Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Sunday, 8 September 2013
It wasn't Crowe - sorry
Iris has just commented about watching Russell Crowe jump to his death from the colonnades overlooking the weir here that I posted up yesterday, and it was my sad duty to inform her that it wasn't really Russell but a stuntman who had to throw himself in the cold water all night until they got the shot right.
I have, in fact, seen two people die in that stretch of water - one a drunken man who dived into the river headfirst, not realising that there are submerged rocks about 4 feet out from the bank where he jumped, and the other a young girl who deliberately tipped herself upside down in her canoe and was unable to right herself in time as the others paddled about not noticing her predicament. Very sad.
Strangely, last night I was sitting at a table outside a restaurant up there on the street, when a brown-feathered, juvenile gull wandered along the pavement, then slowly walked between two parked cars onto the road. I heard a ghastly crunch, and when I stood up and looked, my suspicions were confirmed. A taxi went right over it. Eventually, I threw the corpse into the river so at least the fish could make use of it, and stood and watched as it bobbed gently over the weir steps and headed toward Bristol. A short life indeed.
As the gulls grow up and leave the rooftops for pastures new, the nights really ought to get quieter, but unfortunately this coincides with a fresh batch of university students arriving at their own new pastures, and they more than make up for the gulls by shouting, pissing and vomiting in the streets every night until dawn.
Tonight, we will be in Spain, where three or four generations of the same families all wander around on the streets until about 2 in the morning, having eaten and drunk a fair bit of wine.
It is a social disgrace to be seen even slightly drunk on the streets of any Spanish town, and the atmosphere is always peaceful and relaxed when you promenade with the locals until the early hours.
Wouldn't it be just lovely if we took up the same practice? Nobody would have to stop drinking, and people over the age of 35 would be able to walk at night without the fear of assault or just having to witness students who are so utterly pissed that they can hardly stand up.
The students might - just might - be able to graduate without a £20,000 bank loan to pay off as well.