Sunday 23 January 2011

A car squealed noisily past on Old House Lane. The man stood holding a baby...

A car squealed noisily past and the man holding the baby on his doorstep glanced up and said “His fan belt’s slipping isn’t it, eh?” He looked down at the baby and widened his eyes, “Yeees! Is his fan belt slipping? It is, isn’t it? His fan belt’s slipping. Yeees,” he said.

A woman was walking towards me in the street when she stopped abruptly, pulled out her earphones and said “Did you see that?”
“What?” I said.
She pointed across the road to a black cat sat under a cherry tree. “That cat just chased a squirrel across the road, it had hold of its tail but it got away! Look it’s up in the tree”.

Next to the chip shop—which, according to the note masking taped to the door, is ‘closed Due to ill health although Peter's Computers which operates out of the same building is accessible via a telephone number provided’—I saw a flock of about thirty waxwings in a rowan tree.

I was edging up a garden path, between an overflowing wheely-bin and a pile of dog shit when I tore my trousers on a rusty old fridge.

An old man shouted me from across the street, "Postman!" he said sternly. I made my way over to him.
"When are you going to deliver my bus pass!"
"It's been a week now!" said the man angrily.
"A week since what?" I asked.
"Since I went down to the bus station and filled in the card. They had a fiver off me and I've heard nowt from them since!"
"Have they definitely posted it?" I asked.
"How should I know?" said the man.

I saw the waxwings again. This time they were in the tree by the flats where the skinny Asian man with the grey jeans and studded belt was trying to gain access by shouting Raymond! (see video).

Tuesday 18 January 2011

I followed a coach up Bradford Road. The livery on the back said "Stotts ...taking people to places"

I followed a coach up Bradford Road. The livery on the back read ‘Stotts ...taking people to places’.

At work, there has been a bag of Silver Spoon Granulated Sugar cable-tied to a ceiling joist for at least five years. No one remembers how it got there.

The Jehovah's Witnesses were talking in the street outside the house where I deliver the mail addressed to The Druid and the Witch of the End of Time. The one in the long taupe tasselled skirt and an anorak was saying "The most embarrassing thing is when you're in a public space and you can't stop laughing.”

On the radio Barbara Dickson was explaining that when she was young she decided she was "gonna show 'em" because she failed her 11+ exam. I changed to a channel where the presenter was introducing a quiz called Popmaster. The contestant was a stuntwoman who said she once gave up the job for a year but missed the adrenalin rush too much. The presenter said this was fascinating so I turned it over again. This time the presenter said "Now it's time for Rock, Shop and Recover on The Pulse of West Yorkshire: your chance to win tickets to see Kylie live in concert!” I switched it off.

At the sheet metal engineers, I handed a parcel to a large man with a greasy face and blue overalls. I asked him his name but didn't catch his reply.
“Sorry, what was that?” I said.
“What?” I said.
“Pardon. P.A.R.D.O.N” he said, “Mr Pardon”.

The weather brightened as I arrived at the Golf Club. The pheasants were making a lot of noise in the undergrowth and the greenkeeper had parked up his wheelbarrow and rake to scratch his back on a fence post. Outside the club house, a man in a suit strode across the car park carrying a large crystal chandelier and a grey haired man wearing and a v-neck sweater waved to me as he drove past in a cream and black Morgan.

Tuesday 11 January 2011

A man falls asleep in the driver’s seat of a silver MG

A man falls asleep in the driver’s seat of a silver MG while reading a copy of the Daily Star: “PREGNANT POSH PRAYS FOR A PRINCESS”.

Yesterday, Steve had a large tear in the back of his trousers exposing a good six inches of his leg and his blue underpants. I pointed it out to him and he said he already knew but was far too busy to worry about it. He's wearing them again today.

“I don’t talk to him. Kick it down the street”, says the tall man in his fifties with grey hair and a paint-splattered sweatshirt when I ask him if he’ll take a parcel in for his neighbour.

A red Ford Ka drives past at high speed.

On Mr Haigh’s garden wall today: A Ewbank carpet sweeper with a broken handle, a handful of straw, a television set, a tin of dog food (half-empty and wrapped in polythene), two Jerry cans and a three-foot square wooden crate filled with cooking pots and utensils. Mr Haigh comes out to meet me and I mention the strong winds we’ve been having. “It’s always windy up here lad”, says Mr Haigh, “Up here’s the windiest place in the country. That’s how come they put all them turbines up. It’s the windiest in Britain and Britain’s the windiest in Europe so it must be the windiest place in Europe round here”.

I find a copy of A Brief Illustrated Guide to Understanding Islam in a puddle on Fitzwilliam Street.

I remember the woman at the house I visit for the first time in six years because of her distinctive way of applying make-up: thickly and sort of flumpy so that she looks a bit like she's made out of marshmallow. On my way out, I also remember that her garden gate opens inwards, even though it looks as though it should open outwards.

I see the red Ford Ka again, still speeding but going the other way.

A man in plastic-rimmed glasses, a hi-viz anorak and a flat cap that’s pulled down so hard it looks like a tweed beanie, asks me whether I know one of his friends. “What does he look like?” I ask “What DID he look like” the man corrects me, “he died eight years ago”.

I see the red Ford Ka again, abandoned, half on the pavement with its near-side front wing smashed into a wall.

Sunday 2 January 2011

On the way into work, I followed a tall thin man in a hooded top down John William Street, his hands deep in his pockets...

Sunday, 2 January 2011

5.30am: I followed a tall thin man in a hooded top down John William Street, his hands deep in his pockets. He was obviously very drunk and on several occasions staggered the full width of the generous pavements and tripped off the kerb into the road. His attempts to maintain a respectable swagger throughout were comical.

On the bus, the man with the tidy goatee said he’d had to go straight to bed after watching The Bourne Supremacy: “I was fucked! What a film! It was even better than James Bond”.

I asked Martin whether he'd had a good Christmas. He said it had been a quiet one up until one of his neighbours had been shot dead by the police after a noisy twenty-four hour siege.

Crosland Street was covered in dog shit.

At the house with the incomplete decking and a broken television in the garden there was a sticker on the letterbox that read “If it's too loud your too old”.
Other stickers I saw on doors today: "Hello, Welcome. Now piss off!" and "My Rottweiler kills chavs".

A grey Renault Clio passed me at high speed on the wrong side of the road. It was followed by five police cars. The old man whose mail I was delivering said "Bloody Hell, Look at that!" and the old lady over the street waved her fist in the air and shouted something incomprehensible.
At a firm of engineers I delivered the mail through the door marked "Security and Fitness Centre".

Mr Smith was clearing up the mess in his driveway from where "the bloody fox has got at us turkey carcass".

Around the perimeter of Mr Mahmood's otherwise completely barren concreted-over gardens are arranged twelve four-pint plastic milk containers. They are positioned equidistant from one another and are three-quarters filled with water.