Friday 27 May 2011

I still pass the man with the tartan Thermos...

I still pass the man with the tartan Thermos and the all-year-round woolly hat on my way into work but I've stopped saying hello since it obviously makes him so uncomfortable. This morning I happened to glance up as he approached and he faked a trip to avoid making eye contact.

I delivered a parcel to a man with a side parting and a plaid shirt. He told me it was a box of chocolates. He suggested that should I ever want to "get round the wife" then I could do worse than to order some myself. "They really are first class" he said, "far more effective than flowers". The man also mentioned that he owned a Volvo V70 which he also recommended very highly, "A beautiful car" he said.

The man whose shirt was perforated with dozens of of tiny hot-rock holes apologised for his signature saying it had "gone a bit funny".

Wildlife of note: Two dead hedgehogs, one dead blackbird, one dead squirrel, one heron (alive), one woodpecker (alive).

Tuesday 24 May 2011

At the newsagent where the Adele album is played on a loop...

At the newsagent where the Adele album is played on a loop, two men in their fifties were comparing their experiences of school. 
"When the bell rang and we were playing football, we'd just ignore it. Did you do that?" 
"No, not really."

On Bankfoot Lane, a man in a flat cap was clearing debris left by the high winds. He held up a garden gnome, "I just found this," he said "isn't he a little beauty?”
Later, I got hit in the face by a wet clematis when it broke free of its trellis in a strong gust and a woman answered a door wearing a Father Christmas oven glove. Also, the Christmas tree is still up and fully decorated in the pool room at the flats.

I saw an owl at Wheelwrights farm and a man who looked like Boris Yeltsin going into the The Laundry Basket launderette. A young boy of about seven threatened to cut my head off with an (a real) axe and a man in the the park with a chest length beard and Bermuda shorts asked me whether I'd ever been to London.

I saw Marc getting off the bus at Berry Brow. He had a snare drum in one hand, some cymbals in the other and his jacket done up to the top. I pulled over to say hello and he said he'd just got back from London where he'd played at Ronnie Scott's. I said to say hello to his mum, he said he would and then he went because it was raining.

Wednesday 11 May 2011

The man in the black Astra was blocking the street...

The man in the black Astra was blocking the street while he was on the phone. He broke off briefly from his call to wind down his window and shout "You fat fucking bitch!" to the woman in the red Saab at the front of the queue of oncoming traffic. She didn't move because she couldn't; he was blocking the road and she had a queue of traffic behind her. He called the Saab woman a fat bitch a couple more times before he finished his call and then sped off, shouting "You fat bitch!" a final time as he went.
Half an hour later I saw the Astra man again, he was dropping an old man off at the hospital. They were smiling and sharing a joke together. Astra man took the old man's arm and patiently escorted him across the car park and up the steps to the reception area.

At Hill Tree Park, the air was filled with copulating insects, the yelping of lap dogs and the smell of deep fat fryers. A man in jeans was putting a fresh coat of magnolia Wethershield onto his stucco. I said “Good morning" and he made a sort of "mgh" noise without looking up.

Garden statues: Squirrels, many rabbits, birds (mainly owls and woodpeckers), an elderly couple on a bench, hedgehogs, a donkey (with saddle bags), a horse, an angel, a castle, windmills, otters, a fox, tortoises, cats, highly glazed orbs, a 10’ tall giraffe, ducks, gnomes, buddhas, frogs (two that croaked as I walked past), a miniature Chinese terracotta army figure, some miniature Easter Island heads, fairies, a lion, cats, dogs (mainly terriers and collies), naked/semi-naked women, men with golf bags/cricket bats/shotguns/bags with swag written on them, molded resin imitation Jean Arp/Barbara Hepworths...

A plane took off from the airfield. Its engine cut out for about five seconds as it flew overhead.

Mr Ainley asked me why the mail was so late these days. He said he was going to write to his MP and "sort the bugger out".

Saturday 7 May 2011

Mr Briggs intercepted me for his mail...

There’s a copy of The Watchtower magazine pinned to the front door of one of the back-to-backs. Someone has scrawled across Jesus’ face in biro, “NOT INTERESTED, ONE WORD FREE WILL!”

As we watch the police moving the drunks along in the park, Michael tells me he once saw a man staggering down the street with a bottle in his hand and another two in the pockets of his coat. He says he watched the man’s expression turn from horror to relief as the bottle
in his hand had slipped onto the floor but hadn’t broken. But then, as he bent down to pick it up, the bottles from his pockets fell out and smashed all over the pavement and his expression had turned to one of bewildered anguish.

The swallows are swooping after the flies that buzz around the cow shit on the track down to the farm. I make my way up to the house and knock at the door. The air is fetid and still, hung thick with the stench of pig shit. A woman with a grey bob and plastic-rimmed glasses opens the door. She winces and says “Oh! What a foul smell!” Then, with one hand over her nose, she grabs the parcel from me and shuts the door behind her without saying goodbye.

The man who is brewing beer in his garden and doesn’t wear a shirt says hello.

I stand on a dead mouse and, after several minutes of trying, I can’t get the worst of it out from the tread of my shoes.