They’re back


The Japan Ministry of the Environment estimates that 70% of the 5 million tonnes of debris that was washed away by the Fukushima tsunami sank close to the coastline. The other 1.5 million tonnes is bobbing around in the Pacific, with expected landfall on the US West Coast any time soon. Which puts the bagful of rubbish that I sometimes bring back from the drain into proper perspective.

I’ll generally go for polystyrene foam, a pet hate of mine as it breaks down and down and down into pellet-sized orbs that are perfect for fish and birds to swallow. I don’t do the big things, such as the fridge that washed up the other week. Or this fire extinguisher.


The tides have been high recently and so it bobbed around and landed all over the place.


You could point out that if I can stop and take the trouble to photograph it then I could also take the trouble to pick it up and take it to the tip.


Fair comment. I don’t claim to be any kind of environmental hero, but I do my bit. I just have my limits.

Of course, a fire extinguisher in the drain means only one thing, and it has nothing to do with the heroic dowsing of blazes. I soon found out where they’d worked when I headed down towards Chinchen Street. This is the first spray job I’ve seen in ages. I was beginning to think it was a phenomenon that had had its day. Not so. They’re back.


I’ve never been fond of the spray job, it’s too loose and sprawly for my taste. It’s just BIG and there and that’s it. No artistry. All you need is guts, determination and a big wall. But this effort looked particularly poor.

A couple of days later, as I cycled over the Donald Street bridge, I thought I saw the real target. After all, how else could they get there without ladders? That’s a pretty tall gable end.


Who knows. But tonight the fire extinguisher was still there, now with a pair of laceless joggers, like a 21st century urban re-interpretation of a Rembrandt still life.


By the way, if you’re wondering how on earth they do the big spray jobs then this short video might help.