Staveley, town of strangeness.

I see funny things.

The problem with being office based is that I no longer get to see the weird, the off-beat, the non-conforming nature of idiots as they wander abroad and unfettered in this great country of ours.

But occasionally I get let out of the office and occasionally I get sent to small places and its in small places that you see the weirdness for nothing attracts weirdos quite so much as small towns and villages, often the only sensible person in small places is the man who operates the Pelican crossing buttons for the rest of the population.

And so today I’m driving through the former coal mining small place in Derbyshire known to all as Staveley, its nothing to write home about, has no place of outstanding natural beauty, has a Morrisons and thats the best you can say about it as a place you might visit, I’ve been so that you don’t have to.

And I’m driving through Staveley this morning at the height of what it calls “rush hour” and a car is coming in the other direction and out of the back window, which is open, is a young downs syndrome child, hanging his head out of the window with the wind in his face, a big grin and his eyes closed looking for all the world like your average dog does when he hangs his head out of the car window.

Its at times like this that you stare in amazement and something in your head says “Don’t laugh, it wouldn’t be nice” but you do anyway, because it looks funny.

And I drive around the very next corner and I’m still laughing at the kid hanging out of the car window when I pass a bus shelter and in the bus shelter is an old man, I don’t know how old, the sort of man that you’d point at and say “Look at that old man”, and he’s dressed in old man clothes, an old brown suit, big working mans boots and a dirty flat cap.

And he’s dancing in the bus shelter.

Doing a soft shoe shuffle, tap dancing like poor dead Roy Castle and you can almost hear him humming along to himself “A-rat-tat-tat-ta-tat” and “A-ha-cha-cha”, waiting for a bus, dancing.

And why not ?





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