Volume 3, Number 1
Dundee Cathedral where I was baptised
Last week while I was visiting my dear Scottish mother’s final resting place in Dundee, I was dismayed at seeing the trash on the streets most evident at Dundee University and the students’ housing location.
Undoubtedly the blame could be placed on foreigners from other cultures who think nothing of throwing papers and cans on the street rather than depositing them in a trash bin. I have been to India and Asia and other third-world countries and have witnessed this type of ignorance, but I don’t expect it from the Scots.
This problem is grave and conducive to a health hazard and requires immediate attention from the Dundee City Council to enforce the penalties mandated by law (COPLAR).
The solution to cleaning up the city would be to fine the culprits because littering is a criminal offense that has a fixed penalty notice of 80 pounds and a maximum penalty of 2500, even jail time.
Education has to begin at home and in schools to change bad habits. Granny Lindsay taught us that “soap and water are cheap, and that cleanliness is next to godliness.”
In speaking to various locals who opined that it was a mistake to leave the EU, (but that’s another subject) they were mortified about the dirty streets but felt helpless to rectify this disgrace. I told them that I would write an article to shame the Council and embarrass them world-wide. There is no excuse for dirt!
Clean up this illustrious city and regain yer pride! Scottish tenacity is famous. Now is the time to roll up yer sleeves and put volunteers to work to spruce up the streets, and wash the filthy sidewalks. Plant flowers in the adorable little park next to the Queen’s Hotel across from the university, and put up notices everywhere that littering the streets will be met by punishment.
How do you expect me, a native Dundonian, to promote tourism to my beloved city when I am disillusioned with it? I submit a challenge to Dundee United who can encourage thousands of fans to help. Send the football players out to pick up trash to show an example and have high school students and uni students join in the fun.
Someone has to start a clean-up campaign and make this unique city shine again.
Admittedly there have been some hard times but we can’t wallow in self pity, Robbie Burns is watching you in front of the McManus Museum, and we owe it to his memory to make Scotland proud, and although he didn’t write this poem, I am including it because my mother who taught at Blackness School, had it taped to her wall.
“When things to wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest – if you must – but don’t you quit!
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When we might have won, had we stuck it out.
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow,
You might succeed with another blow.
Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor’s cup,
And he learned too late when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out,
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit –
It’s when things seem worst that you must NOT QUIT!
John Greenleaf Whittier
An American Quaker poet and ardent advocate of the abolition of slavery in the USA, who was strongly influenced by Robert Burns.
Photography, Alinka Zyrmonts