The other day I saw a headless rat on the pavement. Luckily I found an old pale blue face mask in my pocket. So I picked up the rat and dropped it in the litter bin. I looked around, no one seemed to have noticed my good deed. Maybe I was tainted by my association with a dead and bloody rodent. I imagined getting into that slot they have in the Metro where people give thanks to those who go out of their way to help. ‘So grateful to the old man who selflessly picked up a dead rat from under the feet of the rush hour crowd last monday outside Stoke Newington station. A latte in Church Street sometime?’ I was getting that feature muddled up with the ‘love – or lust – is all around us’ one they have in the Metro, eg ‘to the gorgeous blond who got on a south bound victoria line train at euston on tuesday at 8.45. I was the guy with the really naff baseball cap. Our eyes met briefly. Drink?’. That sort of thing.
About the same time I got a letter from the council telling me that I had to cut back the plants in my front garden that are growing out over the pavement. They didn’t worry about that when they planted a gingko there, right by my fuchsia which has been enjoyed by passers-by for years. I think so anyway. And do they know that I have been watering the newly planted trees on our little stretch of Manor road – five of them. Or that after rare rain in spring as the newly-in-leaf lime branches from the catholic old people’s home swayed down and obstructed pedestrians near the bus stop I went out with my secateurs and trimmed them back. And the next bus stop up the road is nearly invisible. I’d have to take a step ladder up the road to do that. The most annoying thing is that if you don’t notice the temporary sign at the top of the bus stop, that flash of yellow all too familiar to us locals, then after you’ve stood waiting at the stop the bus that arrives just sweeps past you, because it says ‘closed’.
Round the corner in Bouverie Road a big bright show from hollyhocks which have sprung up by street trees. And someone’s roses, just carelessly sprawling! People seem quite happy with the obstruction.
And just to remind you, here’s another shot of the new barriers on the south bank.
I don’t know what exactly is supposed to be ‘out of service’…..
And one more:
And they pick on my fuchsia! I’m outraged, unrecognised. Starting to feel like a proper old man these days