Tuesday, 5 February 2013
6am: I walked through the park in a blizzard with a man with bow-legged wellingtons...
6am: I walked through the park in a blizzard alongside a man wearing bow-legged wellingtons, a bare head and an unusual yellow overcoat. His name was Patrick and he was "off to Tesco's". I commented on the snow and Patrick said he'd be glad when it's gone, "I bloody fell at the bins the other day, didn't I! I was taking the rubbish out one minute, and the next I was flat on my back in the bloody snow. They say there's more in the offing and all – I'm bloody sick of it". Patrick said he didn't envy me my job in this weather. "I bet they pay you fuck all, and all" he said. "I spent twenty years working at the hospital between 1975 and 1979[sic] but now I don't bother because it's not worth it".
The cats in Park Drive made noises like stricken toddlers.
I saw lots of pheasants today. Most were padding aimlessly around the verges of the farm tracks, but one was prone across Mr Etchell's knee, on an old bentwood chair in the corner of a garage, being plucked.
The woman in the red Ford Fiesta had a large antique mantel clock on her knee. She wound down her window to ask whether I had a parcel for her. When I told her I hadn't, she said that according to the website the parcel had been delivered last Friday – despite the fact she'd only ordered it yesterday. "Maybe there's a hole in the Space-Time Continuum?" I suggested. "No, I think they must have given me the wrong tracking number" said the woman.
The farmyard was littered with dead teasels and broken safety barriers. The filthy dreadlocked collie strained at the chain that tethered it to its dirty white plastic igloo kennel.
In the lane, a metallic blue 4x4 BMW nearly hit me outside the house where the elderly Over 60s Club volunteer sisters live – with the Support the Lifeboats and Help for Heroes stickers in the window; "She reckons we should go down and open up but they'll not venture out in this, not them that's in their eighties!"
On the bus, the man in his sixties asked the man in his twenties whether he was "Off down The Royal Oak to watch the United game".
"I thought they'd turned The Oak into a mosque".
"No, they knocked that idea on the head in the end".
"Well, it was never a right popular when they mooted it".