Sunday 24 August 2014
“Kyle’s always grabbing my tits” says the young woman in the tight fitting playsuit whose toddler son has just grabbed her tits. “I know! Mine too, it really hurts” says the older woman in the noteworthy trainers as she gathers her low-maintenance hair into a scrunchie. “And it’s embarrassing” adds the younger one, as she pushes her unfashionable specs up the bridge of her nose.
The butcher is recommending a cut of pork loin to the thin-lipped elderly woman with the big black canvas shopping bag and frown. He waves a large knife over it in the display counter, “That’ll be lovely, tender as a woman’s heart!” he says. “I’ll have the sausages” says the woman.
A boy of about six or seven years old stops me in the street. “Do you want to buy this for a pound?” he says, opening his palm to reveal the pebble I’ve just seen him pick up from Mr Beever’s driveway. “What is it?” I ask. “A pebble” says the boy, rubbing it on his sleeve, “It’s shiny”. “A pound for a pebble?” I say. “It’s magic”, says the boy.
I was watching a nuthatch in Hangingstone Road when a thin man in washed-out black passed at dangerously high speed. He was riding a pushbike and trailer with GAY written across the back of it in large plastic letters. He looked up at me as he shot through the narrow gap between the double parked cars. “Hiya!” he yelled at the top of his voice. The nuthatch flew away.
Tuesday 19 August 2014
I chase the cloud shadows up over the moor and onto the estate where the men still drive Rovers and wear their hair in elaborate combovers that flip up in the wind like busy, beige peddle-bin lids. Wind-assisted lapwings flock in the field behind the abandoned Renault camper, the pretend duck by the bin store ‘quacks’ as I pass, and a replica of a basset hound peers out from the large stone handbag in Mrs Hinchliffe’s Alpine rockery, its head bobbing on a spring. People in comfy shoes restrain small terriers, fry liver and onions, smoke cigarettes, and scrape fluvial sediment from a storm drain with a butter knife. A man with a bit of dinner on his face sits on a collapsible chair outside his conservatory door. He is surrounded by marigolds, begonias, gladioli, Sport For All stickers, a faded Basil Ede print of some ducks, a pile of VHS video cassettes, a dozen or so pretend meerkats, and a miniature wooden wheelbarrow stuffed with pansies and snapdragons. Next door, a ten-year-old dusty-pink Kia Picanto pulls up and a grey-haired man with thick, plastic-rimmed Reactolite glasses and a three-quarter length beige anorak climbs out. He slams the door, opens the boot, and unloads three heavy looking Lidl bags-for-life. He pulls out a small packet of dog biscuits and holds it up high to show the man with the dinner on his face who shouts, “Thanks, Derek!” and points towards the open door of his green plastic shed, “Wob us it in there, can you?”