LIKE many people with a wee bit of time on their hands at the moment, I enjoy a morning walk along the cycle track between Elderslie and Castlehead, a nice enough stroll, if you like litter that is; and I mean, really like litter.

Going on the philosophy that it’s nice to pay some rent to live on this planet, I now go armed with a bin-bag and litter picker, which has allowed me to understand the mindset of those who diligently drop things during their enjoyment of the same environment as me.

So I would like to say thanks to the following:

Mr (and Mrs?) Werther Originals: judging by the frequency of wrappers every 20-30m, you are obviously dedicated to their consumption, have bovine-grade tongues, or just swallow them whole – thank you.

Mr Buckfast/Superstrength Lager: let me buy you a beer some day in admiration for your industrial capacity for said beverages – thank you.

Mr MonsterBrew/Red Bull: I hope one day you might get some sleep, however, I doubt this will ever be possible – thank you.

Mr Drops Bagged Dog Poo in the Middle of the Path and Throws His Wet Wipes in the Bushes: at least you’re not messing up the nice bins provided by the council, or blocking your toilet with them – thank you.

Mr Trendy Mineral Water Drinker: yes, you would look so uncool walking home with the socially unacceptable “empty” bottle – thank you.

Mr Likes Smashing Bottles in the Middle of the Cycle Path: broken glass takes up much less space in my bag than whole bottles and slows the crazy cyclists down – thank you.

Mr Crisp Wrapper: it’s like Christmas has come every day as the cycle path looks so much more colourful with the trees and bushes adorned in an array of Monster Munch bags – thank you.

So, on behalf of everyone, let’s give our thanks to all of these people, not just in Paisley, but throughout the country for their tireless dedication to the enrichment of our environment.

I hope that we never feel it necessary to raise taxes to actually pay for someone to do clear up after you all, otherwise we might start respecting our environment and appreciate the beauty of the limited spaces we still have left to enjoy.

And to the people who vote to perpetuate this system – thank you.

Jon Jewitt,


The lessons of war

As people celebrate VE Day so may we remember the costs of war. Humanity desperately needs to finds ways of settling conflicts that do not involve resorting to violence and warfare.

The way of Christ, the way of Gospel non-violence still challenges us all.

Rev David Mumford, Fellowship of Reconciliation Scotland, Dunbar.

WE are heading into an excess of patriotism again with yet another celebration of the Allied powers' defeat of Germany.

Could commentators spare a thought for the civilian population (including children) who were burned alive in German cities on the instructions of Churchill and 'Bomber' Harris?

Their suffering was surely as great as that of Londoners during the Blitz.

The war was all but over, a fact recognised by most historians. In the rush to condemn the defeated nation this inconvenient truth is rarely mentioned.

Elizabeth Mueller,


I WROTE earlier this week about my memories of VE Day, when I was 13. Alan M Morris (May 6), wonders if, given that I live in Edinburgh, I may be affectionately referred to as "Auld Reekie".

I not unfamiliar with meeting people and, on saying my name and where I come from, hearing them respond: "Oh, Auld Reekie". My reply is: "He was my father".

Christopher Reekie, Edinburgh.