I’m back and so much to catch up on.
Excessive exertion is anathema to me so I was quite able to resist the siren call of the beautiful swimming pool in our hotel complex. It seems, though, from a report printed in the American Chemical Society journal that there is another compelling reason to give the pool a swerve – it is being used by swimmers as a makeshift carsey.
By measuring the concentration of acesulfame potassium, an artificial sweetener found in most processed foods and passes through the body unaltered, in the water of two public swimming pools over a three-week period, a team of Canadian scientists have found a significant amount of urine present. Extending their trials, they found evidence of urine in each of the 31 pools tested, with concentration some 570 times greater than in tap water.
Mind you, hot tubs had even higher concentrations, one at a hotel had three times the concentration of the worst offending swimming pool.
It may be that there is something in chlorine that makes people want to go but it gives a lie to the urban myth that there is a dye in the water which changes colour when you have a wazz. You have been warned!
When I do want to exert myself, there is nothing better than a leisurely stroll through an English wood. I have been somewhat surprised recently to see plastic bags laden with some putrefying substance hanging from the branches of the trees, rather like the vestiges of some satanic ritual. According to the Forestry Commission, there is an increasing trend of dog walkers – yes them again – scooping up the dog logs of their pooch, putting them in a bag and hanging them up on the nearest branch rather than taking them to the receptacle at the car park.
The Commission is determined to stamp out this practice and has issued the helpful advice that dog walkers should flick the steaming dog logs into the undergrowth with a stick, ideally, perhaps, into the undergrowth where a lepidopterist like Phillip Cullen is lurking. Cullen has just had his collar felt for unlawfully collecting and killing one of Britain’s rarest, and presumably now rarer still, butterflies, the large blue.
The dog poo wars continue.