Juan Inchcock, our 68 year old Nottingham correspondent and unemployed Gas Street lamp wick trimmer, found himself housebound the today.
Partly due to his arthritis, angina, losing his free-bus-pass and walking stick, the flapping holed sole of his right shoe, and the lousy wet weather.
He was straining a thrice-used Asda Smartprice tea bag, when he thought about what he might be missing on his cancelled wonderful walks through his beloved Nottingham.
He takes up the story… no hang on, he’ll take up the story when he returns from the loo.
Ah here he comes….
Inchcock explains all
I feel rather sad really, realising the many things I had come to expect to see and enjoy on my daily hobble into Nottingham and by bus-ride back home again.
The things I miss most
* Checking for the gangs of yobs, and taking a different route.
* The skilful way I avoid the stones thrown at me, and ignore having my parentage questioned by the little mites in the playground as I pass the Junior school.
* Passing the many Pay-Day loan outlets is a bit depressing though. Not often I see any customers in them, but they always seem to be someone smoking, with a pram with toddler and beer cans in it, and a few kids with them. The kids are usually trying their best to destroy the furniture in the office.
* The pleasure of guessing to myself, where the next road blocked off while the police investigate the murder, stabbing, or fire-bombing that took place the previous night will be situated.
* Using my vast experience and skills in spotting and avoiding the beggars, Big Issue sellers, and pickpockets as I approach the city centre.
* Observing the playful way in which the shoplifters are occasionally removed from the stores into the police vehicles.
* Popping into the 99p store to be short-changed, sneered at and overcharged, I have to appreciate their consistency.
* Moving along to the Pound shop and getting out without physical injury is very rewarding – reminds me of jumble sales in the 1960’s.
* The St Peter’s Church area. Where one can find Jehovah’s witnesses, Muslims’ and of odd Christian spouting their beliefs.
* The clever way in which I take the routes less likely to be shat on by the pigeons, not always successfully I admit… all this experience is invaluable.
* To stand and watch Himmler, the parking attendant, with his chest out, and weighed down with all his pouches, machines, and tackle around his midriff, strutting up and down Mansfield Road, as he totally ignores cars parked on the pavement, and in the disabled bay. I often wondered if his ticket machine actually works, I’ve never seen him use it yet this year (or last year come to that!).
* The lunchtime drunks falling out of the pubs can be entertaining too.
* Avoiding the gangs of lager swilling pot smoking scary looking gentlemen who gather outside of the three benefit offices in the city centre is an essential part of surviving a walk through town. But I have to take care not to trip over any of empty strong lager cans.
* The gentle whiff of rotting decay rising from the canal, as the ducks try to navigate around the shopping trolleys, condoms, empty cider bottles, and bicycles to get to the bread I’ve thrown in for them is always worth a look.
* The constant melodious sound of intruder alarms, car, and emergency vehicle sirens and klaxon’s, mingle with voices and curses of people being arrested, the children swearing, and the many different languages being spoken, all blend together to create a distinctively Nottingham sound that should be appreciated.
* A quick check on the many Charity shops – but they cannot help me!
* I might pop into the Arboretum to feed the ducks, get mugged, on my way to a meeting with my financial advisor (Social Security Benefits Office).
* An essential part of my strolls through the City Centre is to count the many and ever increasing number of retail premises closed down, for sale, lease, or rent. I do a report each month for the Outer Peruvian Pregnant Kangaroo Appreciation Society’s newsletter, although they have never printed one yet.
* I’ll often stand outside Starbucks, Caffe Nero or Costa Coffee, and sniff in the aroma, watching the people inside who can afford £2.99 for a cup of the horrible stuff.
* The pleasant group of youths who congregate in the slab square near the fountains are worth a watch while I rest me weary feet and legs and eat me seaweed. I think the one with four ear-rings, a nose ring, smudged tattoos on his neck and green dyed hair is the best of them at seeing hoe far they can spit into the paddling pool area.
* Having been hit four times my Mobility Scooters (Or the people supposedly driving them) I am on tenterhooks when in the city centre. So I have to try and keep an eye out for them while trying to keep me balance walking, and watching for potential muggers. (I’ve been mugged twice as well).
Oh I do miss my daily walk into Nottingham!