Saturday, 8 May 2010

Definitely Not Love At First Sight

But what a lasting impression! I'll get to that in a minute... First, I need to set the scene.

I'd only gone to post a letter in our 'old' Post Office - old because it's now a sorting office and the Post Office Counters are in the back of a shop in town - and as I stood waiting to cross the road to come back home, a trio of people on the other pavement caught my attention. I must explain, this particular area of Havant is one of its bygone days' former glories, for on the corner opposite the once thriving Post Office, is the Old Town Hall (there's that Old word again) which is now a jumbled mix of museum, theatre, cinema, art centre and cafe, lately renamed 'The Spring - Arts and Heritage Centre.'
At ten o'clock on a Saturday morning, it's not what you might call a hive of activity.

The Post Office corner has a huge yew tree which makes crossing the main road a slow process, as you have to choose your spot carefully. A few yards to the left, as you stand facing The Spring, a humpback bridge over the disused Hayling Billy railway line keeps oncoming traffic out of sight until it's almost upon you, as you stand teetering on the kerb. To the right, a curve in the road impedes the view of traffic coming from Havant, while before and aft, two more minor roads crossing almost a right angles, mean you need eyes in the back of your head, as well as front.

The whole point of this preamble, is merely to explain why I had several minutes to study the group opposite me, heading to The Spring. A sudden string of cars kept me rooted to the spot as I waited for my chance to cross, so the three figures were objects of interest.

They appeared to be a family group; Mum, slightly dishevelled looking, walking close to daughter, and both talking animatedly, turn and turn about with son, who was striding along a pace or two in the rear due to the narrowness of the pavement.

He it was who captured my imagination. He was like a time warp character, in his own little bubble. Although unprepossessing, his image captivated me. His was a slight, stooping build, narrow shouldered and young - at most late teens, early twenties - as his slightly gingery, thin moustache suggested. His complexion was pasty, and nondescript-brown, lank-hair spikes splayed on his shoulders did him no favours. A few bleached strands at the front only served to make him appear even more washed out in his all black garb. His long, fitted over garment, falling to just above the knees, gave the impression of an old fashioned frock coat, and two or three inches of white cuffs peeking from the sleeves bore rounded corners and added to the dated look. Shiny, black winkle picker shoes with turned up toes complimented narrow black trousers. Pale hands grasped a long, spiked, tightly rolled umbrella and he changed it from his right to his left hand, and began swinging it in time with his steps, as he tried to keep pace with the two females ahead of him.

Having written thus far, I 'phoned my 'listening ear' buddy, who kindly lets me read my waffle to her, prior to posting, and as luck would have it, she had a brochure detailing The Spring's forthcoming attractions. Today, at 2.00pm and 7.30pm, there is a Community Variety Show advertised. I have a sneaking suspicion that the vision of loveliness I described for you above, may well be explained away by this unexpected revelation! Have a nice weekend.

28 comments:

  1. Sounds likely that he will be onstage.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I was thinking how very Dickensian this character sounds! Wonderfully descriptive prose!
    hugs
    Sandi

    ReplyDelete
  3. how are you, this happy may day?????? the bloke you describe reminds me of how i dressed when i lived there>>i had a navy bloke blue overcoat, navy issue that my companion was embarassed to be seen in public with and made me alter it, but i enjoyed wearing it>>>it was warm and had great utility..the putzs

    ReplyDelete
  4. ah, jinksy, what a delightful picture you've painted in my mind this morning! i had to laugh...it's not often that you find that kind of entertainment :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I want you to go to the variety show and come back and tell us what his talent is.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Yep, performers, but yet the making of a lovely frozen in time moment for you! Enjoyed the description.

    I gather you crossed the street safely.

    ReplyDelete
  7. They do sound to be a fascinating family! I do love to people watch.

    Could have been a film set in the making!

    Nuts in May

    ReplyDelete
  8. How fun to see a true "character" only to learn later it was actually a character. Fun fun.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Sounds like a Goth to me. They have a very unique culture which embraces vampires, white faces, black make-up, long frock coats etc. Very unique and artistic.
    Blessings, Star

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hello Jinksy,

    I'm with 'Star' in thinking that this could have been a young person of particular fashion but it certainly sounds as if he would fit right in on the entertainment front. In fact, he already was!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Would have loved to have been there with you, being the eyes on the back of your head, so to speak. What a wonderful description of the young man; I can see him in my mind's eye.

    Loved the "winkle picker" shoes.

    Wishing you a lovely weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I take it you have booked your ticket, and have charged your camera, for us? You painted a lovely snapshot of this unusual character!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Have you drawing ability? (It wouldn't surprise me!) A quick sketch of this character tomorrow would let us see if we got the right mental picture. I'm sure we did as your writing is so descriptive! You almost make me want to give-up my poetry-only blog and become prosish!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I am in awe of your descriptive prowess.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Actually I was surprised that you didn't find his dress more peculiar jinsky.....did you regret not going to the show.....:-) Hugs

    ReplyDelete
  16. Out of space and time...you are probably right.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Your descriptive powers are unsurpassed.

    ReplyDelete
  18. jinksy - life's a stage - a stage in what? hmmmm. did ya go to the show? steven

    ReplyDelete
  19. You've painted quite a picture, jumping out of the page and all.

    Have a lovely Mother's Day, though you folks have another day for this memorialization. Greetings and spring thoughts to you.
    (extra beds, eh?, tempting, tempting...)

    ReplyDelete
  20. I understand that this young man was dressed in the latest fashion for a particular tribe. I met one just like him at a party, my version also had black, horn rimmed glasses and very black hair. In fact, everything about him was black and white, and he really felt himself to be very special.

    He was a kind boy, he actually told his sofa neighbour, who is all of 80 years old, that he quite liked old people, didn't mind them at all.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I'm pretty sure that I was right there with you.. sure felt that way. A well-painted scene. :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. A interesting story Jinksy. - Dave

    ReplyDelete
  23. Sounds like some folks I used to hang out with many moons ago. That speaks well of my present or ill of my past, I think :-)

    ReplyDelete
  24. I reckon you could be right Jinksy!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Loved reading this...

    Thanks for stopping by today and leaving a happy anniversary wish for the two of us. That melted my heart.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Great reading!!! I've love to visit England someday...

    ReplyDelete
  27. We need to know more Jinksy, what does he do?!

    ReplyDelete
  28. You must be a Painter, you just painted such a beautiful picture of him.
    Amazing...

    ReplyDelete

Curiosity Cats can leave a whisker here...but not before noting, please, that I choose to have an award free, tag free, meme free blog. But by all means, talk to me by email - I love to 'chat'...