Hill Park

’17, Hill Park lay on the left of the Rye as you looked south, caught between sine bleak low-rise flats and two or three point-blocks built on a hill. A burned out Vauxhall had sagged on to its brake drum in the street outside; the basement area was full of broken furniture – chipboard, Formica, warped and lifted veneers. If you stood on the doorstep and look up and down the road, it was nothing but a line of skips heaped with builders’ rubbish. Inside, I never saw more than the staircase – grimy lino, spent matches, missing banisters, a corroded sisal mat outside each door. At night the stairwell was lit by bare forty-watt bulbs, one on each landing. by day, a kind of grey illumination leaking in through the skylight, high up its shaft. You could hear the sound of rain on the glass. When you walked through the front door of the upper flat, you were faced with two or three carpeted steps then a little passage with white plasterboard walls and chocolate brown woodwork. It was like finding your way to the toilets of a tea shop in some bleak tourist town at the top of a cliff.’

M. John Harrison, The Course of the Heart

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