A perfectly ordinary Friday.

Goose grey sky. Wind in the East. Someone is drumming in an upstairs flat. In the museum I take a picture of a bicorne hat, reputedly worn by Napoleon. Chat to a woman about the coming of the daffies. Off the High Street, I pop into the tattoo parlour down the New wynd and am shown around by Damian, the owner. He says mostly the clients are older and return again and again. He speaks of them as a family. Looking around at the framed photos and skateboards on the walls he tells me that he has tried to make the surroundings comfy, like your own home. I ask how he got into the tattoo business and he tells me that he is a screenprinter, oh, and a cook, and a joiner and a builder … At the barbers I give Derek a print of the painting ‘The barbers chair’. He says, ‘The last woman before you to come in here read my palm, for £20.’ I said that wasn’t one of my skills, but said it sounded an interesting idea as part of my practice. I should maybe give it some thought…… Further along the walk I visit ‘Trendy dogs’, the pet grooming parlour and meet Christine and a spaniel in for a trim. There is dog wallpaper on the walls and the smell of wet fur. We talk about grooming newfoundlands, now theres a job, and what its like having your grown up children move back home. She gently combs the spaniels ears. It looks happy. Up at the Hoosie catering portakabin Steve and Kenny a driving instructor chat about driving lessons. Kenny says that often pupils will come to a junction on the right hand side of the road after passing a line of parked cars on the left. He says ‘I turn to them and say bonjour..?!..’  Four hours later as I walk back down by the docks, round the corner from ‘Chips an’ things’ (what things ? ), the person in the upstairs flat is still drumming. I like the circularity of this and the dedication to their craft. Still, I’m glad I don’t live in the flat below and next door along theres a sign in the window , ‘Quiet please, hangover in progress’. What a shame.


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