Four years old

Sunday 23 February 2014

Katy, the daughter of Sam and Judy, turns four this week. After the morning service, Sam is talking with me about his recent trip to Africa, while holding Katy against his right shoulder. Katy is holding a white envelope that contains a birthday card. The envelope is addressed to “Miss K.G******”. I point to the name and quietly read it out. “Is that you?” I ask her. She replies with a nod, silently and demurely.

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Market forces again

Thursday 20 February 2014

A local businessman tells me that he has switched supplier for some of the products he sells, as the wholesale prices charged by the original supplier are too high. The businessman reckons that the new supplier’s products are of better quality — and I’m inclined to agree.

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Dumped, not recycled

Tuesday 18 February 2014

For the past few days, a skip has been occupying the Jebecs’ parking-space. A lot of the items in the skip could, to judge by appearances, have gone for recycling. The Jebecs are now away for half-term.
At breakfast-time today, a big silver van parks beyond the skip, and three men get out and help themselves to a few items (nothing big) out of the skip. Then they drive off.
Shortly before 15:00, a lorry removes the skip.

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Placid toddler

Thursday 13 February 2014

In the Oasis (an ethnic food shop), the only people ahead of me in the queue are a beautiful Muslim woman aged about 20, wearing a black-and-white headscarf, and her toddler son M******* who looks to be about 18 months old. As an afterthought she buys him what looks like a little bar of chocolate-coated fudge. He hasn’t asked for anything — and in fact doesn’t say a word throughout, but stands placidly next to his mother.

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Market forces

Monday 10 February 2014

In a shopping-centre not far from where I live, another long-established business has closed down. I haven’t dealt with them since they tried to charge me an extra fee for a perfectly ordinary transaction — I pulled out of the deal, and took my custom elsewhere.

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Mrs FW plus two

Monday 20 January 2014

A small plume of vapour is rising from the flue atop the school, and a big amorphous plume of vapour is rising from behind the school-house. Then I see Mrs Pavane’s car has arrived.
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Familiar streets

Sunday 19 January 2014

Mid-morning I go out for a walk, which lasts a little over 35 minutes. To begin with, the weather is misty and drizzly, but during my walk it becomes dry — however, the sky remains dull.
The GS family’s silver estate car is absent, but their black Zero is nose-in on the driveway.
I head up Victoria Street and along Cypress Crescent; I go past the church to get to William Street. At the corner where there used to be a filling-station with lock-up garages behind it, I turn right.
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Not a gleam

Saturday 18 January 2014

In the morning, it is dull and wet. By 12:30 or so, the sky is lighter and the rain has eased off. Forty minutes later, the rain that is still falling is very fine.
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Orla, her friend, and their boys

Thursday 16 January 2014

Towards 07:55, Mrs Wheeler’s car is parked alongside the school-house path. A minute or so later, the car’s headlamps come on, and the car departs. It has to wait, briefly, for a red 5-door car (probably a Plum) which is heading in the opposite direction.
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Mrs FW plus three

Wednesday 15 January 2014

I have a damp journey to Peakville. It is 13:15 when I arrive at the Old Man’s house.
Mrs Pavane’s car is nose downhill at the kerb alongside number 33.

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