Friday, July 2, 1982

On a bone the ant descends

I got my hair cut in the morning: two-and-a-half hours what with waiting.

Dad was up when I got home, enthusing about H.V. Morton’s In Search of Scotland and the baby frogs in the tanks in the kitchen. He was on his way to collect Mum and pick up Nanna P. so he ran me into Farnshaw. I met Lee and bought three ties. I didn’t want to go to Tesco, but then I never do.

Steve Brown got me off card-boarding after a few minutes and for most of the evening we dossed about. He created a tiny invisible hole in a bottle of pop with his knife which sent a fine spray of misty pop jetting across the warehouse.

Then I was sent off with a straggle-haired man to collect a trolley which had been dumped in his garden last night, through a rabbit-warren maze of smart new identical stone flatlets and into old Nunstead, up across a desolate cricket pitch with green wasteland at one side, serried sunset-facing council houses along the back, hostile arrogant kids congregated there to play and ride bikes and take the mickey out of a lone jogger. I carted the trolley back the way we’d come.

I waited half-an-hour for a bus and passed it in the William and Victoria with a fellow-Tesco inmate in green crimp flares and a denim ‘I’m-a-Rockabilly-Rebel’ jacket who works full-time collecting trolleys for £40-a-week.

It was a superb evening as I walked slowly back through Egley, the houses toward Glenbank Lane and Castlebrigg stained deep amber from the late sun. Shrieking swifts swooped and circled above. Not a breath of wind anywhere and all was still and calm and orange, the immensity and mindlessness of it all, gold-green leaves back lit in garden gloom, the sad burbling of a blackbird on a chimney top.

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