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.