August 10: noughts and crosses

Living with my olde dad is like playing an extended game of noughts and crosses. The moves you have at your disposal are very limited; there is no real scope for any creativity; you just try and go through the game to the eventual stalement and then start again.
We have created a little walk round the block (the walk to the supermarket is too long for him now). We go out onto Town Lane and turn left, we go past Bargain Booze and olde dad says Ah Bargain Booze and I say yes it used to be Costcutters didn’t it. Then we turn onto a path across a field and I say look at those trees blowing and olde dad stares straight ahead and I say no up there and he raises his head and says Ah. It’s blowy up there, I say. Then we turn down around past a house where the first day there was a woman in her garden and olde dad said to her nice day (it was blowing a gale and raining and he wasn’t joking; he was just issuing a standared remark from his stock with no adapting to reality).Then we go up a road called Melbourne street and I say do you know what country Melbourne is in and olde dad doesn’t know so I say it’s a big city in Australia and he goes Ah. And then there’s another street and olde dad reads it and it’s Shoecroft Street and he says where’s that? and I say I don’t know if that’s a town. And then we get back onto Town lane and olde dad stops in front of a new-build block of flats and says it used to be a shop. I say Ah but I’m not sure he’s right. Then he reads the name of a hairdresser next to Bargain Booze: Inspire Hair by Emma. Olde dad says it’s a hairdressers and I say just for women and olde dad says no, it’s for men too. I ask do you go there, though I know he doesn’t and he says he doesn’t know and then adds yes. The shutters are up and I say I’m not sure if it’s still open and then I add, maybe she’s on holiday. And then we turn back onto our street and if the sun is out we say let’s get on the sunny side. Then we get back and olde dad opens the front door which he had not locked. We get back in and it’s who gets to the toilet first.

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