We live in an area with a lot of very colourful characters. Hegel Bagel, for example, is probably the world’s greatest Hegellian scholar but hasn’t managed to work out the rules of ‘conventional’ studying, so has his academic discussions in the aisles of the Co-op, on street corners or occasionally our kitchen. Another guy does an amazing line in make-up which looks great with his long, white hair. There is a couple whose relationships seem to be based on regular, public, spectacular arguments, and our neighbour, Roger, who walks round to the Co-op, every day, very, very slowly, dressed in a very smart suit, to buy a pasty to eat at 10.15am.
Sometime last year, Richy Rich was telling me about something that had happened involving some local character he thought I knew. “Oh,” I said, “Do you mean the guy who sits outside the cafe swearing?” “No. Not him“, said Richy, with a funny expression on his face. “Why do you say it like that?” I asked. “Well…the other day I was walking down the London Road and a load of chicken bones hit me on the back. I looked around and it was him. He’d lobbed it across the road at me.” “Oh.”