trend, tips, spills and floods.

Gladwell goes on to show how graffiti and broken windows can have a dramatic effect on the behaviour of the residents in a city. Both can tip a community from being a good area into a crime-ridden no-go area.

In order to prevent this, it is necessary to actively repair broken windows and clean up graffiti straight away, because without showing care for the environment that people live in there will not be enough social impetus to allow the residents to control and discourage antisocial behaviour.

This ‘Tipping Point’ or ‘Broken Windows’ theory was taken up faultlessly in New York. The Council first tackled cleaning up graffiti on subways and trains after a man had reached his “tipping point” and shot a bully who tried to make him move seats. Next came the vigilant repair of all broken windows in the City. The crime rate dropped significantly, so the Council kept the rule even for celebrated artists Basquiat and Banksy.

This has now been adopted by cities all over the world.

Photos © Southampton Old Lady