But it’s gonna be… Smokey

‘Smoke gets in your ears and other enchanting place
The Splatters

Postie Prim and his Black & White Dog in the big smoke

out there, getting through

A golden leaf pendulated through the still air. Drifting on gravity past his windscreen like a signal, a cascade to those who will follow, like the *first white man in Wyoming in 18 Chocolate, except this was a Horse chestnut leaf in Brinny, Lancashire 2022.

Silently it settled on his bonnet, innocent, yet its presence forceful, ‘who, the what, where, how, it is time, already…has it come?’ Physics swept aside the solitary vanguard as he reversed sharp left. But he knew there would be more. Under a crisp blue sky, the air cooled as fresh as a cod on a line (ugh?). ‘Elbows are getting cold’ he thought, and buzzed up the car window. ‘Autumn is coming’.

(Dramatic music accompanies a fierce warrior yelling encouragement amidst gale of golden leaves)

The postie route on flight of foot warmed the elbows, and his knees, toes and boomsidaisy. A strong waft of jazz cabbage hung in the neighbourhood’s ambience. Its cosy embodiment reeking of affability. No matter what time of day, a strong smell of ganja connected establishments in certain ‘hoods’, like the Bisto kids’ jungle drums.

A 15 year-old mother pushed a toddler in a wheelchair, a similar aged girl pulled up on her push bike, sensibly dressed for the weather in a pink bodice, ‘Did your Nandos come?’ shouts mum, No, we ended up getting Macca D’s.’ ‘Ha ha ha…’, (cough, splut, cough), says push chairs mum’s mum ready for the outside world in a full length dressing gown as she stuffs a pizza box in an over full bin of assorted empty takeaways. They disappear down the road in hazy smoke of content.

On the most it’s easier to walk on the road than up and down pavements. All that up and down, keep it a plain playing field. Just like Vietnam and Thailand’s pavements, in fact pavements all over the world can be a lottery of hickle-de-pickledy mish mash meh of unfinished, unstarted, eroded, bulged by tree roots, suddenly stops for no reason, pavements resembling a tipped over Lego box. Stick to the road, play with the traffic I say.

not him, but need one of them

Dog, big dog, everyone’s got a big bastard dog – wired jaws and tattoos to boot. Cherry rides shotgun in the post bag. She’s heavy, 25kg, made of fur and protein. Woolie continues to linger in the air, and we’re not talking Cherry’s coat. When she wears a coat it’s a three-quarter length lava lamp patterned faux fur special. No, the doob, dope, tea, bhang, hello Mrs. Jones, how’s your Bert’s lumbago kind of woolie.

Further down the street greetings hit a curious tone. Curly consonants trill with a rhythmic hard hitting no-nonsense matter-o’-factness outer casing. It’s beautiful, frightening, familiar, friendly, dear, it’s near, its neighbourly, l… argh, it’s Russian. I’ve hit Russian-ville. A whole Close given over to Russian families. The accent consoling, associated, it harks of SE Asian days. It’s nice to hear it again, who’d’ve thought!

The old, the young, from here and there, all bent on natures finest. Here, this bubbling cauldron of mixed ethnicities moulding a satisfying pungency of human psyche is Blighty’s melting pot of diversity. I like it. It has character. It is real. It is life. It is all good, till the Yanks eventually own all the Premier football sides, then things will become dull.

Cherry feels no desire for protein.

looking back, thinking of you ol’ leaves

Meanwhile back at the Ranch

Cherry emerges from Echo Bridge and the woods therein. Free from their canopied shelters she welcomes the sun. Leaves amass on the wind swept corner. Brown leaves, familiar leaves. Long, oblong-ish in shape, tanny brown, curled edges, crispy. Long dead. Chestnut leaves, Conker tree leaves – boom a Blighty childhood punches through page, ‘kaboom’. There it is, in that instant, a whole youth flashes images of conker knocking, hiding in piles of leaves, kicking the leaves on the way home from school, crunching on cold dark nights, knock down ginger or knock knock run as it’s so adventurously called nowadays. Garden hopping, don’t let their rustle alert the house you’re lurking in their back garden, like a fox hidden from the hounds. Lights in the kitchen go off, you scamper, balaclava pulled down, wallop, straight over the rickety fence, into next door’s back garden, the dog’s out, fuck. Lie still, lie very still. The dogs pisses and goes back inside. Quick, up again and over the next fence. And the next and the next… it’s a rush – dark autumn nights – made for shadowy capers, ghouls and fun… Cherry listens, panting, ‘let’s go’ she says, ‘Ok, but put your pipe out first though, those leaves are like a witches bum’ she looks… ‘ugh?’

not ‘the’ corner, but similar leaves

Vaping everywhere. Up t’north at least. The world and his wife vapes. The ducks outside, yes there are lots of ducks outside, there is a lake, it’s not like we keep ducks, but the ducks are quacking, it must be vape time. Posh kids at bus stops vape. Folk who’d never thought of smoking, ever, vape furiously in their cars. If folk smoked as much as they vaped they’d be on about 600 a day.

Cherry’s ears prick. But still, it’s no time for protein. Not even duck.

I queued at the supermarket, which superseded Her Majesty’s funeral pyre procession ten- fold. I wait and do my bit. She’s not at the till. Disappointed. To cheer myself up I used a card only pump at a petrol station. Big strides, ladies and gentlemen. Well they are in flip-flops.

It turned hot again. I roll up the hem of my shorts to make the shorts shorter, as I semi-squat by the Royal Mail van, three ‘ladies’ walk by and shout’ ‘I thought you were having a shit then… ha ha, Postman Plop’. She howls, they howl, I howl, Cherry howls. Somewhere a duck vapes.

We continue along with acres of new builds. The building sites remind me of Auf Weidersen… still the best programme on TV, since M*A*S*H and The Six Million Dollar Man.

The last throws of posting delivers to a house with a Christmas tree up. It’s 21st September. ‘Cherry’, I yell.

On fragments of a purple bauble bristles a fine dusting of black and white fur debris.

sitting on the micro climate

Meantime, I find out the genetic make-up of a human is 57% the same as that of a cabbage.

Your Honour, I rest my case.

*1807: John Colter, first known white man in Wyoming, entered Togwotee Pass near Jackson Hole. Edward Rose is first American settler in Wyoming in the Big Horn Basin. 1807: Fur trading post establish November 1807 at the junction of the Big Horn and Yellowstone Rivers.

Till next time folks… keep ‘em peeled

Pip pip, ding-dong and ticketyboo

Keep the world turning, keep it wheel


It’s Time – But It’s Gonna Be… is brought to us by Durban’s Bread
Also with our good chums Chow Pet Foods

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