Saturday, 27 April 2013

Another bright sunny morning. I follow the chubby bald fifty-year-old paper ‘boy’

Another bright, sunny morning. I follow the chubby bald fifty-year-old paper boy into the newsagent’s where the man with the intense stare tries to sell me some honey roasted peanuts. “You wanna try them,” he says without blinking, “They’re proper nice, they are.” I refuse and, as I step back outside it starts to rain heavily. The sky clouds over and the temperature drops. I think about going back and buying the nuts but the rain stops as suddenly as it had started. it stays cold though and it's a full half hour before the Reactolite lenses of the people in fleece jackets go dark again.

Outside the church hall where I was once accused of smoking ‘wacky baccy’ at a wedding reception, the snow that had lined the kerb has given way to dried horse shit, tree litter and slug trails. Large men walk small dogs and large women talk at the bus stop: “I was supposed to be going to Diane’s but I can’t walk nowhere, I’m in agony.” One man’s heels are overhanging the back of his Crocs by about an inch and a half. Another man, who is having his lunch at 11.30 a.m., remarks, “Fucking hell, them Chinese give ‘emselves some right names, don’t they?”

I walk up the ring road behind two young men in washed out tracksuits. The taller one is walking a Staffordshire bull terrier on a lead. His swagger is so pronounced that he eventually builds up too much sideways momentum and stumbles, almost tripping over. To cover his embarrassment, he begins a vigorous air punching workout which results in his dog being yanked violently sideways with every right jab. The other man isn’t paying attention to his companion, he has half his arm down the back of his tracksuit pants and is scratching his arse while he wolf whistles at the girl in dark glasses walking down the other side of the road.