Sunday 27 December 2015

2015 Highlights

2015 Highlights

Karaoke Thursdays
Sambuca Saturdays
Vaping outside the Costcutter
Finding One Direction perfume for under a tenner: not to be sniffed at
Kicking decorative spars back behind the concrete rope-edging with the toe end of your boot
Hoping Michael’s not lying dead behind the hedge
Exhaling a long thin wisp of white smoke vertically up and over Lockwood Taxis
Drawing a half-arsed cock-and-balls on the postman’s pouch box
Approximately Doric architraves
Plastic lawns
Remembering Stumpy
1980s heavy metal on heavy duty radios
Leaving a trail of weed smoke from a Toyota Yaris
Leaving a trail of aftershave from a Porsche 4x4
Polythene: flapping and cracking in broken trees
Often wearing a bathrobe to shout at a dog
Carrying Margaret on your shoulders
Gin and slim and Probably the Best Fish Supper in Town
Holding your new toilet seat under your arm while you argue about parking spaces with a man with ketchup on his face
Not giving a shit about anything other than your fags and your phone
Hoovering your driveway
Comparing your experiences of electrocardiography
Watering down your Fruit Shoot
Lifting out dandelions
Soft toy trophy lynchings
Asserting that steam railways make life worth living
Waving an enormous arm in the vague direction of half of Huddersfield
The underlying murmur of people in tight shorts commenting on the warm weather
Shuffling past a pile of dried dog shit in your open-toed sandals
Strapping an office chair and a postcard display rack to the roof of your KIA Rio
Listening to Lessons in Love by Level 42 through discreetly mounted speakers at quite a high volume
Soberly dressed men drinking extra strength lager
Mainly discussing caravans, caravan based holidays, and the football transfer window
The smaller, less cocksure, banana and ketchup stained promotional air-dancers they used to have outside the Fiat garage when it was a Peugeot one
Smeared dog shit and the sandwich packaging
Spreading solvent with a yard brush
Retiring to make chainsaw carvings of owls to sell at country art fairs
Begging to differ with the woman with the bag for life
Seasonal Ugg boot Cleaning Services
Explaining that you could NEVER eat Weetabix without sugar
Larger-than-life-sized white-stick-defying pedestal-mounted Clear Channel hoardings
Being overtaken by an empty packet of Lambert & Butler and an energy drink can
Wearing your anorak indoors
Wearing your bathrobe to the shop that sells dusty bottles of Mateus Rosé, Lion Bars, Bisto Gravy Granules, and Andrex Toilet Tissue
Not really doing wine
Checking nobody needs a wee

Sunday 13 December 2015

It's bin day and the low sun casts long stripes of wheelie-bin shadow across the road

Bin day. The low sun casts long stripes of wheelie bin shadow across the road as I drive into the village. I park up and walk across the luxurious carpet of vivid green moss to Village Food & Wine: pet bedding and dried dog food systems on display underneath a tatty awning. Inside the shop, the counter is littered with the presentation gift boxes first inspected and then dismissed by the thin, middle-aged woman in the three-quarter length anorak with the muddy hem. “No, they’ve all got chocolate in, she’ll not eat chocolate”, she says. The proprietress, a thin middle-aged woman in a torn body warmer and jeans bends down behind the counter again, vocalising a strange involuntary exhalation as she stretches to the very back of the bottom shelf of the cabinet. “How about this?” she says, righting herself and then setting down a plastic gift box containing a small wine glass and an even smaller bottle of pinot grigio. “What is it?” says the customer, cleaning a stripe through the greasy dust that coats it with her thumb and wiping the residue on her bulging pocket. “It’s wine” explains the proprietress. “Is it dry?” “Yes, I think so.” “I don’t really do wine, what’s it like?” “Apparently it’s very nice, it’s what everyone has now.” “I’m not sure, I don’t really do wine.” “No, me neither, it makes me drunk.”

The sky clouds over and the rain starts. A squall flips up the horse shit in the road, flapping it about briefly before unsticking it from the asphalt and blowing it loose down towards the old vicarage where even the stone cat that I always mistake for a swan (the tail being the neck and head) has blown over.

Back in town at the corner shop, the proprietor is sitting on a stool behind the 
counter watching the small TV set balanced on top of a display of crisps. “Drug dealing” he mutters under his breath, then he looks up at me and says out loud, “Drug dealing. Is that all they’ve got to do in London?”

On my way home, I call at the supermarket for some milk and a packet of Mini Cheddars. Without looking up, the till woman scans my stuff and says “£1.60”. As I sort through my change she stands up, leans forward and shouts down the line of checkout staff, “DOES ANYBODY NEED A WEE?” I put a £2 coin in her hand. Her colleagues all look up and shake their heads. “RIGHT!” she says, “I’M GONNA BAIL OUT AFTER THIS ONE” and she nods briefly in my direction. “Thank you”, I say, but she’s gone.