A hike through Clissold Park with the rucksack to buy compost at the garden shop. The fences have finally been taken up on the top fields of the park and been rolled up into little biscuit shapes. It’s like a reference to the round hay bales I used to see dotted around the countryside as a kid. The middle aged bloke behind the counter starts telling me about Hull City’s promotion and when he hears I’m a Leeds fan he talks about their downfall being down to the change from fast midfield running to a slow passing European style game. He looks like Ena Sharples’ older brother.
“North, south, east or west – it doesn’t matter where you plant stuff. If you want it to grow, it’ll grow.”
Looking south east, through the slats in the blind, I can see four policemen with black padded waistcoats – the kind of thing their mums would have put together if they’d starred as Mr Bumble in a school production of Oliver! – standing around outside a house. The occupant, a loud-voiced alcoholic lady of no fixed age, has wandered off in the direction of Blackstock Road. I go back to my work and rely on the keen eye of my wife, who sits by the window and keeps me updated on events.
An hour or so later there is a massive boom and the walls and windows shake. A Pickfords (“The Careful Movers”) removal lorry has driven fast over the traffic calming ramps outside our house and sped off in the direction of Stoke Newington, smashing into the tarmac every fifty yards or so. This is the kind of noise that has sent an old bloke at the end of the road into such a rage that he has recently threatened to start supporting the BNP. When I asked what drove him to this he spat out a torrent of ideas based around housewives having too much time on their hands.
It’s a cold/hot/cold/cold/hot weather day. We’re all waiting for more rain. The slugs will be out to feast on the shoots in my herb garden, but tonight I’ll be ready for them with some handily placed trays of Budwar beer. Two bottles for me, one for the slugs.