They walked up the dismal high road in the rain, past the EDL pamphleteer and bearded imam, hectoring on adjacent street-corners like evil book-ends, like they'd each fall over without the other. Sian held her precious bag, bought with the not-to-be-used emergency card. Why had his credit card bounced? Jim knew he should check his accounts but also knew he wouldn’t: because he was scared.
Over the summer a new French cheese-and-cake shop had appeared in the high street run by an impossibly glamorous fifty-something with huge, bouncing hair, suspiciously (as if corseted in something uncomfortable and erotic) svelte waist and bedecked in the latest Parisian fashions. This provider of fine cheeses, pastries and wines bore an uncanny resemblance to Brigitte Bardot circa 1974; each time he passed, which was perhaps more often that was strictly necessary, she would ply Jim with little samples of soup and slivers of herb-infused Camembert. Sometimes he bought over-priced olives to see her face light up - and he didn’t even LIKE olives.