Sunday, 25 November 2012
I set off against the weather. The wind was thrashing the trees and, in Linfit Lane, choppy little puddles were breaching their potholes. In the road outside the house with the plastic holly wreath on the front door, the polar bears wearing Santa hats in the window and the pair of pink wellington boots with Wannabe Wag written on them on the front step, two men wearing filthy frayed jeans were in a skip, scavenging scrap.
At the school, the headmistress came to the door to let me in. She usually buzzes me in through the intercom. “Sorry, I couldn’t see who you were; Miss Brown’s not here” she explained.
I walked around the miry puddles to the house down the track by the swollen stream. I had a shoe box sized parcel for the man with the impressive sideburns. He’d hung a new front door which didn’t have a letterbox. I assumed he must have relocated it so I asked him where it was. “It’s in your hand,” he said “in that parcel.”
I joined the queue in the shop behind the skinny white man in his twenties with the snap-back and the black tracksuit top with white trim. He was talking to the man behind the till (the Asian man with the greying bob and the pencil moustache) in a strong Jafaican accent. “Them that ring you up about PPI innit. There’s nuff jobs there! You get paid by the call. You get a headset. Even if nobody answers or they hang up, it still counts. It’s done by computer”
Wednesday, 21 November 2012
The illuminated bollard in the middle of Fitzwilliam Street has been run over again. And, at the junction by the gay bar, where the upside-down shopping trolley has been on the pavement all week, the traffic lights were stuck on red.
On the bus, I sat next to the old woman who was on her way to the cemetery. She was holding a single red rose. Behind us, a group school girls were discussing which they preferred, “Eating or drinking”. They unanimously agreed that drinking was definitely the best.
At the house that should be No.13 but is No.11a instead, the man with the big overcoat that restricts his movement was reversing his new car into a gate post. I judged he might not be in the mood to deal with my enquiry, so I pressed the doorbell and waited as it made a protracted series of notes of seemingly random tone, length and volume. Eventually a woman with a tea towel slung over her shoulder answered. She apologised, “Sorry about the bell, love. I washed it last night and it’s not been right since.”
Friday, 16 November 2012
Outside the Post Office, a man of about twenty, wearing a black-tracksuit-with-white-bits-on and a bum-fluff moustache...
Outside the Post Office, a man of about twenty, wearing a black tracksuit with white trim and a bum-fluff moustache, slammed the door of his new silver Mercedes and swaggered over with his hands in his pockets. Without averting his eyes from the pavement, he mumbled “Move your van, boss. There’s markings innit. D’ya get me?”
The man in the T-shirt, shorts and espadrilles signed for his parcel. He nodded at my hand held PDA, “Them’s weird these, aren’t they?” he said.
On the notice board at the new delicatessen, there are posters advertising classes for Zumba, Yoga for Pregnancy and a Craft Workshop. At the pub a few doors down the chalk board outside is advertising a Smokie tribute band.
I leant on a freshly painted door frame and got some Weathershield on my sleeve, “That’s all you need in’t it” said Mrs McHenry.
Thursday, 8 November 2012
It was windy and the sky was littered with crows, swept up like a thousand bin bags. Deep inside the bus shelter, a large woman wearing a done-up-to-the-top anorak pulled a cellophane wrapped greetings card from a large pretend-leather bag. Inspecting it, she smoothed the corner between her finger and thumb; “Is that bent, or is it me?” she asked.
Also waiting for the bus was a very large man in a black tracksuit top with white trim. He was standing outside the shelter, in the middle of the pavement, feet a metre apart, squared-up against the gale. He wore his hood up, a scarf across the bottom half of his face, his hands deep in his pockets and his shoulders back; rock solid in the teeth of the squall that blew his enormous grey marl sweat pants tight around him, clearly outlining his quite small cock and balls.
“Don’t worry, they’re worse than they seem”, the woman reassured me as she restrained her snarling dogs.
At the house with the statuette of a meerkat holding a sign that says “Welcomes” on it, the old woman behind the glass front door got up and walked away when I rang the bell. Her neighbour, a man who was chewing gum and wearing protective goggles came out and told me he thought it was a crap day but that technology is brilliant.