Strong shadows. Stained asphalt: oil, moss, blackened chewing gum, blobs of melted chocolate, strange bleached footprints, a criss-cross of tyre tracks in a patch of spilt concrete, lichen (Is it lichen or is it bird shit?) broken glass that glistens in the gutter, dust (not mud), the long dribble of white paint from the top of Orchard Terrace down to where that man is always mending his Volvo. The man who is always mending his Volvo has a sweat on today; he has ordered the wrong size cylinder-head O-rings.
Two filthy men in a knackered Transit pickup with old household radiator greedy-boards crawl by, eyeing the gardens for junk. The passenger, a skinny man with a torn T-shirt and a missing tooth, holds up a pornographic centrefold out of the window as they pass, "My bird!" he yells to me.
"Super" I say.
"My bird!" he yells again, even louder.
There’s a swarm of long tailed tits in the park and, later out in the sticks, I hear a cuckoo.
At the building site, I am referred to as ‘Pal, ‘Bud,’ ‘Mate,’ and ‘Fella’ during the course of a single thirty second encounter with a man with pumped-up arms, a high-vis vest and a T-shirt with 5UCK MY D1CK written on it in a distressed sans serif with a drop shadow.
Down by the big new church that looks like a multi-storey car park, someone has discarded a pair of brand new trainers. They’re positioned in the middle of the pavement, a foot apart and slightly splayed at the toes, as if somebody caught up in the rapture hadn’t fastened their laces properly.
The missing cat posters that have been on the lamp-posts for months have suddenly bleached blue in the last week.