Monday, 25 November 2013

At the entrance to the park, the shaggy Border collie called Chicken was being restrained by its owner…

At the entrance to the park, a shaggy Border collie called Chicken is 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 realise that the large polished red and white streaked calcite sphere on the window sill isn’t the back of the head of an elderly man with a ruddy complexion and a wispy white comb-over, and I stop trying to attract its attention. 

Back in town, an enormous man driving a Mini passes me as I walk under the stalactites that hang from the arch of the railway bridge. He clatters noisily over the steel road plates that cover the pothole at the entrance to Tesco’s car park, parks across two spaces and hoists himself out by grabbing the door frame with both hands.

The golf pro’ with the Hoxton fin cranes his neck to watch the small yellow aeroplane from the nearby airfield as it flies low overhead. 
At one of the houses that backs onto the green, a thin bald man in a fleece jacket and faded jeans is carefully stencilling the names Brian and Susan onto the back rest of a wooden bench in a swirly gold font. I pass him as he’s admiring his work. He glances up and waves 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 that has been painted white. At the entrance to the conservatory, the man places his unlit roll-up on the window sill, kicks off his boots and disappears inside behind a bookcase of faded hardback autobiography spines: Botham, Clough, Greavsie …