I Noticed

I noticed a chubby man, standing outside a betting agency, smoking a cigarette, sipping on a beer, and wearing a tee shirt that read Live Your Best Life, so I presumed he was giving it a red hot go.

I noticed another man, with home-made tattoos, standing at the checkout. He turned to me and said, “Quiet in here. Probably everyone’s in their caravan heading off somewhere. Margaret Thatcher put an end to caravans for lads like me who worked down the pits. She never cared about people with dirty hands.” Then he wandered off.  It occurred to me his memory of her had lasted a long time, and my memory of him may last even longer.

I noticed a sign that read Keep Calm and Vape On, and I’ve noticed an awful lot of locals doing exactly that.

I noticed a Mister Softee ice-cream van but I knew the tune it played wasn’t Greensleeves, so I had to ask. I was told it was the theme song to the Match of the Day show – the long-running football highlights program – and I realised that Match of the Day didn’t scream ice-cream for me.

I noticed there are five tattoo shops, four betting agencies, three off-license stores, two statues of a local boxer who died tragically young, and one pie and pastry shop, on the ten-minute walk to the bus stop. I’ve been singing it to Twelve Days of Christmas ever since.