Thursday, 23 September 2010

The man with the tartan Thermos, the pea-coat and the all-year-round woolly hat...

Cowlersley from Kevin Boniface on Vimeo.

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 emit 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 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”.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

While I was opening the pouch box on Queen's Avenue...

While I was opening the pouch box on Queen's Avenue, an old man at the bus stop commented on my bunch of keys. “You’ve plenty of keys there” he said.

I was delivering to the Baptist Church when a young man in a hooded top started shouting something to me from the other side of the street. I couldn’t hear him because of the traffic so he shouted again. I still couldn’t hear so he shouted a third time. And a fourth. I still couldn’t hear and so he shouted again. I still couldn’t hear. I went to the very edge of my pavement and he to his. He shouted at the top of his voice over the top of the traffic “He only gets holy mail you know!”
“Oh” I said.

Inside the council flats the window cleaner was talking to an elderly woman. She was telling him how she’s not been well. "I've been here, there and everywhere at the hospital and they can’t fathom what it is”.

“Oh dear, there’s always summat in’t there?” said the window cleaner.
The woman went on, “Now they’re reckoning it might be Parkinson’s disease so I’m going to have to go for tests for that now too!"
"Oh dear, there's always summat in't there?" said the window cleaner again.
"Oh but it is painful, in my hands"
“There’s always summat in’t there?”
"I can’t even do the washing it's so painful”.
"There's always summat".
“But I always like to say to myself "There’s always someone worse off isn't there?"
“Oh dear, there’s always summat in’t there. See you next time love”.
The window cleaner left the building and shouted up to his mate who was cleaning windows on the first floor, “Jesus-God-Alive! I feel like slitting my wrists when I’ve gone in there! It’s your turn next time!”

Thursday, 9 September 2010

“Oh Septimus! Oh dear! I told you to go before we came out! Oh dear”

Ashes Lane from Kevin Boniface on Vimeo.

“Oh Septimus! Oh dear! I told you to go before we came out! Oh dear”, said the woman in the twin set and obvious wig to her King Charles spaniel.
Howard said he’d shot a rat at 6.30 this morning. He said he was pleased to have got the bugger at last but his neighbours had complained about the noise.

At Slack Farm, Mr Haigh came out of the milking shed carrying a coat at arms length. The lining was torn out and It was completely covered in shit and straw.
“Fucking cows have had us coat. They’re a set of bastards” he said.
“Eurgh! That's had it now hasn’t it?” I said.
“Aye, normal folk would chuck it away, I’m gonna wash it”.
I followed him up to his front door with his mail, past the tractor with the mature ragwort growing out from under the seat and the neat row of four dead moles laid out on the garden wall. Mr Haigh told me that moles have a very keen sense of smell and hands like people... "If you smell of fags or booze when you lay the traps you’ll not catch any.”

I was about to enter the Community Health Centre when the receptionist burst out through the doors into the car park and vomited next to a Honda Civic.

Back at the office I saw Saj. He's been off work for a couple of weeks and when I asked why he told me he'd been stabbed.

Monday, 6 September 2010

In her garden on Meadow Way, an old woman in a dressing gown...

Whitegates Road from Kevin Boniface on Vimeo.

In her garden on Meadow Way, an old woman in a dressing gown was emptying a jug of custard onto her borders.
A young man with his hand down the front of his trousers and a bloody nose was talking to a friend, “Drop them two off...” he said, gesturing to two young women with low cut tops and large breasts in the back of a P-reg' VW Golf, “...then we’ll go into town and get wired”.
In the park, I saw another man with a bloody nose, he was talking to a tree.
A squirrel was carrying a Wagon Wheel (the chocolate kind) across Wren Street.