Multifarious gossip

Wednesday 23 May 2012

After breakfast I go shopping at AltGroce. When I return to my car I find a VW Polo parked a couple of spaces to my left, with the driver’s window wound down. (There are no cars inbetween.) A grey-haired old lady is sitting in the front passenger seat. No doubt she is waiting for someone to return from the supermarket.
Shortly after 11:00, Mrs CJ knocks on the sun-lounge window, to remind me that it is time for our scheduled cup of coffee. Mr & Mrs CJ and I sit in the shade at a table alongside their house, near the kitchen door.
Consequently, I don’t witness the late morning school-run.
We discuss the GP surgery. Mrs CJ tells me that Dr F has retired. I am surprised at this, as I don’t think her old enough to retire. Mrs CJ clarifies that it is early retirement. Another doctor has joined the practice. Dr K is still there. I say that when I heard his name, I wondered whether he was eastern European — but of course he turned out to be Irish.
We also discuss the traffic-chaos that the school-run brings. Mrs CJ knows the woman who lives at number 13, and who asked one parent not to park her MPV on the grass verge, as it was churning it up. In response, the parent deliberately churned up the grass verge by manoeuvring backward and forward. It turned out that this parent who drives her child(ren) to school lives at the Village Green: hardly far enough away, one would have thought — says Mrs CJ — to make it worth her while to drive rather than walk.
I tell Mr CJ about the junior golfer who lives at the house next to the Goldsteins’.
At Bert’s, the blue car is on the forecourt, and only Junior and Tall Woman are behind the counter. The public side of the shop is deserted. “No-one’s in the mood for fish and chips today,” I remark to Tall Woman. (Some people would think the weather today is too hot for such food.) “We’ve had an order,” she responds — I take it that she means someone has phoned in an order to be collected later. As I am being served, a fiftyish male customer arrives. He wants two fish, and some chips.

[Original posting 23 May 2013]

Posted in Rewritten | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Mowing, running, furniture-moving

Tuesday 22 May 2012

It is a hot afternoon. Starting at 15:30 approximately, I mow all four lawns.
At about 18:55 I see the junior golfer run from his house to the bottom of the garden and back; then he does the same thing again. There is a little area at the bottom of the garden, demarcated by brick walls; I can’t get a full view of it from my bedroom. This is the first time I’ve seen the junior golfer since I saw him swinging his plastic club. He is wearing a dark-blue top with short sleeves. My window is open and so for the first time I hear him speaking (toddler-style, of course), but I don’t see anyone else with him.
Towards 19:40, I look out of the kitchen window towards the Thornboroughs’ house, and see Mr Kaufman (in short sleeves) taking something that looks like the base-unit of a child’s bed (with castors at each corner), from an open-top car that is parked across the driveway of the house, to the big shed at the bottom of the garden. It isn’t a quick or simple job. Mr Kaufman, rather showily, carries the base-unit on his head, supporting it with his arms; he then leans it against the side-wall of the house.
Mrs Kaufman is now also outdoors. Mr Kaufman carries the base-unit through the gate at the rear of the drive, towards the big shed whose door is open. He and Mrs Kaufman each carry some boxy items (it is not clear where these have come from), smaller than the base-unit but of a similar colour, through the rear gate and eventually into the shed; the two of them together carry the base-unit into the shed. Then one of them closes the rear gate. The whole operation has taken about seven minutes.
By just after 20:00, the black convertible has gone.

[Original posting 22 May 2013]

Posted in Rewritten | Tagged , | Leave a comment


Monday 21 May 2012

From my bedroom window this afternoon I see Mr CJ extracting lots of things from his shed, and heaping them up outside it. I don’t know what he is looking for.

[Original posting 21 May 2013]

Posted in Rewritten | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Not caught by surprise

Sunday 20 May 2012

I drive from church straight to Peakville.
For a while I have suspected that someone is parking on the Old Man’s drive while I am absent. I wonder whether I shall find the drive occupied when I arrive — but I don’t.

[Original posting 20 May 2013]

Posted in Rewritten | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Conversation, 1990s

The Deceased Lady always voted Conservative, but she didn’t talk much about politics. On this occasion, the three of us were sitting by the fireside, and the Old Man made some reference to Conservative-supporting newspapers such as the Sun. The Deceased Lady was astounded and appalled.
“The Sun‘s not Conservative!!”
“Ask BLEKE,” the Old Man advised her. The Deceased Lady looked at me.
“It certainly is,” I told her.
“Pwuhh!!” said the Deceased Lady. Clearly, she was disgusted to learn that the Conservatives received support from a rag like the Sun.
But was she disgusted more that the Sun gave its support to the Conservatives, or that the Conservatives were willing to receive it?

[Original posting 18 May 2013]

Posted in Reposted | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Price trimmed again

Tuesday 15 May 2012

At the filling-station (which I always pass by), unleaded petrol is 138.9p per litre.
My journey back to Suburbia Somnolenta is smooth and quick.

[Original posting 15 May 2013]

Posted in Rewritten | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Dodgy customers

Monday 14 May 2012

After doing some shopping, I go into the centre of Peakville, call at Richter Henker LLP, and then have lunch at the Moon Under Water.
Near the town hall, on the way to Richter Henker, I briefly follow a solidly-built young man who must be seven foot tall. He is smoking a cigarette.
When I place my order at the pub, I can see through into the bar at the far side. Another tall man, much shorter than the one I saw near the town hall, is standing at that bar. His face is slightly fleshy, his hair is brown, he is solidly-built but round-shouldered, aged 30-plus, and he looks like the kind of person you might enjoy having a joke and a drink with, but would never want to do any kind of business with. He is in the company of two other men. I’m sure I have seen him somewhere else, but I cannot remember where.
On my way back, walking up a street parallel to the one where Richter Henker are based, I see a policewoman make an exit from an office. Her hair is dark blonde, tied up at the back. She looks like a thug. I wouldn’t trust my freedom in her hands. For a few moments I walk in the same direction as her, ten yards behind her; then she heads into one of the main shopping-streets and I continue along Tabernacle Terrace.

[Original posting 14 May 2013]

Posted in Rewritten | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Relics of the age of coal?

Sunday 13 May 2012

I undertake some sorting-out in the coal-place. One of the things I find is several lengths of bamboo, tucked away along the left-hand wall. At first I can’t work out what their purpose could be. Then I realise that they probably were used for sweeping the chimney, in the days when the Old Man’s house had a coal fire in the living-room.
So those lengths of bamboo may have been in the coal-place for fifty years.

[Original posting 13 May 2013]

Posted in Rewritten | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Uneven day

Saturday 12 May 2012

An excellent journey from Suburbia Somnolenta to Peakville, with the sun shining.
Shortly after I arrive at the Old Man’s house, from my bedroom window I see Mrs CJ in her grey dressing-gown, hanging out washing on the line in her back garden. That is the only time I see either of the CJs during this visit to Peakville.
At Bert’s, the blue car is back in its usual position, alone. A man has just exited the shop, eating his chips from a tray. There is only one person ahead of me when I enter the shop — a middle-aged man who is about to be served. There is a woman with him, but she is standing by the door rather than at the counter. While Short Woman serves the man, Tall Woman obligingly asks me: “Fish chips and peas?” “Yes please!” I reply.
I don’t see Bert, but the batter on my fish is like batter cooked by him. Unfortunately, the amount of fish inside the batter is less than average.
That afternoon, I notice that the old-style door on the house where Mr BC lived has been replaced with an undistinguished modern door.

[Original posting 12 May 2013]

Posted in Rewritten | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The Golden Age of Emerald Rail

As far as I know, the Old Man had no Irish ancestry, and never set foot in Ireland. He did get on well with Irish colleagues at work, and he seemed to like songs with an Irish flavour. Commentator Bytesmiths on Brian Kaller’s blog reminded me of this one, which the Old Man told me was an old favourite of his when he heard it on the radio in the 1960s:

Posted in New | Tagged , | Leave a comment