The recent spell of fine weather has brought other people onto the streets over which the elderly women in purple anoraks have held sole dominion in recent months.
A dozen motorcycles pass a middle-aged cyclist as he rides through the village in lycra. He rolls his eyes and shouts to me above the noise, “Hell’s angels are out!”
A middle-aged man in Crocs is chamoising the Skoda Yeti on the driveway of the semi-detached new-build. The sun glints off of the plastic chrome while he whistles along to Bad Moon Rising on the car’s stereo.
The man sitting in the driver’s seat of the parked up Vauxhall Astra with the custom paint job, body kit, blacked-out windows, and ‘Bang Tidy’ sticker in the back, is eating a pot of Muller Rice.
Earlier, on the estate, I tried to deliver a parcel but was intercepted by a short middle-aged man with a grey side parting and a three-quarter length beige anorak.
“You can leave it with me if she’s not in. She’s rarely at home, she’s a very active woman for a blind lady.”
I thanked the man and handed over the parcel.
“Could you pop me a note through, just to let her know I’ve got it?” said the man.
“I can,” I said, “but how will she read it if she’s blind?”
The man smiled wisely, “Sense of touch,” he said. Then he tapped his eye with his forefinger and explained, “When these pack up, the others pick up.”
“Oh” I said.
A small Asian girl with a snotty nose asks me where I’m going next.
“Over that way,” I say, waving my arm up the street.
“Pakistan?” asks the girl.
On the track down to the house where the men from Kudos Doors (Commercial and Domestic Door Systems) are working, I see a green woodpecker.