Friday 27 July 2012
The man in his sixties with the faded Just Beachin’ T-shirt that featured a picture of a kitten on a sun lounger was showing a neighbour, another man in his sixties—who has a half-sized resin statue of a horse ‘tethered’ to his house—around his new car. He pointed out something on the dashboard, “It’s guaranteed for life, that. Mind you, I’ve heard that before” he said, before pausing to greet the two men in green high-vis vests who were walking past. “Hiya lads”, he said with a small wave. “Ayup”, said the tallest of the hi-vis men, a pair of long ladders balanced on his shoulders. The other, slimmer and older with grey hair, just nodded and smiled; he was carrying a plate of cup-cakes decorated with blue butter icing and little silver balls.
Later, I was talking to a woman with very straight hair, glasses and a large canvas shopping bag about the problems she’s been having moderating her body temperature since the hospital put her on Warfarin. She was concerned her fleece jacket might make her too hot on her way to the bus stop, even though she’d taken out the lining. Quite a fat man passed us, he was walking a very small poodle while picking his nose and eating it.
Later again, the woman with the dyed black perm and the wind-cheater was talking to the woman in the large 1980s reactolites. She said she was all fired up about her fish tank again. “It’s not been the same since my big shark died. I lost all my enthusiasm, but I’ve been busy with it again recently...” She broke off and grabbed the reactolite woman’s arm, “You’ll have to come over when the dark nights come back, it looks magical”.
Tuesday 24 July 2012
A dozen or so young women wearing pony tails and predominantly black lycra with a single bright accent of either cerise pink, cobalt blue, orange, lime green etc were taking part in an outdoor aerobics session in the park. At the bus stop opposite, an elderly woman in a beige anorak arrived and said to the other elderly woman in a beige anorak, “It’s been a bit of a rush but I’m here now and that’s all that matters”.
In the farm shop car park, a woman in a beige anorak was telling a man in a beige anorak that she couldn’t get anything except Radio 2 on her car stereo.
“Still?” said the old man, rolling his eyes.
The woman nodded, “I know! After all this time”.
The man waved a walking stick towards the shop entrance and said, “It’s a bit of a walk down there”.
“I’ll go”, said the woman, “What do you want?”
“A lettuce”, said the man.
A heron flew over Shangri-La, a blackbird picked up a sun-baked slug and bounced it on the driveway at Orchard House and, at Greenside, where the man with the pickaxe said he’d be OK as long as it stayed dry, a Robin was eating some shat-out berries on top of a gate post.
Ernest says his new puppy hasn’t been a bit of bother.
Sunday 15 July 2012
The UPVC door opened and a man wearing a blue fleece jacket and a large rucksack over a black pin-striped suit stepped out...
The UPVC door opened and a man wearing a blue fleece jacket and a large rucksack over a black pin-striped suit stepped out. He stood between the two lilies in plastic terracotta pots to lock up, then turned and walked towards me. “This weather looks a bit naughty!” he said as he passed, looking up at the sky “And they say it’s gonna get worse an’ all”.
Horny by Mousse T was playing over the P.A. in the toyshop. Down the road, the secretary at the recruitment agency said her signature made her look like “a right spaz” and Later, at the chemical plant, the security guard confiscated my lighter before he’d let me on site. He was chewing gum ferociously but his breath still smelt strongly of alcohol.
I followed a large hare for about fifty yards as it bounded along in the middle of the road. It darted off into the field where the magic mushrooms grow in the autumn.
I pulled up on the pavement next to the woman in the beige three-quarter length anorak with all the ties pulled as tight as possible; only her squashed face was visible under her shiny wet hood, giving her the look of a pantomime maggot. I commented on the miserable weather as I climbed out of my van and she agreed it was disappointing for the time of year. “I heard something funny the other day though. She said. “Oh, it did make me laugh!” She stifled a laugh at the very thought, and explained. “My friend’s son said that if the weather carries on like this, we’ll be sunbathing on Christmas day!” She threw her arms up in the air. “Oh, I did laugh!” She cackled.
Wednesday 4 July 2012
I was walking past the newsagent’s shop when somebody threw a slimy mango stone out of a window on the first floor. It landed where I was just about to step. I adjusted my stride to the left to avoid it but the stone bounced and my foot came down right on top of it. I slid but managed to retain my balance.
The driveway was lined with statues: a spaniel with big eyes holding a gas lamp in its mouth, an outsized squirrel with big eyes holding an acorn, a moonying gnome. Also, a folded-in-half wellington boot was pinned under the nearside front wheel of the TVR Chimaera.
The builder with the swagger and the four foot spirit level called me boss and told me his dog doesn’t like postmen. I approached the front door of the house he was working on and the dog started barking threateningly, its hair on end. The builder ignored the situation and climbed some scaffolding singing the Howard Jones song Like To Get To Know You Well. Eventually, the owner of the house had to come out and collected his mail from me.
An old man with no teeth was wheeling a broken swivel chair out to his bins. “Nothing lasts for ever!” he said.