Eighteen: he’s lost his bottle

There’s a lot of drinking in Preston. Well, in the UK in general, but also in Preston, and in my neighbourhood. The Lancaster canal seems to be a favourite hangout for [presumably underage] drinkers. It’s pretty secluded, aside from the dogwalkers and people like me walking to work, it has a nice wide towpath, with various benches to sit on, and it provides the inestimable joy of throwing your empties into the water and watching them not bob away, but stay right there, mocking you. Actually, probably not mocking you, unfortunately. I wish they did.

The fact is, the canal would be a much nicer place if it weren’t so filthy, so littered with bottles and cans and cigarette packets and takeaway boxes and used condoms and dog shit. There are no rubbish bins along the canal, for some reason, but there are bins for dog shit, which provide helpful plastic bags as well for walkers. I do see people pick up their dog’s shit, but I can’t help thinking that they must only do it when someone’s watching, how else to explain all the rest of it.

Oh, bottle in English slang is courage, or nerve. Losing one’s bottle is chickening out. I don’t know why the title, I just like the expression.

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