Saturday, 31 March 2012

My neighbour keeps free range rabbits, chickens and guinea fowl.



My neighbour keeps free range rabbits, chickens and guinea fowl. She lives in a terraced house on a busy road with a small, paved yard. She often leaves the gate open so the animals can roam up and down the street. The first time I saw this, I assumed the animals had escaped and I knocked at her door to tell her. She waved me away and said “it doesn’t matter”. This morning a fox was chasing one of her rabbits round and round the house opposite.
I thought I’d left for work about ten minutes late but I saw all the regulars in their usual places: The black VW Golf with the Polish plates, the silver Punto whose driver sits talking on the phone with the engine running next to the wall where all the pointing fell out in one piece after the bad frost, the 302 bus with the men in hi-viz jackets on board, the tall man with his brace of labradoodles who never says hello, the woman whose collies round up the ducks in the park, the former postman and his wife who say they couldn’t wish for a better lifestyle now he’s retired, the brazen blackbird that hops along at my feet for several yards at the entrance to the park, the disheveled starey-eyed beard-on/beard-off man with the jittery gait and his dubiously sourced early morning takeaways. Five Canada geese also flew low over my head in formation on their way to the pond.
At work, I almost hit a lorry driver who was wearing braces as he descended from his cab. I was distracted by the car park attendant who has taken to wearing a stab vest.
At the reception of the University halls of residence, the Mike Posner song You Think You’re Cooler Than Me was on the radio and, at the precise moment I asked Mr Hewitson for his name for the third time this week, I heard the lyric “and you never say hey, or remember my name. It's probably cuz, you think you're cooler than me.” If Mr Hewitson noticed, he never let on.
At the junior school office, I queued behind a woman with a budgerigar in her handbag (it had hurt its wing – she was only calling in on the way to the vets) and a man who was dropping his daughter off whilst wearing a Keep Calm and Eat Pussy T shirt.
On my way home, I stopped at the supermarket where a big fat man in a Spanish football shirt farted loudly by the turnips.