Monday, 20 December 2010
Sunday, 12 December 2010
Kirkburton from Kevin Boniface on Vimeo.
I was on her doorstep when a woman came round the corner and said hello. She startled me and I jumped. “You’re like me with your nerves” she said.
Tuesday, 7 December 2010
Untitled from Kevin Boniface on Vimeo.
The man who shouts at the top of his voice at 05.30 in the morning from the Dale Street flats was screaming instead this morning.
An unusual silver/grey fibreglass box has been left on Park Road. It’s about a foot square and on the lid it says “This is it Martin” in black marker pen.
At the newsagent's, a customer was telling the Asian proprietress about some neighbours who'd made him a curry, “They had a two week holiday in Pakistan – or India, I can’t remember which, one or the other – and when they got back they invited me and the missus round for a curry and oh! It were bang-on! It really was superb!”
A man with a leather jacket, blue tracksuit bottoms, black trainers, a bulbous nose, a grey moustache and a black baseball cap came out of The Caledonian Café and belched loudly. It smelt strongly of liver and onions.
A saw a rat run across Heaton Road.
The Skip Hire man always says "morning lad" to me but I'm pretty sure I'm older than he is.
I saw my abusive neighbour again today, he was telling a learner driver to "fuck off".
Wednesday, 1 December 2010
Tuesday, 23 November 2010
Someone has stolen the roof from Bradley Farm
The sign above the door at MPC North Ltd says mpc north: managing people’s choices. The reception area is staffed by people in military fatigues with laptops on their knees.
At the static homes, a woman in an old fleece jacket with a wolf on it told me I was a good postman because she’d seen me pick up an elastic band I’d dropped. She told me that my colleagues just leave them on her path. The wolf woman’s friend—salmon pink anorak, big set platinum hair and a plastic rain hood—told me “Ignore her love, she’s like this” and the wolf woman said “No I’m not”.
At Mr Haigh’s, I had to step over a dead calf to get to his front door today.
An old Ford Ka pulled up next to me. In the front was a smartly dressed couple, he in a camel hair coat with suede collars and her with a tidy perm and large beads. In the back was another man in a beige anorak. They were all in their 70s—maybe 80s. The camel hair man driver wound down his window and spoke in a southern accent “it’s good to see a good healthy postman!”
I kind of nodded.
The man went on “I’ve got a man here...”
He gestured over his shoulder at the man in the anorak
“... and I’m bringing him to see his childhood... er... all the good people!”
I looked at the anorak man in the back; he was pulling faces at the camel hair man like a petulant teenager and mock punching the back of the driver’s seat.
“Bye bye!” said camel hair man, and they drove away.
“A load of poofs live there” the driver of the bin wagon said to me, pointing over to number 20. All the bin men laughed and said “see you mate” as they drove away.
Tuesday, 16 November 2010
Friday, 12 November 2010
On my way into work at 5.15am I saw two skinny men rolling a lorry wheel up Church Street. They were soaking wet and were both panting loudly.
At the Toby Grill a man in a blue fleece jacket and jeans was rummaging through the box of Remembrance Day poppies on the bar while the barmaid pulled him a pint of bitter.
“Where are the pins? You need a pin in it” he said.
“They never came with any; I’m surprised we've got rid of so many” said the barmaid.
At Wood Grange, I lifted the flap of the letter box and half a dozen large black flies dropped out into a stream of run-off that carried them struggling away down the driveway.
A man who was fitting metal window screens to a vacant house on Eastfield Avenue asked me whether I’d like to buy some trainers.
Later, I saw a large pair of Eurimco pumps discarded on a country lane.
The woman at no.36 told me about her wealthy neighbour's recent home improvements:
“It’s unbelievable, he got an interearier[sic] designer in who is a gay from Leeds so it looks amazing!”
Two young men in their twenties were talking on the bus:
"Were you on Black Ops last night?"
"No, I was going to but I had to go up to the shop to get a tin opener."
Saturday, 6 November 2010
A skinhead in combat fatigues who was smoking weed asked me for directions to his own house.
Tuesday, 2 November 2010
Monday, 25 October 2010
Ginnel from Kevin Boniface on Vimeo.
Thursday, 21 October 2010
On my way into work I saw a bat, an owl, the short woman with the sweat shirt and the peroxide perm who goes through the bins in the park and, on the pavement outside the Mortgage Introducer and International Flights shop on Marsh Street, a women’s block heeled boot.
I knocked at a house on West Moor Road. A boy of about three or four wearing nothing but a nappy was sitting on the window sill drinking milk from a baby bottle. A thin woman in her forties with braces on her teeth answered the door and shouted “Toilet!” at me. Then she said “Oh sorry love, I thought you were someone else”.
Mr Briggs intercepted me for his mail in his Bedford Rascal. He asked me whether I’d ever toured Scotland by coach. I said I hadn’t. He told me his wife had seen an advert in The Examiner; “...up one side and down the other—five hotels in a week.”
Mr Briggs went on at some length about his reservations about coach travel.
"A sore arse... compulsory seat belts... steamed-up windows that you can’t see out of... the lack of decent toilet facilities... if you get sat next to a knobhead..." and so forth.
He said "I said all this to her but she’d already gone and booked it hadn’t she. Her and Barbara had cooked it up together hadn’t they. So, the four of us went together; me, the missus and Gary and Barbara. And do you know what?" said Mr Briggs looking up at me from over his wire-rims.
“What?” I said.
“We had a real time! It was fantastic! We’ve been another... one... two... three... four times since!”
He went on at some length about some of the exploits they’d had.
“...They’re only allowed to drive for a couple of hours at a time these days so we always have chance to have a coffee or a tea.”
And how he’d got around the seat belt problem.
“if you plug the belt in to the thing before you get into your seat and then just sit on it, the driver's alarm doesn’t go off. He’d had to tell me a couple of times over the tannoy before I figured that out”. Mr Briggs chuckled and did an impression of the bus driver “Passenger number 44 could you fasten your belt please”.
I told Mr Briggs that I’d once travelled from London to Paris by coach and I’d found it quite tough going. I was about to elaborate with an amusing anecdote from the journey but he cut me short saying “Anyway, I’m off to Leeds now” and he drove away.
Tuesday, 12 October 2010
A man is lying on his side on his asphalt driveway manicuring the edge of his lawn with a pair of shears — half his backside is showing. He rolls over onto his back to say hello.
Saturday, 9 October 2010
I could see a small man walking towards me in the park. He was singing loudly to himself and occasionally performing a kind of shimmy. He stopped briefly to take a drag of his cigarette and saw me walking towards him. He began coughing in what seemed like a fake way and when he started up walking again, he did so with a swagger and an expressionless face.
Trizzle and N.Smith have both written their names on the the May Street pouch box.
Sunday, 3 October 2010
A young man wearing a yellow vest, faded red boxer shorts and fluffy yellow slippers was sat on my neighbour's front step in the rain at 05.30am. Later, I saw a fox on Station Road.
On the bus I overheard a man telling his companion that he’d shat himself in bed after drinking “too many turbo diesels” in the pub.
Mrs Shaw gave me a bag of home grown tomatoes. She said she was completely self-sufficient as far as tomatoes were concerned.
As I pushed the mail through the door of a house on Carr Lane, a handwritten note fell out of the letterbox:
“Mum, go away you are not my mother.
Your so-called fucking son.”
Dr Groves opened his front door to take his mail. He said “It’s a reasonable day by the looks of it.”
Mr Briggs pulled up to tell me he was “off to Oldham today...”
He paused, then said “Actually, I tell a lie; I’m off to the office, then to Meltham and then to Oldham. I’m working on the precinct there; it’s a right bastard to park.”
That’s all he said, then he got back into his VW Passat and drove away.
At the Chartered Accountants, a chubby white male Chartered Accountant with brown plastic rimmed glasses, a white shirt and a grey suit was talking to a slim white female Chartered Accountant in a white shirt and a slightly lighter grey suit — with a fine check.
“Did you get through Chapeltown all right yesterday?” asked the man.
“I know! I didn’t see a single white face!” said the woman biting her lip.
“I bet you didn’t want to stop at the lights did you?”
“No” said the woman, “I pushed my door-locks down!” She mimed twisting around and pushing down the door lock; “Absolutely terrifying” she said.
Mrs Gaunt waved to me from her first floor window with a tenon saw in her hand.
Places I saw the Cross of St George today:
1. Painted across the bonnet of a white baker’s van.
2. On a flag flying from dead tree in a garden on Vicarage Drive.
3. On a flag flying from the Foresters Arms pub.
4. Painted on a drain cover by the back door of a house on Elizabeth Road.
5. On a flag flying from what used to be The Green Cross real ale pub but is now a ‘sex encounter’ club with blacked out windows and plans for a sauna.
Thursday, 23 September 2010
The man with the tartan Thermos, the pea-coat and the all-year-round woolly hat has started crossing the road when he sees me. We pass each other at 6am every morning, he’s often the only other person I see as I walk into work.
After a few weeks of ignoring each other I let on and said “‘morning”. He didn’t reply.
As time went by and I persisted, he started to respond but never seemed very comfortable with it. His eyes would start flickering nervously at me from about twenty yards away, I’d say “‘morning” and he’d elicit an awkward choking sound accompanied by a twitchy sideways glance. Now he crosses the road and keeps his eyes fixed on the pavement.
A man in a hooded North Face jacket, elaborately top-stitched jeans and Nike trainers was sat smoking a cigarette and fiddling with a Blackberry on the steps at the entrance to the flats. He was blocking my way and so I said hello as I approached; he didn’t even glance up. As I squeezed past, my bag brushing against his knee, he still didn’t move.
When I came out of the flats the man was still there, smoking another cigarette and thumbing his Blackberry. I said hello again; he looked up, squinted, pulled on his cigarette and looked down again.
Two overweight men in their thirties were talking as they walked past me on Meadow Way:
“I bet I fucking could”, said one.
“I bet you fucking couldn’t”, said the other.
“I bet I fucking could”.
“You fucking couldn’t”.
“I fucking could”.
“You fucking couldn’t”.
“I bet I fucking could...”
A women in flat shoes and a very full skirt stopped me in the street to tell me she’d been to the 90th birthday party of her pianist “...I’m in the choir at the methodist... the cake was in the shape of a grand piano. It was sponge but it was lovely and moist”.