Things I Have (and Haven’t) Seen From My Window
- Various people coming out of their back door, walking to the edge of their back yard, and throwing whatever rubbish they happen to have in their hand out of the gate. The bins are about 5 paces away, behind the sheds. Sometimes, if their item is a reasonable size (a nappy in a bag, a bottle) they will throw it over the top of the sheds. Sometimes it lands in the bins.
- People come out of their house with a baby and head for the car. A woman I assume is the mother gets into the front passenger seat and straps herself in, the baby in her lap. They drive away.
- A lad walks down the road, past his friend’s bedroom on the third floor. Rather than walk around the side of the building and up a flight of stairs to the front door, he stands in the middle of the street shouting the friend’s name until he appears at the window. They have a conversation. Both have mobile phones; neither thinks to use them.
- A taxi driver drives past our window at 7:30 am, huffing something out of an aerosol can as he goes.
- Various people walk or drive into the car park and head for a particular door. They go in, then come out a few minutes later. Always the same people; always the same door. If they don’t get an answer that door, the same thing will usually happen at a different door, a few houses along.
- A very posh man in mustard-coloured corduroy trousers walks through the car park to the bins and puts his recycling in. He never looks up or to either side of himself. He looks like a dog crossing a motorway. The people in the cottages just outside this estate share our bins.
- People on the second floor balcony lean over to shout down to people in the car park. They will have a full (shouted) conversation as the people in the car park walk away, towards town.
- A young lad of around 18 clearly loves to ride his scooter. He seems to have altered something on the engine so that it’s particularly loud, and spends hours at a time riding laps around a certain area which includes the front of the flat, the alley at the side, the back of the flat, and cutting through the path at the end. He is basically riding his mum’s hairdryer in a ring around my flat.
- A scruffy-looking man who may or may not be drunk in the middle of the day, walking up the middle of the road, pushing a Sainsbury’s trolley from the wrong end. It looks like he’s using it instead of a walking frame. He’s swearing at everyone he sees.
- A group of young boys who seem to be aged around 7 are having an altercation on the balcony. One of them is calling another a pussyhole. One of them hits another; he begins to cry, and the others run away.
- Around 7pm, a child who seems little more than a toddler runs up and down the balcony, past my kitchen window. He/she is making a lot of noise. Sometimes there is a skateboard involved.
- I didn’t see the dog whose shit spent a day a the top of the steps outside; I didn’t see whoever cleaned most of it up (or had the misfortune to tread in it)
- I never see the dogs (plural) who pee at the top of the stairs, on the stairs, and on the concrete at the bottom of the stairs.
- I have not, for some months now, seen the council worker who used to sweep the balconies and mop the stairs with hot, bleachy water. The communal areas have not been cleaned since the council sold the contract to Balfour Beatty, as far as I am aware.
- I don’t see the woman who seems to be standing in her kitchen, screaming at her young child. When I say screaming, I mean screaming. It’s very loud, but you don’t usually understand what the words are. I couldn’t tell you which kitchen the noise comes from, as the acoustics around here mean it bounces off all the walls and just seems to be coming from the car park.
Really great post. I live in an area of 'deprivation' or whatever the term is these days, and if ever there is any charity event, or any money needs to be raised - the community chips in together. You can't generalise a whole set of people - poor, rich or whatever and that is what Jamie Oliver has done - he's shown a lack of understanding and it just shows how far removed he is
I get cross because the people causing the problems are the ones that are most visible, but living here means when Jamie Oliver slags off poor people with big tellies, he means me. I have a fucking big telly, but only because it's a massive old-style heavy one that takes 2 people to shift, which was given to me when I moved in here with nothing.<br />
I found this a really revealing piece - it describes well the diversity of life on an estate, whereas most accounts focus on the very negative aspects. I would guess there is more nuisance and disorder on an estate, but even if there isn't it's more visible because of how closely people live to each other (your flat being an example of being right in the thick of things). I don't live
Well, that's does it. Jamie Oliver and I have officially broken up. And I do wish he would magically cart all the poor in his own country off to the Mediterranean to see how poor Italians make do with a few mussels and some pasta and fresh greens. With his net worth I'm sure he could afford to do that. Wonder if he's still taking volunteers for that assignment. ;-) Paula recently posted...What No One Tells You About Popular Posts