Sunday, 24 July 2011

6.00am: As I walked down Fitzwilliam street a gust of wind blew...

6.00am: As I walked down Fitzwilliam Street, a gust of wind blew an empty can of Tennents Super from the gutter and it began rolling noisily across the street. When It reached the middle of the road, it changed course and began a descent down the hill at quite a speed; I watched as it overtook me. About twenty yards further down, a rat appeared from the opposite pavement and began to scuttle across the road on a collision course with the can at the intersection of their paths. I waited for the crash, which had seemed inevitable, but the rat put on an impressive turn of speed at the last second and disappeared into Marco's Hand Car Wash unimpeded.

I apologised to the man at the County Court for the temperamental nature of my PDA when it shut down as he was about to sign for the mail. "It reminds me of a woman" he said. Outside, in the car park I passed two women smoking their cigarettes in tears.

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

There were two identical settee cushions – brown with a bit of white stuffing poking out – in the road at either end of Newthorpe Avenue.

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

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

At Born Boutique – "Born to be different", the mannequins in the window displayed short, swathed dresses in Campbells mushroom taup and Germoline pink, deluged in stiff taffeta bows and swags, paste stones, pearls, purse chains and goatskin clutch bags – with gold feature clasps and fringed trim. Inside the shop, a woman in a dental assistant's outfit was browsing the rails while Jay-Z was piped from the PA.

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 Road, a woman opened the window of her front room and asked whether I’d 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...

On my way into work at 5.30am, I passed a house from which the theme tune from the TV show Countdown was blaring out into the street. A police helicopter was hovering directly overhead.

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

At the house with the decorative Father Christmas and snowman figurine in the window, I handed the owner, an elderly man dressed almost entirely in a single hue of beige (he would possibly have looked naked from a distance ) a parcel. He shouted to me above the noise of his dog barking from behind the gate, "Don't worry," he said, "she's all this..." and he made a C-shaped gesture with his right hand, opening and closing his thumb and fingers to signify talking. "Just like all women" he added with a wink.

I knocked at the door of the house in Mill Street where the owner always jokes that his parcels are consignments of heroin. Littering the short garden path, I counted 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 was also a large quantity of white feathers – far too many to count.

While using the urinal in the toilets on the first floor of the post office, I glanced out of the open window and noticed a man's 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 that the eastern European men down at the Grove often couple with a bootleg jean.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

A woman answered the door in Heights Road...

A woman answered the door in Heights Road. "44 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. "Tada!" 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, black jersey skirt that didn't entirely cover her backside, 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".