A skewed sign, battered, dented. Clearly not valued by the visitors to Gypsy Brae Recreation Ground.
A man approaches with a dog, a large German Shepard. The dog is friendly, and comes to say good morning, but his owner does not make eye contact. He walks past me. "Come on boy" he says, without turning round.
Now I hear the whir of bicycle tyres. The rider has a bright yellow jacket to prevent collisions on the road, but in a space otherwise occupied by the muted wintery tones of nature the colour collides with my senses. He steers around me without a nod or acknowledgement.
"No Golf". "Management Rules for Public Parks". A litany of prohibitions, a skewed, negative definition of this space. Is it any wonder that the people I encouter are negative? This feels like a lonely and desolate place.
Perhaps I should post a new sign:
Management Suggestions for the Enjoyment of Public Parks.
1) Please feel free to use this space for recreational activities if you feel so inclined. We can particularly recommend:
1.1) Walking (including strolling)
1.2) Exercising (jogging, running, skating, cycling)
1.3) Playing, including with children and pets (football, catch, hide and seek)
1.4) Rest, relax and enjoy the view and/or fresh air
2) This space is for the public, the community. Use it as a social space. Interaction with other park users is encouraged.
3) Picnics may be enjoyed on the grass in dry weather, or sitting on benches or low walls in less clement conditions
4) Take inspiration for drawing, painting or photography from this environment.