Conversation, 1967

Shortly after the pound sterling was devalued in 1967, the Old Man said to the Deceased Lady and myself:
“In this country, we’re enjoying a standard of living that we’re not earning.”

Some things have changed, but…

[Original posting 20 September 2013]

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Two generations

Saturday 15 September 2012

When I return from shopping this morning, outside Mr & Mrs CH’s house I see first a woman I take to be the Explorer’s grandmother, and shortly after that the Explorer himself. The grandmother is talking on her mobile phone, in Italian. She is a little stooped. The Explorer is on his bike, wearing a helmet. Afterwards they play together with a toy train that they pull along with a string.

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Littering not tolerated

Tuesday 11 September 2012

On my way to an appointment this afternoon, I am in a queue of traffic, approaching a main junction. Before that junction, a side-road leads away to the right. Some mothers and their small children, on foot, are rounding the near corner so as to enter the road I am on. (Is there a school up that side-road?) One little black boy has finished with a carton of something, so he throws it over a low brick wall into the paved-over front garden of the house on the corner. His mother, a neatly-dressed black woman in her early thirties, is obviously annoyed at this behaviour. She makes him clamber over the brick wall and retrieve the empty carton.

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Barefoot near the park

Monday 10 September 2012

A little way past the hospital outside which the woman was complaining on 1 August 2012, a dark-haired woman with a one-year=old girl in a push-chair is approaching, heading in the opposite direction from myself. The woman speaks to her daughter:
“Keep your shoe on, darling. You’ll need your shoe on to walk. You can’t walk without shoes.”
As we pass each other, I can see that the toddler is still fiddling with her left shoe.

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Awake in Suburbia Somnolenta

Sunday 9 September 2012

Just before 00:50 I am woken by voices from the back garden of a house which is not far away but is in a different street. (I have been dreaming of extreme weather, including some powdery snow, in the West Country — no doubt the setting of my dream owes something to the West Country accents of the people making all the racket.)
“What are they b****y…”
“Oh my g*w*…”
“Ja-ack…”
“…the Italian…”
(The same female voice utters all of the above, and is doing most of the talking.)
“I’ll come and sit next to you, shall I…”
“…take yourself out of the ground…” [?]
I know” — in a knowing [!] tone of voice.
Then in adjacent sentences there are two more “b****y”s.

I try to get back to sleep. The racket recurs sporadically.
It is approaching 03:00 when the party comes to an end.

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Nights drawing in

Friday 7 September 2012

Today is our fifth sunny day in a row. Just after 08:00, the whole front façade of the school-house, and the front of its roof and chimney, are bathed in sunlight.
A little after 08:15, a black Ultra is parked tail-to-sapling, fully on the pavement. A silver Nova is below it, facing uphill with its offside tyres very close to the outboard edge of the kerb.
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Heavy load (of mowing)

Thursday 6 September 2012

At 06:53, all four windows in the BE are still shut.
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Three trips

Wednesday 5 September 2012

At 07:26 a black coupé, which has arrived from the direction of Cypress Crescent, parks two-thirds onto the pavement just below the upper entrance. A woman gets out of the driver’s door; she is wearing a skirt and top of primary [!] colours. The offside rear door is opened from within, and out get first a small boy and then a smaller boy, each wearing dark trousers and a long-sleeve blue pullover. The smaller boy shoves the door closed again, with both hands, using the strength of his arms and shoulders — this makes me laugh. All three enter the school via the upper entrance. The mother soon returns, and drives off.
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No tears this time

Tuesday 4 September 2012

Today is the first day of the autumn term at Acacia Primary — though the staff were of course there yesterday.
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Two cars, two falls, two boys

Monday 3 September 2012

Not long after 08:20, Mrs Pavane‘s Escargot parks alongside number 33. Half an hour later, a dark grey Oignon parks with its rear half opposite the middle entrance; the driver, a smallish woman in a white top and red skirt, gets out and makes for the school.
Later, when I walk past the school, on my way to TeraGroce, I see about ten cars in the car-park, arranged in two columns. The lower entrance of the school is closed, but the middle entrance is open.
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