Rita was the kind of old lady people euphemistically call a ‘colourful character’.
She walked the streets of our town pushing an old supermarket shopping trolley draped with carrier bags, leaving lengths of string and elastic bands and the smell of unwashed skin in her wake.
Small children made a sport of tugging at her bags so they shed their load of plastic bottle caps and cigarette packets on the pavement, a grubby confetti trail to show she’d passed that way.
She cursed continually – at the weather, at people, at the sky. She swore as she rooted through the bins, truffling for half-eaten burgers and discarded sandwiches, though she never really spoke to anyone – at least no one who was actually there.
Her trolley was found by the canal, bags rustling, wheels squeaking as the wind juddered it back and forth along the footpath.
The supermarket refused to take the trolley back so it went to landfill, contents and all.