A pair of deer bound along the back of the 90s estate. “Have you got a light?” ask the teenage boys who aren’t doing social distancing. 'No' I say as I round the corner. At one of the semis, a big jowly man with a shaved head walks up the path and a dog’s bark fractures the silence. The man responds with a much deeper, even louder bark of his own and the middle-aged couple in matching grey anoraks who are taking their exercise allowance quicken their pace. They head off towards the top end of the estate where the houses have Quality Driveways.
At the flats, the smell of dogs is masked with a cheap aerosol air freshener which catches in the back of my throat. I pull myself up the scuffed red vinyl concrete stairs two at a time, swinging around the stairwell on the wrought iron railings. The clatter of letterboxes reverberates noisily on the narrow landings. Back outside, a crow sits on the new LED street lamp above the Lynx deodorant gift box in the bramble litter trap. I pause to look out across the big elevated view of the deserted estate as the smell of weed drifts up the hillside and then I turn and walk into a spider’s web. As pick the sticky strands of silk out of my eyes and mouth I walk into a low slung washing line knocking my hat off onto the floor.