Between the lights and Bravington Road

Swaggering by Costcutters like over-inflated, Oyster-card toting Brownies, Community Support Officers couldn’t be less effective if they were armed only with pencil, paper, piece of string, clean white hanky and safety pin.

Leaning on a lamp-post, dodging Staffs’ shit, old man rasta tokes on his perenially smouldering blunt, heady blue smoke mingling with the pungent funk of Somerfields bins.

The Thai restaurant’s making one last gasping attempt to attract patrons – free Cobra with evening meals. It sits empty.

Crack addict girl and ageless dreaded man keep the Kenricks bar half-empty, propping up another daily rite of passage and washing down life’s worries. The pool table clinks away as back-to-back dub lays trusty foundations for afternoons of people-watching, pipe smoking and dealing.

“Have a sweet day” drools Granpa Jamaica, palming a boiled sweetie into sweaty hands before staggering, cane floundering in elastic helices, towards his family business, Launderama, bastion of all things unmodern and surviving.

Ali complains of his Ramadan-induced caffeine cold turkey, mothers stock up on Iftar treats and eggplants dull and wrinkle in street fumes. Muezzin blasts through tinny telly speakers – will a single camera’s view of Mecca’s Kabba ever diminish the excitement of the swirling human image?

It’s a good day in W9. Smiles, sirens, freedom and family.

The sun beats down on Bravington.

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