Sunday, 21 October 2012

The woman who feeds the pigeons by the open market was loaded up with three Jack Fulton bags of birdseed.



6.30am 
The woman who feeds the pigeons by the open market was loaded up with three Jack Fulton bags of birdseed. She hid in the shadow of the architrave in the doorway of the lap dancing club until the man on the ride-on street sweeping machine had disappeared behind The Christian Fellowship building.

9am 
In the big new houses at Stile village, a drunk sounding woman was singing a repertoire of contemporary pop songs at high volume from an open first floor window.

10.30am
On the driveway at Shangri-La, I was stung by a wasp on the back of my neck.

11.30am 
A window cleaner shouted down from his ladders “Lovely morning!” 
I agreed.
“What time do you finish?”
“Twenty-past-one, officially. Half-two in reality.” I said.
“Aye, them at t’ bottom do more and more so’s them at t’ top can do less and less. It’s always been the way, lad. Lovely morning though. Keep smiling.”

11.45am
I spent five minutes searching for my van keys before I realised they were in my hand.

Friday, 12 October 2012

On the estate where pretend owls outnumber the human population by two to one...



On the estate where pretend owls outnumber the human population by two to one, a woman was tending her plastic window boxes. She wore gold rimmed reactolites, pink marigold gloves, flip-flops and a grey fleece jacket and trouser combination. Her patio of pink stone flags with electric cabling running through the joints, is decorated with an assortment of garden ornamentation; a gnome riding on a snail’s shell, a pair of disembodied hands holding a small bird with a solar panel in its back and a lamp in its chest, a hedgehog riding a tractor etc. The poodle startled the sparrows from the beech hedge and made me jump. I nearly tripped over the top half of a woman with no arms. 

At 11.45am a man with mashed potato and lamb mince down the front of his shirt opened his window to give me directions even though I wasn’t lost. Next door, a woman with a summer-wine perm and a grey cardigan answered. Her mouth was full and there was quite a large piece of flaky pastry stuck to her cheek, “Honkfs Flhuph” she said, as I handed her her parcel. 

At the house that always smells of dog piss and stale cigarettes, an old man opened the window to take his mail. “You’re looking very smart in your uniform today, sir” he said, “Good for you, sir. Good for you.”

I crossed the rec’, adding another trail of footprints in the dew. A woman in a pink fleece jacket threw a blue ball with an orange launcher for her Jack Russell terrier, Muff, to fetch.

“More rubbish!”, said the man at number fourteen as he saw me coming, “I’m gonna put a letterbox on my dustbin so you can post it straight in”
“Oh, leave him alone, he gets paid for that”, said his wife from her plastic patio chair. She was thumbing through a magazine and smoking a cigarette.
“Aye,” said the man, “and the bin men get paid to take it away; the postman giveth and the bin man taketh away”.
“Aye, it keeps the world going round though dun’t it, love” said the woman, winking at me.

The weather had turned when the short, rotund woman with the russet dyed almost grown out perm, grey roots and purple anorak was sheltering under her blown inside-out umbrella at the bus-stop. “In’t it awful weather!” she shouted across the road. I agreed.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

On the post box outside the pub where Eeezi Goin’ are playing on Thursday night...



On the post box outside the pub where Eeezi Goin’ are playing on Thursday night, somebody has written ‘HYC’ in marker pen. I didn’t know the HYC were still around; they once gave me a beating in the toilets of the Most Luxurious Club In The North. I came out with two black eyes and a bust lip. It was 1988.

The proprietress of the shop was shouting into the phone at the top of her voice in Urdu when I dropped off the bags. Outside, a dope smoking, shaven headed man was showing off his new baby to his dope smoking, shaven headed friends. They were in broad agreement that she was “a cutie”.

Out in the sticks, where shreds of polythene stream like bunting from barbed wire along the fireweed verges, you can see around corners in the cracked convex mirrors. It’s all lavender and hydrangea, gravel paths and improvised containers, wellington boots, wooden windows, cabling suspended via a tree to a shed whose door is propped open with a lump of cement the shape of a bag of cement. The sign says “Caution, Free Range Children” and the black lab’ is “deaf as a post”. An old man says “Thanks, Pat”, and gives me the thumbs up. I kick the ball for his dog. The first frost of the year has severed the head of the stone tortoise that stands by his door.