As a nipper I remember playing with chalk.
I should mention I also had friends, not just a stick of the stuff.
We used to play a game a bit like chase crossed with hide and seek.
You got five minutes head start and had to chalk the direction you’d gone off in every dozen yards or so, in order that you could be tracked.
The winner was whoever could stay away from the clutches of his our her pursuers for the longest.
The streets on the estate me and my pals lived on was often covered in little chalk arrows and signs, no doubt getting up the noses of residents who took an inordinate amout of pride in spotless pavements.
But it appears my childhood toy has been nabbed for nefarious purposes.
Greater Manchester Police have rumbled a code used by burglars and chalked onto pavements near homes they intend to break into.
Nicknamed “The Da Pinchi Code” certain symbols tells crooks what to expect if they plan to break in.
Apparently, a capital D with a strike through means too risky while a symbol like an open book, somewhat sinisterly, suggests a vulnerable woman lives at the house.
More appropriately for my case, a circle with an X through means there’s nothing worth stealing.
They truly do appear to be a sign, unwanted of course, of the times.