‘Love locks’, are you a vandal?
All over Spain and the rest of the world these ‘so called ‘love locks’ are coming to be a real problem. If you’re not familiar with the concept, it’s where (usually tourists) clamp cheap padlocks bearing their names to any suitable structure (for example: chains along the seafront, bridges and railings etc.) en masse creating an unholy mess of rusting metal.
Having got somewhat riled up by comments on a Facebook group from Playa Blanca in Lanzarote (our old home town) where these eyesores are now being placed along the chains on the seafront, I thought it time to speak out here.
The simple fact is, this is nothing more than vandalism. They look ghastly, and sooner or later someone is going to have to spend time clearing up the mess and repairing the damage they cause.
In Paris, they have already removed many tonnes of metal from the Ponts des Arts because the bridge was collapsing under the weight of these ‘romantic gestures’. On the upside, at least the sale of the 65 tonnes of metal is going to help refugees.
The practice displays all the class and creativity of daubing ‘Frank luvs Sheila’ on the wall of the shopping parade on the Chatsworth Estate (one for Shameless fans). So as not to be accused of being a snob, I’ll also point out that carving ‘Tarquin ♥ Felicity’ into a 200 year old oak tree in the grounds of Hampton Court with a pen knife is equally despicable. Some people are just born stupid.
Unsurprisingly, most of the tourists involved in the discussion came out on the side of for, and the vast majority of residents came out against.
The key arguments for the practice were, in my most humble opinion, completely lame. They consisted of pretty much two main points…
- They look lovely
- They’re a nice gesture
…and that was pretty much it.
Let’s have a look at those shall we.
“They look lovely…”
- They may be novel to you Mr or Mrs Tourist, but if you had to see them every day you might not think so. You’re visiting a ‘nice place’, don’t vandalise it by leaving your crap behind.
- Whose taxes are going to have to pay for the council workers’ time spent removing your rubbish?
- Again, taxes. If or when the structure they are attached to starts to fail are your taxes going to be paying for the repairs? No.
- If they look so bloody lovely why don’t you attach it to the wrought iron work outside your house and invite others to do the same so you can enjoy them every day of your life-
“They’re a nice gesture…”
- There’s nothing ‘nice’ about littering other peoples ‘home’, or areas of natural beauty.
- Whilst you think it ‘romantic’ you may never return to enjoy them again. When I see them I wonder if ‘Frank and Shelia’ have already made their multiple appearances on Jeremy Kyle, or if ‘Tarquin and Felicity’ are now embroiled an expensive custody battle over the kids and the ponies yet.
- It’s not ‘romantic’; it’s just plain tacky. Stick to buying petrol station flowers, it’s far more environmentally friendly!
There are some places that embrace the practice nowadays (do your research). So if you must involve yourself in such pathetic gestures, use such places rather than random public structures. For instance, in Plaza de San Valentin in Almeria City the Ayuntamiento has built a framework around the statue of, yes you guessed it, St Valentine. Why not go somewhere like that where it’s organised, as opposed to committing random acts of vandalism?
Please just stop it!
If you must deface property in this way do it on your own patch! Or as they say where I come from, try shitting on your own doorstep for a change!
Further reading: nolovelocks.com
by Alan Gandy
Alan, along with Elle, is the owner of Spain Buddy. He was born in the North of England (Lancashire) and travelled extensively before eventually settling in Almería. Alan has 3 sons from the first of his 18 marriages, (Sam, Joe & Ben) who are all now adults. You can read more articles by Alan on his personal blog at AlanGandy.com and see more of his photography on his photography website as well as on Flickr and Instagram. Also, for less than the price of a cup of coffee each month you can help support Alan's photography (and get some freebies into the bargain). Click here to visit his Patron page to find out more.