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Now don’t get me started on the geese. In Australia you’d say they could do with a cull but for reasons that baffle, the UK Goose is all too precious and now the gaggle is larger than ever. Too many years of easy bread which leads to easy breeding and these birds don’t fuck around with fucking around. They’re winged rabbits. I can’t believe I’ve lived here long enough to say this but I recall Bedford having eight or nine good looking, well behaved, hard working geese that clocked in at dawn and knocked off at dusk. Honourable geese they were, complimenting the stoic nature of the ducks. A honk here, a quack there, the river had balance. But now there’s hundreds of these needy squawking gandering pricks all waiting for someone else to lay the golden egg; softer than the pillows they’re soon to become. Their days are spent harassing the river bank looking for cheap and easy crumbs. It’s our fault of course. We let it happen. Every day you’ll see a traumatised toddler being encouraged by their stupid parents to hand feed, what is to the child, a bird the size of an ostrich. And it’s never the one goose, there’ll be thirty or forty shuffling up wanting a chunk of the terrified kid’s stale rye. And god help the little sod if he runs out of crust but doesn’t have the leg speed to make it back to mum and dad because, let me tell you, it gets ugly. They say a kid was hoisted for thirty yards a while back. Left upside down in a tree. As old man Jenkins says, “It won’t be long before a three year old makes the news”. A sentence that does nothing to stop the town thinking he might be a paedo. Regardless, people need to start heeding the signs. They're right there, clear as day. One up shot of the economy tanking is pretty soon, those same sign’s might read ‘Don’t Eat the Geese’.

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Updated: Feb 11, 2023

He strides towards the corner with breakfast on his mind. Half a litre of milk in his right hand, strips of bacon in his left. His back-drop, the Bedford Boys entering Budgens. He pays them no heed. It's too early in the day for a ‘how do ya do?’.

Short legs, pot belly, crooked face and a bung eye, he holds his ground at the corner waiting for the Mercedes to turn right down Pemberly. The driver waves and he gives her a reluctant nod. He could’ve kept going, made her stop, he could’ve played that card, but just because her seat is heated and he only has one glove doesn’t mean he can’t show class.

The morning sun that warmed his back left his face in shadow. But if you looked hard enough you could see. He drank too much, probably got in with the wrong crowd, had a rough start with a rougher middle, you could judge him all you like, he could see you doing it but he wasn't complaining. He had made peace with the cards he was dealt. Some will call him a loser, a dreg, a layabout who won’t respond to emails, but I see it different. I see inspiration, hope. If he can, why can’t we all? Why can’t we all stop complaining and step forward into the day with the confidence of the bung eyed man?

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