Monday 20 December 2010

I'm still having to step over last years dead Christmas tree...

I’m still having to step over last year’s dead Christmas tree to get to the letter- box at number 87 on the estate.

A woman with tight jeans and a furry hat with ear flaps mistakes me for a colleague who recently featured in The Daily Examiner for doing the shopping for some of his elderly customers during the cold spell. She tells me how much old Mr Mallinson appreciated me getting his fags for him.

I hand over a parcel to a man in his fifties with some keys on his belt. It’s obviously a Christmas present: “Bloody Hell! Someone’s got money to burn” he says. “I’m a miserable sod, aren’t I?” he adds before laughing and saying “Thank you, my man” three times in a West Midlands accent and then shutting the door.

Just past the interior designer’s house with the UPVC porch and the fake leaded lights in a stylised tulip pattern, about ten yards down from where he parks his white Astra with the body kit and the white circular cardboard air freshener which dangles from the rearview mirror and has the word ‘AIR’ cut out of it in Helvetica Bold, opposite the red brick inter-war semi called ‘UP ’EM HALL’ with the three-wheeled motorcycle on the drive, half buried in the pile of mucky snow across from the house with the six-foot-high inflatable Homer Simpson wearing a Santa hat, I discover I can find eternal peace of mind from just £28.00 per annum (according to the promo- tional leaflet about insuring memorial stones and headstones I find there).

Sunday 12 December 2010

On my way into work at 5.30am a young woman in a frock coat...

5.30am: A young woman in a frock coat shouts to me from across the street, “Postman Pat! My daughter hates you!”

“It’s like a bottle for you isn’t it lad? Mind how you go.” says the old man in the cardigan and the scarf when I almost lose my footing on an icy pavement.

I see Rod Singleton in a bobble hat, chipping ice from his driveway with a spade. He says the weathermen are talking out of their fucking arses when they tell us it’s going to get warmer next week.

“Normally he cleans that path; he’s a taxi driver. It’s shocking is that for his wife”, says the man who looks a bit like he’s from the 1970s when I slip over on his neighbour’s path.

“I’ve lived here for forty year and I’ve never seen a single person come down here with a bit of salt. It’s disgusting!” says the elderly man with the combover and the zip-up rib-knit raglan cardigan with suede elbow patches.

A woman in a big black coat rounds the corner and crashes her buggy into my ankles. She doesn’t say anything or even look up, she just reverses a bit and goes around me.

A tall, slim woman in her mid-forties with a dyed black bob, knee-length boots, and skinny jeans walks up Moor End Road past a large snow sculpture of a cock and some balls. Arms outstretched, face raised up towards the sky and eyes shut tight, she sings along loudly to Lady Gaga on her mp3 player.

Tuesday 7 December 2010

The man who shouts at the top of his voice at 05.30 in the morning...

The man who regularly shouts at the top of his voice from the flats at 5.30am was screaming instead this morning.

An unusual silver/grey fibreglass box has been left on Park Drive South. 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 tells 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. Anyway, when they got back they invited me and the missus round for a curry and oh! It were bang-on! It really was superb!”

Outside, two school mums talk as they pick their way around the torn mattress, the divan bed base and the purple vest top in the icy puddle, “You’re walking like a mong” says one. “I know!” says the other “I need a wee desperately”.

A man with a leather jacket, blue tracksuit bottoms, black trainers, a bulbous nose, a grey moustache and a black baseball cap comes out of The Caledonian Café and belches loudly. The smell of liver and onions drifts along the bus queue.

A see a rat run across Heaton Road.

I saw my abusive neighbour again today, he was telling a learner driver to fuck off.

I need some waterproof socks.

Wednesday 1 December 2010

A woman with unseasonably sheer tights was feeding pigeons

A woman with unseasonably sheer tights feeds pigeons from a Jack Fulton Frozen Value carrier bag at 6am.

The woman at the bus stop says it’s “niptorious” today.

The three young people in front of me in a heavy snow shower are in conversation: “She’s dead young. They’d better make sure she doesn’t get fucking pregnant” says the thin white girl with the scraped back ponytail and skinny jeans. “I know!” says the Asian boy with the saggy jeans and quilted jacket. “I need a fucking car!” says the thin white girl. “I can get you one for £135. It’s all right, it’s got a nice CD player or I can sort you out a USB if you want.” says the Asian boy. “I don’t care as long as it goes, I’ve got to be in fucking town for half-one.” “It should be £200 but I’ll sort it for you for £135 if you definitely want it. Do you definitely want it?” “Of course I fucking do! I’ve got to be in fucking town, haven’t I?” “Okay”, says the Asian boy, “I’ll bring it you round later”. The third member of the group, the thin black girl with the cerise pink dressing gown and the Ugg boots doesn’t say anything, she just walks alongside with her arms folded.

I suggest to a woman who is clearing her path in the blizzard that it must be a bit like painting the Forth bridge. She says she doesn’t know.

A skinny Irishman in his fifties with a roll-up, a greasy ducktail and a disobedient sheltie sings as he passes me, “Postman, postman don’t be slow, be like Elvis, go man go!” then he stops, turns around, and asks, “Did you like that?”

A young man in a hooded top and an Alfa Romeo 147 struggles to get traction in the snow. Fortunately, two more young men in hooded tops come running over, “We’ll give you a push, you cunt!” and they do, right to the top of the hill. Next, a middle-aged woman in a fleece jacket and a Lodge’s Pharmacy van with ‘Celebrity Slim Weight Loss Programme/Program’* written on it comes around the corner at the bottom and also struggles to get up the hill. This time the two young men in hooded tops shout to the thin white girl with the skinny jeans and the thin black girl with the cerise pink dressing gown who have appeared at the bottom of the street, “You two can push her!” and they walk away.

*Both spellings featured in the livery of the van