Note to trans Atlantic readers: a yard is what you have at the back of your house when you’re too skint to afford a house with a garden. It has a wall just about the right height to lob things over or for a medium sized burglar to scale if he stands on his mate’s shoulders.
Although at least one gained an incompetent entry over the top of the shed, which is how I came by my least-favourite back yard find: a large swathe of roofing felt. My son, H, and I had felted the shed roof one vile afternoon, climbing gingerly up a scary ladder then boiling our brains in the sun while we crawled round, getting holes in our knees and slapping on black gunk to stick the wretched stuff down. Seeing the results of that vile afternoon shredded on the ground induced a string of fantasies involving roofing tar and an oversized brush.
Amongst the sweetie wrappers, slugs, discarded joints, pizza boxes, condom wrappers, used fireworks and cat shit, there is the occasional inexplicable gem, such as the pile of gravel, swept underneath the gate into a neat pile. Baffled, I was.
Particularly irritating was a collection of empty mayonnaise and ketchup bottles, flung over the wall in a bitch fit by the petulant old queen who lives next door, revenge for a myriad of misdeeds, both real and imagined, perpetrated by my son. At least that’s what the accompanying poison-pen letter said. Continue reading