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.
Cross-legged cellulite while sipping a gin & slim.
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 was bin day and the low sun cast long, regular stripes of wheelie-bin shadow across the road

Bin day. The low sun casts long, regular 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 sat on a stool behind the
counter watching the small TV set that’s balanced on top of the 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 in unison. “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.