Saturday 15 November 2014

6.15am: Dancers and Bouncers were Sharing Jokes and Cigarettes outside the Strip Club

6.15am: Dancers and bouncers share jokes and cigarettes outside the strip club. The dancers are wearing their ‘standing outside’ uniform: white faux-mink coats, suspenders and heels. The bouncers wear black suits and patent shoes.

The man behind me on the bus to the hospital has a loud hacking cough. I get off where a group of builders with hard hats over their hoods are smoking in a huddle outside the house with the empty Cheese Curls packet and pile of dog shit underneath the trampoline in the yard.

There’s a lot of rotten pre-recession Ground Force decking around here and it’s slippery and treacherous at this time of year; the old man with butter on his nose advised me to watch myself after I slipped on his.

In the street, a young man with a shaved head and tracksuit is vacuuming his brand new Vauxhall Corsa while he listens to Robbie Williams quite loudly.

Out in the sticks, beyond where the remains of the smashed up traffic cone have been strewn across the road for weeks. Beyond even where the empty breakfast bowl and spoon have been left on top of the dry-stone wall a half mile from the nearest house (It’s been there for several days and there’s an inch-and-a-half of rainwater in the bowl now), a low mist is sitting in the valley bottom. The grey road is accented with orange cherry leaves and a large flock of fieldfares is messily stripping out all the berries from a big rowan tree.
On the driveway at Oakwood, a man of about thirty-five, with a beard and donkey jacket, has his head under the bonnet of his thirty-year-old Saab 900 while he listens to Talking Heads quite loudly.

Sunday 2 November 2014

The camp teenage boy is talking to his companion on the bus

The camp teenage boy is talking to his companion on the bus: “I can tell he’s got a crush on me but if I say owt I know he’s just gonna say ‘I’m not gay!’ in that stupid indignant voice”.

Behind me, the grey-haired hi-vis man has been to the new restaurant that apparently everybody is talking about: “I ordered the lamb but when it came it was all fat. I got one tiny thin slice of meat off the whole piece! I sent it back. I can’t eat that I said, it’s all fat. The woman asked me ‘Do you want to order something else?’ I said, ‘No love, you’ve put me right off my tea now, I’m going home to make myself some beans on toast.’ The chef chased me out into the car park and told me he was going to have word with the butcher but I’ll not be going back”.

I walk down Leeds Road behind a girl in skinny jeans and a black puffer jacket. She’s talking loudly on her phone in Polish, emphasising key points with wild, histrionic hand gestures.

There’s a woman in the Costcutter with ‘Nobody’s Cow’ appliqu├ęd onto her onesie above her breasts. Outside, the man with the piercings is polishing the alloys of his Ford Fiesta with one hand while he smokes some strong weed with the other. He smiles and waves.

Out in the sticks, it’s all long shadows, wood smoke and lavender, starlings on wires, church bells, dried hydrangeas, Kate Bush songs from the open windows of ex farm buildings, wicker-baskets, wellington boots, a possible sighting of a small flock of waxwings and a definite sighting of a huge flock of lapwings.

There are plastic bags in the trees.

I was nearly hit twice by flying objects today: I had to swerve to avoid the soiled nappy that somebody threw from their front door towards the bins without looking*, then at the farm I had to duck under the flight path of an enraged goose. It hissed and honked and flew over the five bar gate at me in a rage. The old farmer ran out and got himself between the goose and me, flapping his arms at it. “It’s a right little bastard this ‘en!” he explained, as he tried to shepherd it back into the yard, “It dun’t like me either, keeps biting me. It’s never flown ovva t’gate before though!”

*This has happened before: