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Why can't joggers just give it a rest?

A NAKED left leg and right arm arise from the long grass, followed by an equally naked right leg and left arm.

Naturally, I'm intrigued. Quickly, my detective skills tell me each of the limbs belongs to the same person. And here's my deduction, Watson: it's someone in shorts exercising in public.

Instinctively, I move to make a citizen's arrest and, several hours later, am released without charge.

Groan. It's another incident that adds to my growing discomfort at the urban green spaces that I used to love. They're becoming unusable for non-grimacing people in normal trousers.

Recently, on the side of a van, I saw an advert by British Waterways describing Scotland's canals as "an outdoor gym". Beside this grim slogan was a picture of a baldie in vest and shorts, sweating profusely as he pounded along depressing everyone he encountered.

British Waterways is the evil organisation in charge of Scotland's canals. Years ago, it ruined the Union Canal walkway in Edinburgh by encouraging cyclists to use it, thereby making it impossible for walkers to enjoy.

Their website urges folk to "go wild on the canal", then they've the cheek to advertise canal-side holiday cottages: surely the last place you'd go for peace and quiet now.

It isn't just the green and wet places that have been turned into a demented Sparta.

Eight out of 10 people going by the main suburban road at the top of my wee garden are jogging rather than walking like normal people. I wish they'd give it a rest. Why can't they jog in the privacy of their own homes?

That would spare us the uncomfortable feeling we get when, walking along the road dreamily, we hear plimsolled feet flapping up behind like some demented Gollum.

Who's the Prime Minister of England? Why doesn't he do something? We need rules for our public spaces, such as: "1. Take no more equipment than a book of poetry. 2. Wear long trousers. 3. Do not sweat or grimace."

But I fear the green spaces are lost to us. If it isn't joggers, it's dog walkers bawling incessantly at their charges and swinging obscene bags of poop in their hands.

No one goes just to enjoy the peace. Everyone needs a function or ulterior reason.

All is lost. Soon, we'll have to barricade our homes, to stop them jogging and pooping through there as well.

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Travel

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