6.15am: Dancers and bouncers were sharing jokes and cigarettes outside the strip club. The dancers were wearing their ‘standing outside’ uniform: white faux-mink coats, suspenders and heels. The bouncers wore their black suits, patent shoes and their big self-important faces.
The man behind me on the bus to the hospital had a loud hacking cough. I got off where a group of builders—hard-hats over their hoods—were 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 was vacuuming his brand new Vauxhall Corsa while he listened 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 for days (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 surface is accented with orange cherry leaves and firework casings 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.