Honestly, you turn your back for one minute (well, a couple of months - I've been working y'know) and everything changes. Last time I went to McDonalds in Western Road, it was a bright, colourful place full of fun, laughter and fat people. Now look at it...
I think they've replaced Ronald McDonald with the Grim Reaper.
But if they're trying to turn the place into a trendy coffee shop, they need to think again. This was the scene half an hour ago outside the recently opened Starbucks in St James's Street...
One of those banners reads "Starbucks: Suppliers of coffee to the torturers of Guantanamo Bay". I don't remember reading that on their website. Still, if you're going to supervise a session of sleep deprivation, you need something to keep you awake.
Another placard reads "Keep Kemptown Independent", which might carry more weight if they weren't standing opposite a big branch of Somerfield, but for sheer punchy impact, I prefer the simple "Buck Off". It's so much better than the one saying "Starf*cks", which frankly doesn't work at all.
Amusingly, I've just discovered that they've rewritten the Starbucks Wikipedia entry to include details of their protest. They claim there are 1,400 of them, which appears doubtful from the photo above. Unless the others were all inside getting a latte.
Anyway, it was all very exciting, especially when the council street cleaner had to be given a police escort to pick up a cigarette butt. Personally I kept my distance over on the sunny side of the street. You don't want to mess with Facebook users. They'll poke you as soon as look at you.