Sunday 24 July 2011

6.00 a.m.: As I walk down Fitzwilliam Street, a gust of wind blows an empty Tennent’s Super can from the gutter

6.00 a.m.: As I walk down Fitzwilliam Street, a gust of wind blows an empty Tennent’s Super can from the gutter and it begins to roll noisily across the street. When It reaches the middle of the road, it changes course and starts a descent down the hill at quite a speed. I watch as it overtakes me. About twenty yards further down, a rat appears from the opposite pavement and begins to scuttle across the road on a collision course with the can at the intersection of their paths. I wait for the crash, which seems inevitable, but the rat puts on an impressive turn of speed at the last second and disappears into Marco's Hand Car Wash unimpeded.

I apologise to the man at the County Court for the temperamental nature of my PDA when it shuts down as he’s about to sign for the mail. "It reminds me of a woman" he says. Outside, in the car park, two women in tears console each other next to a Vauxhall Corsa.

The university is busy with graduates in mortar boards and gowns. I queue to get into the car park behind a red Ferrari with the number plate G1RLS.

There are two identical settee cushions—brown with a bit of white stuffing poking out—in the road at either end of Newsome Avenue.

In St Peter's Street someone has stuck a penny to the side of a bin with a blob of gob and a bit further down there are three short blue pencils fastened to the back of the pay and display machine with masking tape.

A woman in a maxi dress is painting a shed while listening to Take That in the gardens next to the art gallery.

Thursday 14 July 2011

5.30am: A man who couldn't walk straight passed me in the street

5.30am: A man who couldn't walk straight passed me in the street. He was wearing plastic rimmed glasses and carrying a copy of The Guardian under his arm. He staggered slightly, bounced off the wall with his shoulder and spilled Pepsi Max down his top.
In the park, a dozen or so people were playing loud music in the bandstand. They waved and shouted “Morning mate!” as I walked past. When I replied they all collapsed in fits of laughter.

I was emptying a post box when the man in the garden behind it threw a large snail over his shoulder without looking. It bounced off the side of my head and set off across the road with half its shell missing.

On Hayfield Avenue, a woman opened the window of her front room and asked me to help her and her husband to climb out. She said they'd locked themselves in.

Out of the five people Inside the motorcycle showroom, I was the only one without grey hair, a moustache and no beard. I went over to the counter where a grey haired man with a moustache and no beard broke off briefly from his conversation ("She makes a lovely sound, especially when you open her up a bit…”) to tell me that I was "looking for parts" (which I wasn't) He pointed to an adjoining door and said "Through there mate. They'll look after you".

The signs to the car-park at the enormous new church say "Customer Parking".

Saturday 9 July 2011

On my way into work at 5.30am, I passed a house from which the theme tune from the TV show Countdown...

5.30am: I pass a house from which the theme tune from the TV show Countdown is blaring. A police helicopter hovers directly overhead.

A colleague tells me he’d been embarrassed the other day while delivering a package to a sex shop on his round; he tripped up a step and knocked over a display of dildos.

At the house with the decorative Father Christmas and snowman figurine in the window, I hand the owner a parcel. He’s an elderly man dressed almost entirely in a single hue of beige (he would probably appear to be naked from a distance). He shouts to me above the noise of his dog barking from behind the gate, “Don’t worry!” he says, “She’s all this” and he makes a C-shaped gesture with his right hand, opening and closing his thumb and fingers to signify talking. “Just like all women”, he adds with a wink.

I knock at the door of the house in Manor Street where the owner always jokes that his parcels are consignments

of heroin. Littering his short garden path are twenty-nine cigarette butts, fifty-seven KFC salt sachets (some opened and some unopened), a KFC vinegar sachet (unopened), a drinking straw and an empty litre and a half bottle of Fanta. There are also a lot of white feathers—far too many to count.

While using the urinal in the toilets on the first floor of the post office, I glance out of the open window and notice a shoe on top of the security hut at the main entrance. It’s one of those chisel-toe slip-ons with a three-quarter inch heel.

Sunday 3 July 2011

A woman answered the door in Heights Road...

A woman answered the door in Heights Road. "Forty-four today!" she exclaimed as I handed over her parcel. "I'm behaving very irresponsibly for a Grandma! Well, I will be later, I'm gonna get hammered!" She glanced up at my hat and her eyes widened in surprise as she took in a sharp breath. "Oh my God!" she said, "I don't believe it! Cool hat!" and she dropped the parcel and ran back inside the house. "Wait there!" She shouted, "This is such an amazing coincidence, I've got one exactly like it!" I could hear her rummaging around in the front room, "It's here somewhere! Wait there!" I waited on the step for a few seconds until the woman shouted again "Here it is! Here it is!" and came running back to the door. "Tadah!" She exclaimed, jazz hands either side of her face. On her head was a hat that resembled mine in so much as it was a hat but apart from that it couldn't have been more different. Mine is a structured cap in light blue/green check with a rigid peak and an adjustable band and hers was a floppy, plain brown beret type with a row of five metal studs around the front of the small, soft peak. I feigned amazement, wished her a happy birthday and went back to my van. On the other side of the road, a hefty teen girl with dyed red hair, black satin tracksuit top, black tights, very short black jersey skirt, and a pair of disintegrating grey Ugg boots was violently shoving a spotty teen boy outside the newsagents shop, "You gave me one-pound-fucking-twenty. Fuck off!" she yelled.

Mr Barton has fixed a hook adjacent to his back door on which he hangs the fully loaded super-soaker he uses to dissuade cats from fouling his borders. He has also been shooting squirrels with an air rifle. I've counted seven dead in his back garden in the last few days. When I asked him about it earlier in the week he claimed they'd all died of old age but yesterday he admitted to having shot them. He said, "They don't understand death like we do" and he made a fist with his right hand and beat his chest above his heart; "We are the only ones who know we're going to die".