At the other fallen trunk, we found beer bottle tops, ring pulls, cigarette butts, empty weed baggies and lots of pieces of rizla cigarette paper packets. The cigarettes were almost all Marlboros, and the beer brands were Red Stripe, Dragon Stout and Guinness. We also found almost a packet’s worth of cigarettes where the tobacco had been emptied out rather than smoked.
So what do we think this tells us? From our playground site, the finds and their position suggest parents and carers perching on the log to watch their children play. Whilst there, they are having a cigarette or perhaps two at most (which would explain the number of different brands) as the log is far enough from the play equipment that it is a more socially acceptable place to smoke than in the playground space itself. Children are then coming to their parents/carers for snacks and drinks, which accounts for the spread of snack-time debris. All of this is taking place on the side facing the playground. It would appear from the left objects that no one really uses the log if they are not also part of a social group enjoying the playground.
Whereas the other side shows a group that is almost exclusively adults, and who regularly use the log as a point to socialise, drink and smoke (both tobacco and cannabis). They have their favourite brands (as opposed to varying their choice based on price and offers like other areas of the park). This is their space, where they are unrestricted and largely unobserved in a huge city where we constantly bump up against one another.