It’s been windy today and the bird shit stained section of the road below the canopy of the trees at the entrance to the estate is now completely covered with leaves.
A woman with Cosmic Purple hair and a boat-neck Breton shirt walks a black cat on a lead around the perimeter of her garden. She stretches out her left hand for support against the gable wall as she negotiates the narrow gravel path which is lined on both sides with a variety of cat statuettes.
An elderly woman with a nicotine yellow perm and a purple anorak passes me. She’s conducting a loud conversation with a man in a beanie hat and an enormous jumper:
“Well, he’s pissing in the bed,” says the man.
“Well, that’s not good,” says the woman.
“Well, he can’t get out, can he?”
“Well, can’t they give him a bed pan?”
“Well, he can’t feel his legs, can he?”
“Well, he needs a catheter, doesn’t he? Will they not give him a catheter?”
“Well, they won’t. They say he can get out of bed but he just doesn’t want to.”
There are yard brushes leant against unnecessary porches and charity bags containing mainly jigsaws on the driveways. starlings attempt a small murmuration and harassed lapwings stalk worms in the back field. A woman in a rusty coloured fleece jacket shows me the cut on her thumb. “I’ve knackered my hand unblocking the drain,” she says, “That’s what happens when you don’t have a man about.”