Thursday 5 July 2018

It’s Been a Windy Night ll

It’s been a windy night. A crow with no tail flies out from the bushes on the central reservation of the dual carriageway. It flaps frantically up onto one of the tall new LED street lamps. Down on the ground, a ginger Tom cat emerges from the bushes too, its mouth full of feathers.

An old Jaguar XJ scrapes noisily past with part of a tree wedged under its front end

A large McDonalds take-out cup is embedded in the ivy on the stone steps next to the chip shop. The narrow footpath down to the big house is littered with sycamore helicopters, small prematurely ejaculated conkers, and an unusual reddy-brown frog.

“The door is open”. The disembodied adenoidal woman on the control panel at the flats is unequivocal.

Outside again and a small dog attacks my leg and tears a large hole my trousers.

A sparrowhawk darts silently past at eye level before suddenly swooping dramatically upwards and into the tree where the woodpigeons have all been flapping about noisily. A blackbird sounds the alarm.

A trellis of clematis has blown over at the house with the sign on the gatepost: Beware of the wife.
A pair of grounded jackdaw chicks huddle in the undergrowth, blown from their nests in the night.

On, into the village where the aroma of cheap scented candles and accreted dog piss pervades. A large Cross of St George hangs from the first floor window of a brick and pebbledash terrace. There is music; too quiet to discern exactly what kind at first, but it gets louder: I Want to Break Free by Queen. An old Toyota decorated with badly applied decals of scorpions rounds the bend at the top of the hill and the music is loud enough to turn heads. The car skids slightly as it pulls up against the kerb. The driver waits for the song to finish before turning off the ignition, winding up the the windows and climbing out.

Beer bottles glint in the sun on the parched yellow verge.