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 motorbikes pass a middle-aged cyclist-in-lycra cyclist as he rides through the village. He rolls his eyes and shouts to me above the noise, “Hell’s angels are out!”
A middle-aged man in Crocs is hard at work 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.
In the next street, a small Asian girl with a snotty nose asked me where I was going next.
“Over that way”, I said, waving my arm up the street.
“Pakistan?” asked the girl.
On the track down to the house where the men from Kudos Doors (Commercial and Domestic Door Systems) are working, I saw a green woodpecker.