Under the overgrown brambles, through the spiders’ webs, past the tethered cat asleep on the lawn at the limit of its chain, to Mr Briggs’ front door.
“Good weekend?” he asks.
“Not so bad, thanks. You?”
“It were all right. We went down The Railway. I said to Robert, ‘Have you any food on?’ He said ‘Yes, we’re doing bacon sandwiches for a pound.’ I said, ‘I’ll have two’. So we had a bacon sandwich each”.
“Very nice” I say.
“Aye, but when I got up to go for a piss, they had a bloke on the toilet door trying to charge me 50p because of the Tour de France! The robbing bastards! I said to Robert, ‘You’re not charging me 50p for a piss, I’ve been coming in here thirty-five year.’”
“Did he charge you?” I said.
“Did he fuck. Robbing bastard!”
The roofers were listening to Tracey Chapman on their bright yellow, heavy-duty radio while they discussed their nights out in Brighouse.
“Aye, I went out there last weekend. It wasn’t a bad night but I didn’t go out to get rat-arsed” said the younger one, rolling a cigarette.
“Fuck me!” said the older one, “I did! I got absolutely fucking bladdered.”
The occupants of the little Fiat 500 ahead of me at the lights were engaged in some kind of gobbing-out-of-the-window contest. The big man with the moustache in the near-side passenger seat appeared to be winning; he’d landed a large greeny halfway across the pavement outside the doctor's surgery. Two of the beige pensioners in the long line of mainly-beige-with-accents-of-navy pensioners at the bus stop looked on disapprovingly. They began to remonstrate with the Fiat men but the wind blew something heavy by Yves St Laurent into my van so I wound up my window and missed what they said.