Boys Boys Boys
On the opposite corner to my block, about two doors down, used to be a primary school. For a few years after I moved in it was still going, but largely closed up. The main building was listed, but full of asbestos and not used, and there was a modern extension. Then it was closed and stood empty for a year.
Then it burned down. I was alone in the house and somehow managed to miss this for quite a while. Meanwhile, on the other side of my curtains, most of the neighbourhood had gathered, along with the emergency services. People were drinking beer. I only noticed when I went to the loo and thought the streetlight was awfully bright through the bathroom window. And it was surprisingly warm for an October evening.
I went into the garden to find a furnace outside (when I say two doors down, I really mean it!). Bits of ash and burning stuff were falling all around. So what did I do? I took some pictures and e-mailed them to the BBC! This is my only published photo (so far).
My neighbours (even closer) were out there too. After a few minutes the walls of the modern extension fell into the road. Then I went in and hid.
Very quickly after this the site was redeveloped by a housing association - they'd already bought it but it saved them the demolition. The old school was OK and has been turned into flats, and little houses have been built on the old playgrounds. It all looks quite smart. On either side of the main bulding are these gates: one side has girls' names and this one has boys'.
I've done lots of baking and gardening today. It's remarkably difficult to tie up a hawthorn with tights....