Friday, 16 August 2019

It starts to rain heavily and a thick petrichor scent fugs up from the busily embellished gardens of the cluttered over-60s retirement village...



It starts to rain heavily and a thick petrichor scent fugs up from the busily embellished gardens of the cluttered over-60s retirement village; an eerie 1970s time machine of moorland park homes. The ambient scent around here is more usually best described as a blend of damp Players No.6 infused Austin Maxi upholstery and stewing steak. The perms and the glasses are big around here and the dogs are small. There are owl themed knick-knacks on the windowsills and chintzy cane furniture in the conservatories. Bookshelves are stuffed with faded spines: Giles, Thelwell, Richard Adams, Willie Carson, Jimmy Greaves, a Haynes Car Manual for a Fiat Strada… Gravel paths are sewn with couch grass, dandelions and bent old poppy heads. Even the bird life is vintage, there are sparrows and chaffinches instead of the long tailed tit and goldfinch interlopers that have taken over further down the valley. I glimpse an old wood veneer box-shaped TV on a swirly patterned carpet and half expect to see Ken Cooper there reading the news in his Purdy cut and wide lapels; another gruesome Ripper slaying followed by a fundraising flatbed parade organised by some church pensioners in Kettlewell.

A quarter of a mile further up the moor, I pass the little observatory that was built in the early 70s for people who wanted to look out at the stars.