Archive for December, 2017

Kagibari-ami Taishi.

December 17, 2017

Think of it if you will… A lad of 24 is walking on the pavement of a West Country county town. “Bother”, he thinks to himself as he realises that the zebra crossing he intended to use is closed – still. It’s been closed for weeks. He had hoped that it would eventually be reopened, but that’s contingent on necessary road work being completed. He keeps walking. In 50 yards there will be another one – this one will be usable. It makes little sense to him, the one zebra crossing that is out of order is the one that connects to the high street shopping area.

He picks up the pace again after the light turns green. It’s a brisk day. The wind is blowing in from the English Channel and a horrible winged mutant rat – a seagull to put it succinctly – is flying overhead. It’s only a few miles to the coast, this isn’t a surprising sight for him. He sticks his hands in his heavy wool jacket’s pockets. It’s 4 degrees, but at least the sun is out. He slows his pace by an antiques shop. It’s open. He goes in. He had looked through its windows many times, but it had always been closed – or almost always been closed. The shopkeeper greets him, but she’s busy with another customer – a woman in her early 60s. He quietly looks around the shop. He sees a plate. It’s 18th century English Delft.

He raises his hand with a “sorry”. “How much is this”? He asks her. The shopkeeper apologies to the female customer who apologises to both for hogging her time. The shopkeeper takes the plate from the young man. Turning it over, she says “It says £60, but I’ll take £53”. He things for a minute before handing her his Barclay’s Card.

He walks away, his purchase lovingly wrapped in last week’s local newspaper. Something about sheep blocking traffic on the highway is printed on the front page. He turns into a narrow side street. He ducks into a yarn shop. The shopkeeper is sitting with a group of women. They turn to him and greet him. He’s the prince of crochet, they often tease him. The shopkeeper offers him a tea or a coffee. There’s a plate of biscuits on the table. He asks for a Shirley Bassey.

“How’s your scarf coming along”, Karen, a 72-year-old retired NHS accountant asks him. “Brilliantly, I think”… He responds. He places his plate on the table. He removes a bundle of crocheted cloth by it, unravelling it. “I think I missed some stiches”. Karen takes it and inspects it. “Yes, there are a couple missing in this row and there’s one missing here”. The shopkeeper returns and verifies Karen’s account of the crime. “Just block it and stich a few rows on the edge when you’re done” the shopkeeper says. “I can lend you the blocking kit if you need it”. “Thanks. I’ll bring it back next week” he says. They sit together. The older women begin chatting again. He nods his head now and again, but his attention is focused on his scarf. Through a stitch, grab the yarn, turn over, pull the yard through, grab the yarn, pull it through the two loops, repeat.