No, what I wanted to do was mention two things in particular that have jumped into my consciousness over recent weeks:
- People cycling on the footpath
- Groups of people who don't make space for you to pass
I don't have any great objection to people (especially children) cycling on the footpath as long as they are careful and respectful around pedestrians. Isn't that just a normal, reasonable expectation?
Recently I've actually taken avoiding action myself to save them from coming a cropper. Too nice, aren't I? One day I'll do the shimmy and let them hit me just so I can have the fun of forcing them over and seeing them sprawled on the floor.
The second group are actually worse, I think. Most often it's a couple of people walking towards you, chatting among themselves. Usually not horrible people, just massively inconsiderate. Most British urban footpaths are two flagstones wide which, in my mind, allows three non-obese people to briefly be abreast but is too narrow for it to be comfortable.
I was always raised to move into single file as one approaches people coming in the opposite direction, thus allowing everyone to continue unhindered and without having to ask for space (something a British person would hate). I can't remember the last time I saw anybody do that. Drives me up the freaking wall.
The other day I moved as far to the left as possible and then, when still offered no room to pass, deliberately banged shoulders with some teenage girl rather than step onto the grass.
The effect is worse when you're walking back from the supermarket with two or more large bags on either side of you. Your movement is more limited and, though I try to swing the bags to my front and rear to minimise my profile, still these idiots don't help you out.
I will point out that I do move out of the way, even stepping into the road if necessary, to allow mothers with pushchairs or toddlers to have the path to themselves. As to the elderly, it depends upon their apparent mobility level and/or baggage. I would still, though, expect two old ladies who are walking and chatting to make an effort to share the path if possible.
I hate people, you know.