- I was walking along Yew Tree Road on the way to town to meet a friend for a drink. The sun was low – a bright orange orb just nestling on the horizon across the vacant space where a primary school once stood. It was still quite light, however, and I saw a cat rather slowly and clumsily saunter into the empty road. Suddenly, a car entered my peripheral vision and before I knew it, it was almost on top of the cat. In that split-second – along with the clichéd feeling of slow-motion – I saw the cat turn, freeze, and then seemingly turn on a pinhead and dart off the road. At the time it leapt, it must have been literally under the front of the car and I can’t believe how close it was. With the cat off counting its blessings on the vacant school site, the driver had slowed, and I saw his reversing light come on. I don’t know if he thought he’d actually hit it, but he clearly had the decency to check. As his car sidled up alongside me, I popped over to his lowered passenger door window and we shared a smile and a couple of words which reassured him that the cat was fine. He seemed very relieved. So was I. Seeing a cat burst open under the wheels of a car would really have put a downer on my evening.
- On the patch of grass a few blocks away from my house, there is very often a small group of kids playing football or cricket, especially now we’re having nicer weather and longer evenings. So it was no surprise to hear a gaggle of voices as I came down the road towards the green, and it conjured the usual image of some sort of game being played. What threw me was the assorted collection of piano notes I could also hear – but on such a balmy evening and in such a residential area, it’s not unusual to hear a whole range of sounds from very diverse sources drifting through the air. However, on this occasion, the two sounds were directly connected: the expected group of kids were playing around, and on top of, a discarded upright piano. Such a peculiar sight; there’s very often some interesting unwanted goods left around our area – a door, a telly, or maybe an old painting. But an upright piano? Very odd. I didn’t get close enough to hear their conversation clearly, but the general tone was one of curiosity and mischief. When I passed the same site today, not 15 hours later, all that remains of the piano is the lid, and one panel of wood. I wonder where on earth the rest of the thing lies now?