“Let’s go to the park with the dog, it’s sunny and springtime” husband said pulling on his jacket and mask. The sun was bursting through the big window’s, still a bit chilly, but definitely a better, brighter version of the dark winter.

Spring is here and due to covid rules our parks are the one place we can enjoy the open space and for us garden-less people, we can get some longed-for greenery about our chops and a chance to get a wee bit of exercise.

According to press reports my local park, Kelvingrove, is a big haven for the young people who like to get drunk with ‘taps aff’ and crowd together in a ‘we don’t care about covid’ manner.

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There are two sides to this story, I have seen heaps of young people sit on small groups sipping fancy coffee and pizza from the local deli and equally spotted marauding raggle-taggle bunches of mad youths full of booze running head-on at each other, as west end mums doing socially distant outdoor baby yoga scattering like skittles. That’s the thing about our big Victorian Glasgow parks: there are there for everyone. That’s why they were created, so the poor barefooted tenement dwellers got a chance to sniff some daffodils and hang out a big washing, like they did on Glasgow Green.

Why is it ok for some uppity, Boden clad sandal-wearing couples to have a wee ‘champers picnic’ but wrong for a few skinny lads with tee shirts tucked down the front of their joggies to drink a can of cider?

We can’t expect the police to chase the drunken crowds of young people off the hill and nod to the discreet middle-aged gin o’clock gang sitting on a tartan rug who are getting quietly sozzled in the shadow of the Glasgow University spire, as they reminisce about their days when everyone at some point in their lives flat shared in Wilton Street.

The Herald:

Drinking alcohol in the parks should be banned for everyone or open to all. I watch the police walkabout trying to control the melee, it's like herding jelly cats on ice. People have been locked in for so long, the lure of heading to the park, seeing your mates and eating a pizza from Eusebi’s who are handily situated at the gates near Woodlands road is so strong when the sun pops out. You can hardly blame them, there is literally nothing else to do.

Pubs are shut, so the next best thing is to create your own bar beside a hedge on a hill and text all your mates to come round and ‘bring a can’. I feel for them, they have nowhere else to meet, socialise, talk loud and get some much-needed vitamin D. I just wish they could spread out a bit and not walk eight deep on the wee paths between the grassy areas

The problem of course is the utter mess many people leave behind. I have seen with my own eyes, the churned-up grass, flattened flower beds and litter scattered as far as the eye could see. Don’t even start me on people who put dog shit into wee bags and hang them from trees, like the worst ever tree decorations created. The squirrels must be horrified when they happen upon them, mistaking them for nut feeders or surprise treats. I have walked behind people and shamed them into unhooking the dirty bags and made them carry them to a bin because my menopause has kicked in and I am a menace to society with this inner rage.

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Kelvingrove Park has got huge bins installed to cope with the mess, but if people don’t use them, the litter destroys the flora and can be dangerous to our wee woodland creatures that come out at night. They don’t want to crawl over pizza boxes, half hot foil barbeque trays, empty beer cans and plastic sandwich containers. I don’t understand why people can’t just take their crap home with them, is it really that hard?

Summer is around the corner and if the weather is half-decent, or in Glasgow terms ‘duffel coat unbuttoned’ standard, then the parks will be heaving with families and later on young people who are missing the pub.

I have walked into the park with my wee sausage dog Honey in her pram, yes, she has a pram as she is an anxious rehome who is petrified of people and can only walk two miles a day due to her condition, she loves her pram and she can bark abuse and look down on dogs who don’t have a pram. We are working on her behaviour but she seems not to care what we think, we are her personal slaves and providers of expensive vet care and wet food.

Honey loves the park, but when I see the mobs of people, I about turn and walk back home in fear of catching Covid and having to listen to some dour student with his guitar singing his ‘own songs’ near the fountain or a bunch of teenage boys, falling out trees trying to impress the girls with their ‘hormonal climbing skills’.

I can’t wait for covid to go away and let young folk socialise the way they want, the pubs can be full and the parks can be a bit quieter for people like me, old people who like peace and quiet, who can push a dog who looks like an angry croissant in a pram who likes to bark at pigeons.

Instead of the cops focussing on the drinking and noise, I want a bunch of older angry people like me to stand over the picnic people and demand they clean up behind themselves as they get up to go. Picnic monitors, wandering group to group with a stern angry mammy face shouting “Get that picked up now” as they point at the grass and point to the big bins.

I am really old, aren’t I?