"Why would anyone want to punch a police horse?" asked the man on the bus, glancing up from his paper. I said I didn't know.
In Primitive Street, a gust of wind blew an empty lager can from one kerb to the other while two drunks were discussing the whereabouts of Jade. "Where is she?" asked the one in the faded blue anorak with the saggy pockets.
"I don't know" said the other, "she spat in my face about two years ago".
A woman in her fifties wearing a T-shirt with a skull motif on it almost fell as she got out of the back of a VW Golf before it had stopped. "Oh, yeah! Just reverse over me why don't you!" she yelled at the driver before running across the road and and slipping over on her greasy Yorkstone path. "Grrr! I'm having a really bad day!" she shouted as she got back on her feet rubbing her hip. She opened her front door and a very excited terrier shot out and ran off down the street before she could stop it. "Now the dog's got out!"
Out on the new estate: Fake-sandstone beige and UPVC white with accents of grit-bin/Cold-Caller-Control-Zone-sticker yellow. The background noise of burglar alarms, wind-chimes, squabbling blackbirds, the distant shouts of a PE teacher and that weird clanging from the insides of swaying metal street lamps is occasionally drowned out by the engine of the JCB whose driver is concentrating so hard that his tongue is poking out. The fake ornamental bay trees have blown over onto the plastic lawn where the high-pitched cat deterrent is constantly being triggered by the swirling leaves and swaying daffodils. There are sea urchins and highly glazed period folk on the windowsills and solar panels on the roofs. And there are dogs; people without shoes open doors whilst holding dogs by the collar. There are unencumbered and very determined grey haired men in navy blue fleeces who pound the streets. Teeth gritted, they march up hills, arms outstretched for extra balance along the uneven nascent desire lines. They sweep past the stalled mums with their hoods up against the drizzle, pushchairs and retrievers in one hand, they reach out for their straggling toddlers with the other.
I've seen waxwings and swallows within a week of each other.