It’s early evening, 20.20, (8.20 in old money). I’ve just got back from taking Alf for a walk down the lane. As I was already geared up for an evening in front of the television, I was dressed in a T-shirt and a pair of Calvin Klein pyjama bottoms. So I’m settling down for the evening, when before I could take a sip of my wine Alf decided he needed to pee. As we get very little traffic in the evening and I can’t be bothered to get changed and slip on his collar and lead and head off down the lane. The air is cool and as we stroll past the walnut tree Alf crunches a shell open and devours the nut inside.
We’re passing my neighbours hose when a man in a Punto drives past, he waves and I return his greeting. I’m eager for Alf to pee but he has other ideas, he just wants to walk. We get down to the war memorial at the bend in the lane, when a youth on a scooter whizzes past. We walk as far as the pomegranate bush and Alf decides to pee, as he splashes the ground I pick a couple of the fruits. We’re walking back when Rosa drives past, slowing to stare at the crazy Englishman wearing pyjamas as he walks his equally crazy dog. (She’s not keen on dogs and not Alf who gave her a fright a few weeks ago).
We stop at the walnut tree and as Alf crunches another nut free, I fill my pyjama pockets with walnuts. I’m at the top of my drive when a tractor trundles past and the driver calls out, a cheery ‘good evening’. Typical, most nights we’re lucky if we get a single car down the lane after 7pm, and tonight when I’m unsuitably attired we get a abundance of vehicles.
I sit down and sip my wine, comfortable in the knowledge that down in the town there’s more than likely talk of that crazy straniero out walking in his bed-clothes.