Sunday 22 June 2014
Just down from the Sun pub where ‘Elvis’ performed last night, the man who still has his Christmas decorations up is singing Everly Brothers songs at the top of his voice while he does his ironing with the window open.
Two fifteen-year-old Vauxhall coupés driven by young snapback wearers speed past. The silver metallic one in front hits the speed-bump by the bus stop too quickly and its wide-arch body kit comes off in one piece. The following coupé, a red one, hits the body kit and drags it up the road for about fifty yards, smashing it to pieces. The elderly man with the Scottish accent and the spaniel asleep in the basket attached to his walking-frame says, “There’re some right fucking idiots about, aren’t there?”
On the terrace of houses with more plants in the guttering than in the gardens, a man of about sixty, wearing a sweatshirt, jeans, and slippers sits on his front step listening to The Eurythmics at very high volume. He occasionally joins in with the chorus between drags on his roll-up.
Out in the sticks, builders of all ages listen to eighties chart hits all day long and chubby young white men with no socks, beards, tattoos and flat caps say “Thanks, boss” to the Asian shopkeeper or do some cycling. In front of the market cross, the man of about sixty with the grey crew-cut and rat-tail discusses his Mercedes with another younger Mercedes owner. They both refer to their cars using the pronouns ‘she’ and ‘her’.
Friday 6 June 2014
“You know her from number 14?” says Mrs Kaur in the shop, “Well, every time she comes in here she’s different, one day she’s a goth, one day she’s like, normal, like, white, normal, and then yesterday she came in and she was a bloody Muslim!”
On Union Street, Mr Coldwell is in his yard trying to spray an old push-bike yellow in the rain. He says it’s for the window display of the florist’s shop on the route of the Tour de France. He’s well into his second can of paint but the rain is washing it off as fast as he can spray it on. “I should have waited for a finer day, it looks crap”, he explains. At the house next door, they have finished laying their new plastic lawn and have now embellished it: in one corner stands a plastic statuette of mole wearing a miner’s helmet and in another, a shiny fake plastic dog turd.
On the new estate, a magpie is squawking hysterically and dive-bombing the fat black cat which eventually hides underneath a Suzuki Vitara for cover.
A bit further down, the young mum is struggling to load baby equipment around the large custom built speaker system in the boot of the new VW Polo. A bit further down again, next
to the children’s playground that the children never play on, a man with a good two-thirds of his arse showing is mending his old Transit Connect. “Can I borrow your drill, Trevor?” he shouts to the man drinking beer in his front garden, “You cheeky bastard!” the man shouts back.