BRIAN watched two pigs near the coal heap, nibbling black bits from under the dust. "Grandad, why are the pigs eating coal?"
Merton was mixing bran in a tub near the copperhouse door. "Because they've got nowt better to do, Nimrod."
Brian thought he wasn't getting the whole story. "Is it because they're hungry?"
"Pigs is allus 'ungry."
"But they eat bran, and taters wi'-their-jackets-on." Merton stirred the soggy mess with a steel scoop. "Ay, they'd eat owt. They'd eat yo', yer cheeky young bogger, if I served yer up in their trough!" He turned his back on questions and emptied a sack of potatoes into the tub. Brian saw Uncle George wheeling his bike up the path, a tall thin man wearing a cap, a wavy-haired god who worked at the Raleigh.
"Where yer bin, Uncle George?"
"To t' football match."
"What for?" he asked, thinking: to play, or watch?