Every day this week, I’ve seen the lonely pig on the moor. It runs to the perimeter of its pen and stares at me as I walk past. Yesterday morning, when it came to meet me, I made two pig-like grunts (I don’t know why, I wasn’t really thinking about it) and it responded in the same manner.
Further up the moor, Mr Briggs pulls up. He winds down the window of his Suzuki Carry and tells me that he and his missus have been by coach to Eastbourne for a ‘Turkey and Tinsel Weekender’. “Aye,” he explains, “Tuesday was Christmas Eve, Wednesday was Christmas Day, and Thursday was New Year’s Day. £125-a-head all-in, including four drinks, which is enough. We had a real time!” Mr Briggs goes on to tell me that by the Thursday (New Year’s Day) he’d found he fancied a fish. He says he travelled to a chip shop in Brighton only to find that they cost £10.50 so he hadn’t bothered in the end.
Back in town, the gas board are digging up the roads. The woman in the pink onesie who is sitting on her front step surrounded by small statues of Yorkshire terriers while she smokes a cigarette, tells me, “It’s a right pain, there’s nowhere to bloody park.”
A gold Kia Picanto screeches to a halt outside the church and a man in his seventies with a beard and glasses gets out brandishing a small hand plane. He slams shut the car door, shoulders open the gate of the churchyard and sprints down the path and through the open doors. Within seconds I can hear the sound of wood being energetically smoothed echoing out from the church interior.
At 2.30pm, at the top of the hill, I encounter two large women in their seventies. They are dressed in identical spotted Dalmatian onesies and appear to be very drunk. They cling to one another as they zig-zag across the middle of the road whilst inexplicably making load “miaow” noises like enormous bipedal dog-cats. In the supermarket, the woman with the sensible shoes and bag-for-life is telling her husband about her dislike of Milk Tray chocolates. “Don’t ever buy me Milk Tray again! I hate them! Joan bought me some last year and I’ve still got them. Yuk!”
PS: The film at the head of this post was shot from approximately the same place that Edwardian filmmakers Mitchell and Kenyon made their short film in Huddersfield 114 years ago. Link to BFI Player here: http://player.bfi.org.uk/film/watch-employees-of-messrs-lumb-and-co-leaving-the-works-huddersfield-1900-1900/