Eventually it’s time to take the dog for a walk. We leave the house and walk past the Post Office. There is a queue that stacks up outside the door. I put a card in the post box on the corner, squeezing past the queue with the dog eager to go by. People carry parcels, wrapped up with addresses written on them in such large writing that you can read where they are going to. I wonder if postmen and women are so short sighted they need large print. Others carry sticks and have bags on wheels. We leave them and walk on towards the pub.
A woman sits on a bench outside the pub. She has a mobile phone up to her mouth. I can clearly see she is upset. I hear her say that there is fuck all in the account. I take this to mean there is very little in the bank. She sobs loudly. We carry on and I wonder how much was ever in the account and who spent it and on what? We get to the corner and turn into the alley that runs between the houses.
Wheelie bins stand to attention like sentries at each gate. I am surprised to find so much litter scattered about with so many bins at hand.
We get to the old church building, which is no longer a church. The sound of a choir comes through the broken windows. A sign by the gate tells me it is a forty-part motet and I had no idea what this was, and I promised to find out when we got back. Admission is free even though the doors look firmly shut. If the dog can hear the singing, which I’m sure she can, she has chosen to ignore it.
We walk on past the vets. The dog looks on as if she recognises the place but is not sure why. We enter the park.
There are small children playing on swings, bigger children on skateboards in the concrete bowl, noisy as they attempt tricks, all the boarders seeming to try the same one. There are other dogs in the park, attached or not to their owners. I throw the ball and the dog chases after it, brings it back but refuses to give it to me. She drops the ball, I stoop to pick it up but she snatches it before I can. I grab her collar and prise the ball from her mouth and throw it so she can fetch it and we can start the game all over again. I’m not sure who is playing with who? After a time I decide we should leave. The dog is just tired or tired of fighting me for the ball. On the way home, the dog carries the ball.
We approach a woman talking to a couple with two young children. The woman crosses the road alongside us but on the other side she turns to face the couple and across the road shouts that she can’t have any children so she’s my baby. This is obviously a continuation of their conversation. Did the woman just forget to mention it earlier or did it just become important to her? We walk on, anxious to avoid any more revelations.
We walk along the alley between the houses. Bins still stand to attention and guard the gates. The dog drops the ball and it rolls back down the slope. We go back and I pick the ball up. Immediately the dog wants it. I put it in my pocket. We go home.