Thursday, 24 March 2011

I saw a young couple in the town centre early this morning


6 a.m.: I pass a striking young couple in the town centre. He has a camp lisp, a tight T-shirt, his arms folded and his jeans turned up above the ankle. She is very tall, very blonde and wears hot pants and cork wedge sandals. I overhear the man say "I've got to take Sammy's rabbit to get its claws clipped". They head off towards the market place where the stalls are being set up and, a half minute or so later, a chorus of lewd shouts comes up from that direction.

I shout to the woman in the pink turtle neck jumper and grey gilet who is valeting her Peugeot 107 but she can’t hear me above Michael Jackson's Bad on the car stereo. When I eventually attract her attention she looks flustered and embarrassed. She apologises and says she's been in a world of her own.

The man in the bobble hat and the plastic rimmed glasses stares as I empty the pillar box. I glance up and let on. He’s picking his nose vigorously. He doesn't acknowledge me but continues staring and picking. I carry on clearing the box but I can still feel him staring. I look up again and this time the man glances down quickly and starts to examine the bogey he’s been rolling between his thumb and forefinger. I slam the box shut and drag the sack of mail across the pavement. As I load it into the van, the man is still staring at me but has now started to excavate the other nostril. He’s prodding around up there, tipping his head on one side to get a good purchase and the only time he took his eyes off me is to inspect the end of his finger. I get into my van just as the man's bus arrives: Stotts ...taking people to places.

The garden wall at No.27 is now a pile of rubble after a bus crashed into it the other day. The bus company have erected a Temporary Bus Stop next to it.

The spare wheel cover of the Suzuki Grand Vitara on the driveway at No.47 is decorated with a psychedelic picture of a native American Indian standing next to a rainbow while a large starburst sun rises behind his head like a halo. The car's owner is in his garden wearing nothing but a pair of cut-off denim shorts to strim around the two small whitewashed boulders in the middle of the lawn.

I pass two men on my way home. The first, a man in his fifties, wears a long heavy overcoat, a woollen scarf and black leather shoes. The second, a young man in his twenties, wears a T-shirt, knee length cotton shorts, no socks and flip flops.

Friday, 18 March 2011

There was a house brick wrapped in silver foil...



Yesterday, There was a house brick wrapped in silver foil and two metal dessert spoons on the bench on Fitzwilliam Street. This morning, the spoons have gone but the house brick is still there.

Julie from the canteen is outside smoking a cigarette. She tells me that two people have ordered poached eggs. She says she hates making poached eggs and the thought of having to go back inside and do it is ruining her cigarette break.

The man in an anorak was leaning on his fence smoking a roll-up. He asked me whether I had any mail for him. I told him I had to do the estate first and he said he'd hang on for me. An hour-and-a-half later I came off the estate and he was still there, leaning on the fence, smoking a roll-up.

The Border collie has been barking, upsetting ornaments and head-butting the window of the front room of the first house on the cul-de-sac ever since I pushed the mail under the shed door (the owner has asked me not to use the letterbox because the dog tears up the mail).
Three doors down, a man in a big quilted coat and aviator shades, winds down the window of his black Honda Prelude with red rims and blacked-out rear windows, winks at me and says "Have you got owt for me mate?" I hand him his mail and he says "Sweet mate. Nice one."
At No.12, the large Polish man with the paintbrush moustache who wears his tracksuit bottoms very high (they go right up his arse crack) has been pruning next door's overhanging hypericum with an electric carving knife. Now, he's talking to another neighbour, the young Asian man in the white hooded top who is walking an aggressive looking boxer dog. When I pass them, the dog sees me and nearly pulls him over, jerking him around 180 degrees. The boxer's barking sends the collie at No.2 into a frenzy and it jumps onto the window sill with all four feet, its fur squashed up against the glass. It falls off again in quite a comical fashion but continues to bark undaunted.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

In the office, Adam was telling us about the curries he'd eaten over the weekend



In the office, Adam is telling Nathan about the curries he's eaten over the weekend:
"Balti Friday night, Pathia Saturday night and on Sunday I went round to a mate's house and we had a nice Rogan Josh. Not a bad weekend."
“Blimey, I bet you're back on the fruit now! Mind you, I suppose they're not too bad for you, curries, are they?" Says Nathan.
"Depends what you fire in with ‘em, doesn't it kid?" says Adam without looking up from his work. He’s standing on a box slotting letters into the top row of his frame (he's not particularly short but he says it makes his arm ache otherwise).

A red kite (the bird kind) drifts along the tree line above the road as the woman with the picture of an alien on her sweatshirt approaches with her two boxer dogs. As she gets closer, the dogs snarl and bark at me. Without looking up, the woman shouts "Shut up! It's a man, not a Martian!"

I slip on a flight of greasy green Yorkstone steps. I end up at the bottom, lying on my back with my feet on the patio, slightly winded. I tell the owner about it. "Are they slippy?" he says and hands me a mis-delivered letter from the day before.

At one of the sheltered bungalows on the estate, the old woman with the grey perm, faded blue anorak and american tan tights is putting out her wheelie bin. It’s decorated with a large stripy orange and green sticker that said Pimp My Bin! in a graffiti style font.

On my way down to the farm, I see a freshly killed blue tit in the middle of the lane. On my way back up five minutes later, it has gone.

Someone has written ‘Retard’ in the dirt on the side of old Mr Richardson's new Honda CR-V.

A rabbit runs across my path in the same place as one did yesterday.

On the estate, a boy of about five is playing on a scooter in the street. "Are you going to my house?" He asks. "Yes" I say and he throws down his scooter and runs inside shouting "Wait there!" Moments later, I see him through the window of the front room wrestling an agitated Jack Russell terrier from the back of the settee. A door slams and the boy comes running back outside. "It's our dog" he says, "I had to lock him in, he hates postmans”.


Saturday, 5 March 2011

I arrived at work early so I made a cigarette and stood on the pavement to smoke it...



I arrived at work early so I made a cigarette and stood on the pavement to smoke it. After a minute or so, a blue tit flew out from a tree and landed on the wing mirror of the Citro├źn Picasso parked in front of me. It hopped down onto the bottom lip of the mirror-casing and perched there facing the glass, appearing to admire its reflection. After a few seconds, it flew to the mirror of the next parked car and did the same thing, and then again onto the third car before it disappeared back among the shrubs in the church gardens. I was quite excited to have seen this and asked the man on the corner who was checking the soles of his shoes for dog shit whether he had, but he hadn't.

I was on a doorstep on the new estate filling in a 'Failure to deliver' notice. Above me, a wall-mounted speaker repeatedly announced in a southern accent: "Warning, you are being recorded by a security camera". It only stopped after I'd finished and left.

Yesterday, I said hello to a man in his garden and he completely blanked me. He was there again today, so I said hello again. This time he glanced up briefly to say "Now then" before continuing raking his leaves.

I asked the woman in her early thirties whether she'd take a parcel for her next door neighbour. She refused, saying "I don't really know them and they're just renting so, you know?”.

I commented on the fluffiness of a dog to its owner as she passed me in the street. The woman stopped but the dog started towards me, growling. The woman yanked on the dog's lead and said "They're not right friendly aren't Chows. If he's ever out in the garden, you'd best not go in".

There's been a bouquet of flowers (still in cellophane) on the doorstep of No.67 all week. The man who lives there must know about them because he's been out working in his garden every day.

A window cleaner was up his ladder at no.94. I shouted hello as I walked up the garden path but he didn't respond. When I came back down the path, he'd climbed down, and was walking across the lawn to get his buckets. He didn't look up from under the peak of his woolly cap as he passed but he slapped the back of one hand against the palm of the other several times and said "Seems to be getting fucking colder". I think he was talking to me because there was nobody else around.

I saw an old colleague in the street. He told me a mutual friend I hadn't seen for years had died in an road accident. "I were at me dad's, polishing me boots when I heard" he said.

Two young men in hooded tops were fastening some blue flashing lights to the roof of a car. They each had an upturned bucket to stand on so they could reach.

The receptionist was on the phone:
“I’ve got James from SL Recruitment on the line...Do you want anything to do with him? If I tell him you're in a meeting he’ll just keep ringing me and...Ok...” 
Click.
“Hello, James? He says he doesn’t need anything at the moment so I should give it a good long while before you ring again...That’s alright. Bye bye.” 
Click.

Back in town, a man on crutches with his cap on backwards was repeatedly gobbing on the path in the church gardens while his girlfriend (baby blue tracksuit and ponytail) was doubled over laughing at him. The man swung for her with his crutch and hit a pigeon instead which caused his girlfriend to collapse onto the floor in hysterics.