At the entrance to the park, the shaggy Border collie called Chicken was being restrained by its owner: “No, Chicken! Leave it! Chicken! No!”
Around the corner at the house with the new pattern imprinted concrete driveway, I eventually realised that the large polished red and white streaked calcite sphere on the window sill wasn’t the back of the head of an elderly man with a ruddy complexion and a wispy white comb-over, and I stopped trying to attract its attention.
Back in town, an enormous man driving a Mini passed me as I walked under the stalactites that hang from the arch of the railway bridge. He clattered noisily over the steel road plates that cover the pothole at the entrance to Tesco’s car park, parked-up across two spaces and hoisted himself out by grabbing the door frame with both hands.
Later, the golf pro’ with the Hoxton fin craned his neck to watch a small yellow aeroplane from the nearby airfield as it flew low overhead.
At one of the houses that back onto the green, a thin bald man in a fleece jacket and faded jeans was carefully stencilling the names Brian and Susan onto the back rest of a wooden bench in a swirly gold font. I passed him as he was admiring his work. He glanced up and waved briefly before walking up the gravel path, past the little tableau on the lawn; a stone tortoise apparently engaged in combat with a tiny plastic second world war infantryman painted white. At the entrance to the conservatory, the man placed his unlit roll-up on the window sill, kicked off his boots and disappeared inside behind a bookcase of faded hardback autobiography spines: Botham, Clough, Greavsie…