Howard says he shot a rat at 6.30 this morning. He says he’s pleased to have got the bugger at last but his neighbours complained about the noise. At Slack Farm, Mr Haigh comes out of the milking shed carrying a coat at arm’s length. The lining is torn out and It’s completely covered in shit and straw. “Fucking cows have had us coat. They’re a set of bastards” he says. “Eurgh! That’s had it now, hasn’t it?” I say. “Aye, normal folk would chuck it away. I’m gonna wash it.” I follow 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 tells 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.”
At the Community Health Centre, the receptionist bursts out through the doors into the car park and vomits next to a Honda Civic.
Back at the office, I see Irfan. He’s been off work for a couple of weeks and when I ask why he tells me he’s been stabbed.