Parent and child

Monday 26 June 2017

At Cheerful Market, I park in one of the outer rows of the car-park, in the second space from the access-road. I walk through the car-park, towards the Market. As I approach the section of parent-and-child parking-spaces, I glimpse a silver car in the middle of the first row of that section. Only when I am just a few yards from the car’s nrc, walking diagonally towards its orc, do I realise that the car is a Merkur. Then I recognise the registration-number — it is the Peppers’ car. I pass nonchalantly along the car’s offside, noticing not for the first time that the rear side-windows are tinted (I can’t see the nearside ones, of course), and make for the entrance to the Market.
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Tam

Saturday 10 June 2017

Tam would have turned 60 today.

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Benjy

Thursday 8 June 2017

As I walk along the left-hand pavement of the side-street, a young man of about 6 foot 4 inches walks past me in the opposite direction. Then I see not far ahead of me, walking in the same direction as I am, a slim, dark-haired thirtysomething woman wearing trousers. I don’t hear her phone ring, but she comes to a halt, puts the phone to her ear, and begins to talk. She has a very slight Jewish accent:
“…We’re going away for three weeks, and if I put Benjy in the classroom[?] for all that time, it’ll break his little soul.”
I walk past her; although her voice is still faintly audible, I cannot make out anything further that she says.

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Privileges of the prosperous

Thursday 18 May 2017

After breakfast I drive to Cathedral City. It is quite a quick and smooth journey once I am on the open road.
Cathedral City is a place which exemplifies how social inequality, and the privileges of the prosperous, have increased in recent decades.
Of the Cathedral itself, I know very little.
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At variance

Friday 28 April 2017

Mrs CH and the Explorer set off from home at about 07:15 today. The Explorer, at his mother’s left hand, is doing all the talking — but what language is he speaking? It doesn’t sound like English, French, German or Italian.

Later, I open a bottle of red wine. On the rear label it states: “Cork & Film — Not Currently Recyclable.” When I’ve extracted the cork, I see printed on the side of it: “100% recyclable”.

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Cultural difference

Thursday 27 April 2017

As I walk out of TeraGroce, I see ahead of me an Asian woman in her 20s, pushing a push-chair. A few steps ahead of her is an Asian man in his 40s. I soon realise that they must be a couple — twice I see the man look over his shoulder, to make sure that the woman is still following him and at the correct distance. They head towards the underground car-park, and I return to the above-ground car-park.
I find it inconceivable that the young Asian woman I encountered three days ago would conform to this Asian custom.

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So much to do

Monday 24 April 2017

The coin-operated machine won’t accept new-style pound coins. A tall slim young Asian woman gives me a £2 coin in return for two of the coins; she is seated on the bench, talking on her phone, throughout our interaction. With a nod, but without interrupting her phone-call, she confirms that the machine accepts £2 coins.
Later, I am heading from my car, back towards the shops. The young woman is heading in the opposite direction; she is talking on her phone, which is wedged between her left ear and her left shoulder; from each hand she is carrying a small-to-medium-size bag with handles; she is wearing black trousers. “…[when] you’ve got so much to do…” she says, in an enthusiastic tone of voice. She has no trace of an Asian accent.

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Unsettling changes

Sunday 23 April 2017

After the morning service, I chat with Mr SP outside the door of the church. He is unimpressed that the current government has already broken a number of promises, and he is planning to vote Liberal Democrat in the General Election. Another reason for doing so is that he is a Remainer. I tell Mr SP about the Liberal Democrat leader’s evasiveness in a recent TV interview.
Mrs NL is at church on her own today. She looks rather stressed. As Mr SP and I talk, Mrs NL and another woman exit the church door; they separate, and Mrs NL walks off — presumably she is going home.
Mrs Scalene is also at church on her own. She has just returned from a holiday in Ireland. Her granddaughter Claire has recently been behaving badly. Claire and Mark’s family has moved house a few times, and so the children have attended four primary schools — Mark has settled well at their current school, but Claire has not. Their new term has already started. Mrs Scalene and I each attended only one primary school and one secondary school.
I tell Mrs Scalene about H, the girl at Metroland Primary whose father was in the RAF. She was with us for only a short time, before her family had to relocate yet again. (Our teacher quipped that one day H might move to the Moon.) “She wasn’t half a clever girl,” I say to Mrs Scalene — who suggests that I ought to Google her name to see what’s become of her. I reply, truthfully, that I can only remember her first name.
Mrs Scalene and I talk about how the arrival of a new baby can unsettle an older sibling; I tell her (without giving details of time or place) about how Bart carried Blanche across Acacia Rise one day in the summer of 2016, no doubt to help reassure her that after the arrival of Corin she was still very much loved.

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People of Posh Town

Thursday 16 March 2017

After breakfast and chores, I drive to Posh Town.
As I approach Posh Town on a dual carriageway, there is a little Vauxhall MPV ahead of me. Suddenly it moves across ftom the inside to the outside lane. At least a quarter of a mile later we come to a roundabout, where I draw level with the Vauxhall and go straight on, but the Vauxhall turns right, towards the farm shop on the fringes of town. No doubt the driver is blindly following the instructions of her sat-nav. She would have blocked the path of any vehicles trying to overtake us — fortunately there weren’t any.
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Fading into history

Thursday 2 March 2017

The model of car driven by Al & Myra was still quite common in 2012 and for a couple of years after that, but now seems to have vanished from the roads.

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