26th January 2007
In the front garden of the house was the complete back axle assembly of a large lorry, a car wing, a supermarket trolley with the wheels missing, a pram with the wheels missing, two bike frames, a bath, half a WC, a roll of carpet, two live hens and sundry other bric-a-brac including paper and polythene packaging and leaves. All, except for the two hens, were partially submerged in what was once a lawn but now resembled elephant grass. The front door bore traces of the last three colours it had been painted and had â€˜Piss Offâ€™ in large letters written on it in spray paint. Atkins Down The Road and I approached the door. Atkins knocked on it. It was answered by a man who hadnâ€™t troubled himself to put on a shirt that day, relying on just his filthy vest to impress any callers.
â€œCongratulations,â€ said Atkins. â€œYou have won the â€˜Shit Garden of the Yearâ€™ trophy.â€
â€œFor the second year running,â€ I added, holding up the trophy, an old tyre that Atkins and I had sprayed metallic Gold.
â€œOh itâ€™s you two twats again, is it,â€ said the proud winner. â€œWhy donâ€™t you fuck off and mind your own business.â€
â€œCluck cluck,â€ said one of the hens, as if in agreement with its masterâ€™s sentiments.
â€œIt is our business when your garden brings down the whole tone of the neighbourhood and wipes God knows how much value off the properties in the immediate vicinity,â€ I said.
â€œOne of which is mine,â€ said Atkins, meaningfully.
â€œThereâ€™s no law says I have to keep my garden tidy,â€ said the man. â€œThis isnâ€™t a council house.â€
â€œI realize that, youâ€™d have been turfed out years ago if it was,â€ I said.
â€œFuck off,â€ the man said, and slammed the door in our faces.
I threw the trophy on the pile of junk already in the garden. It increased it in volume by about one per cent.
â€œLooks like it will have to be Plan B,â€ said Atkins, as we departed.
Ignore this if you have already read it. My books Dear Air 2000 and Football Crazy are now in print. They are priced at Â£8.99 each and are available from Amazon, but readers of my blog can buy them direct from me for Â£7.50 including p & p. Just send me a cheque and I will send the book/books by return.You can write to me at â€“Terry Ravenscroft, 19 Ventura Court, Ollersett Avenue, New Mills, High Peak, SK22 4LL