There was nobody around apart from three men in hi-visibility clothing (myself being one of them – I was in orange, the others in green). We were each walking down different streets towards their confluence, which we reached simultaneously.
Twice today, I saw the man who wears the all-year-round head-to-toe waterproofs and runs everywhere. The first time he was running up Heaton Road with his waterproof hood up, The second, he wasn’t running and he had his hood down; he was giving directions to somebody in a Kia Rio on Outcote Bank.
In the rush to be time efficient I erroneously entered Mr Stead’s name into my PDA as ‘Steadi’. I handed it over for him to sign and apologised if he thought I was being over familiar. He said he didn’t mind at all because he’d been known as ‘Steadi’ throughout his school days which he remembered with particular fondness.
A man in his thirties was stood in the road talking to an elderly woman – she was wearing beige salwaar kameez, headscarf, thick plastic rimmed glasses and a pair of black canvas pumps decorated with a white skull and crossbones motif. The man had a dog, a huge akita, which was also stood in the road where four children of between about six and nine years old were being encouraged to pelt it with sticks and small stones from a distance of about two metres by another man who, with his buck teeth and moustache had a look of Freddie Mercury. The dog’s owner and the woman were both aware of what was happening but did nothing to discourage the children as missiles began to pile up around their feet. The dog was placid, only ducking between its owner and the old woman for shelter when the barrage became particularly intense. The children continued to throw stuff while Freddie Mercury sourced ammunition for them. Eventually I got into my van and pulled out from the curb. None of the children, the two men, the woman or the dog attempted to get out of my way and I sat waiting for about thirty seconds. Eventually the man pulled his dog onto the kerb out of range of the children who then retreated to the other side so I could pass, crushing piles of sticks and pebbles under the wheels as I went.