My neighbour, Pammie, comes up with an old saw:
A whistling woman and a crowing hen,
Neither good to God nor men.
Politically a bit off, we suppose. But not as as bad, we agree, as:
A woman, a dog and a walnut tree,
The more you beat them, the better they be.
"Have you done your Christmas shopping yet?" says the lady at the building society, as she hands me back my paying-in book. I remember that, at this time last year, she asked the same question. There is something oddly reassuring about repetition and regularity. Did she ask it two or even three years ago? And does she ask it to all those who come to the counter? I say: "I've done some of it, " and, feeling that it is rude not to show a reciprocal interest in her shopping, ask: "Have you?" "Some of it," she says.
At the entrance to Calverley Park, I see a rugby ball soar majestically into the sky above a shrubbery. It rotates in the air. Its oval shape glints in the sunlight as it turns. It seems to stay up for a long time. It transpires, as you would have guessed, that some lads are kicking the ball to one another. One of the lads has an unfailing, mighty kick, which explains the height and length of its trajectory.