Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Someone has stolen the roof from Bradley Farm...

Beaumont Park from Kevin Boniface on Vimeo.

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

The man in front of me with the shaved head, the tracksuit bottoms and the shiny blouson jacket...

The man in front of me with the shaved head, the tracksuit bottoms and the shiny blouson jacket stopped to pick up a packet of sodden cigarettes from the gutter. He opened it and tried to get at the contents but they were all stuck together. As I passed him, he was tearing open the packet. I watched him making repeated attempts to light one of the cigarettes as I waited to cross the road.

Out on delivery, a man with a splint on his wrist, wearing glasses and smoking a pipe said "It's a nice spot round here."
Just around the corner I saw a massive red toadstool and I ran over a squirrel.
Ten minutes later another man who was wearing glasses and smoking a pipe (but without a splint on his wrist) said "How do'" and asked me for directions to Bradley farm.
Just around the corner I tripped over a wellington boot belonging to a man who was practising the drums with the window open and Mrs Sykes said she was glad it was a nice day and that junk mail is a bit of a pain but she supposes it keeps me in work.

I saw my first domestic Christmas tree of the year at 17a Moor Lane. It had plain white lights.

Friday, 12 November 2010

On my way into work at 5.15am I saw two skinny men rolling a lorry wheel up Church Street...

Horses from Kevin Boniface on Vimeo.

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

"Have you got owt for me?" said the bald man with the the big jeans...

"Have you got owt for me?" said the bald man with the the big jeans and the paintbrush in his hand.
I handed him an envelope from the DVLA.
"Car tax." said the man. "Have a guess how much. Go on—I bet it'll be £225."
"What kind of car have you got?" I said.
"A V70. I can't be doing with small cars. What have you got?"
"A little Skoda. It's old" I said.
"Crappy little things. No disrespect to you; I just can't be doing with them."
"I've never bought a new car" I said.
"I've bought twenty-four. I've got two at the moment. The Volvo and a BMW. I need two because I'm going up to Scotland for a few days."
The man tore open the envelope and unfolded the letter, "£205. Not as bad as I thought. It's a lot though isn't it. It adds up; it's four quid a week that... I were self-employed for twenty-five year but I've passed all the work on to someone else—just walked away from it. Still got my name running around on fifteen vans mind.
The man waved his paintbrush at his driveway, "Just got a quote to get that re-surfaced; five and a half grand. Would you pay that?"
"No" I said.
"No but... even if you had the money would you?"
"I suppose I might... I don't know."
"I'm seventy year old. What's the point? I'd only be doing it for someone else wouldn't I."
The man looked up at the window frame he was painting and said "Anyway, you'd better let me get on. See you lad."

The young couple with the tattoos and the toddler at no. 201 have fastened a VW badge to their front door.

A skinhead in combat fatigues who was smoking weed asked me for directions to his own house.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

An old man was cleaning egg from his front door...

Lockwood ll from Kevin Boniface on Vimeo.

An old man was cleaning egg from his front door. He told me some vandals had thrown it at the house on Halloween. He said he’d like to pin them down by the throat with the handle of his brush and stamp on it.
At a house on Yew Tree Avenue, a bald man of about sixty wearing motorcycle leathers and a bluetooth ear-piece said “Hold on John” and made a “Do I need to sign for it?” sign by pretending to write in the air in front of his face with an imaginary pen. I made a sign for “no” by shaking my head from side to side and handed over the parcel. The man gave me an emphatic thumbs up and carried on his bluetooth conversation with John, “...the thing is mate...”

An old lady whose light blue fine knit cardigan exactly matched the colour of both her garage door and her meter housing box was very pleased with her parcel of garden bulbs, she said it was “just the right size”.

Twice in succession during my parcel delivery, the door was answered by a middle-aged woman with a broken arm.

The German Shepherd in the garden at 62 Mill Street seemed keen to get at me. It was stood on its hind legs at the gate barking and growling incessantly. The fur on its back was on end and it didn’t take its eyes off me as I delivered to the neighbouring houses. Eventually, I had to attempt to deliver some mail to the dog’s house. As I approached, it became apoplectic, furiously barking and baring its teeth with rage. A thin woman with a blonde perm and skinny jeans opened the door of the house, ran up to the dog and grabbed it by the collar. She pulled it down from the gate but it struggled loose and leapt back up, bristling furiously in a distorted frenzy of ill-intent. The woman made a second attempt to grab the dog, this time she managed to keep hold long enough for me to pass her her mail. “Thank you!” she said, in an eastern european accent, then she added “She is very friendly dog”.

There was a rusty framed photograph of a baby in the garden at 36 Mill Street.

I was queueing in the Co-op to buy a new jar of peanut butter and some Mini Chedders when the woman on the till shouted to a colleague: “Lisa, would you class this as quiet?” Lisa broke off from her customer and briefly glanced around the shop, “Umm... yeah, I reckon”. My till lady shouted back to Lisa “Ooh good, I need a wee”.

I saw another headless pigeon corpse. This one was on Yews Tree Avenue near the junction with Moor End Crescent.