Sunday 24 November 2019

7am, overcast, light rain: a flock of crows flies over the post office and lands in St Peter’s Gardens

7am, overcast, light rain: a flock of crows sweeps in over the post office and lands in St Peter’s Gardens. They wander around for a bit before flying away again, one pair at a time.

The thin man with filthy hands blags a cig off me outside work. He twitches and mumbles while he rolls it, “If it wasn’t for the postmen, I’d be lost” he says three times. “You guys are really switched on” he says. He pops his cigarette between his lips to light it. He keeps talking but I can’t understand what he’s saying because he has a cigarette in his mouth. He pulls on it, takes it out and tells me “I’ve got system…” and he goes on to explain how he likes to put grapes into cheap wine to improve the flavour. “It’s a good system but it’s nowhere near as good as yours” he says, and he takes a long drag while he gazes at the entrance to the post office as the vans go in and out. “That,” he says, leaving his cig between his lips again as he points at the busy yard, “that is SO switched on. That is SO switched on”.

Later, on the estate, I see a girl of about two or three years old sticking £10 notes to the condensation on the window of her front room. A few doors down, the Toyota Yaris decorated decals of flowers is surrounded on all sides by piles of the most enormous dog turds I think I’ve ever seen. Some are trodden into the asphalt and one in particular has a child’s doll embedded in it.

In the park, the trees glisten bright autumn yellow. The short chubby woman in the pink anorak and chullo hat strolls confidently past the leaf covered stone lion. She stops to pet the black Labrador accompanied by the woman in the gilet and jeans. “Well, you’re the boss, aren’t you darling?” The sun’s brought out lots of gilet dog walkers with their tennis ball launchers and leg warmers.

The bin man is wearing a kilt.

I knock at a door with a parcel. I wait for a while and am about to leave when a woman finally answers, “Sorry, love. I was on the loo.”