Ian Duff, Union Street, Bath

Ian has been getting to know his new dog, Trigger, who is a bundle of energy and very popular on his pitch

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A year ago just now, I was still mourning Boycie [Ian’s dog Boycie was a much-loved sight in Bath for many years]. I was devastated when he died. I didn’t know where to turn or what to do. And then in March I was approached by this woman who had an affiliation with the adoption agency and everything changed when I got Trigger. I’ve had Trigger for eight months now. I’ve got him down as alsatian-collie cross. Because he’s very young, he’s very bouncy and very excitable. He’s at that chewing stage. Everything gets chewed. His recall is null and void. If you let him off, he just runs away. As long as we’ve gone out for long walks, he’s quite content. He’s really good on the street, really good on the pitch. Just a bundle of energy. 

He’s from Macedonia. He was a stray on the streets until he was five months old and rescued by Dia’s Legacy. The woman over there, her name is Mira, is wonderful. I mean, yesterday, she went out for a coffee with a friend and she ended up rescuing a puppy off the street. Every single day she’s doing it.  

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My customers are the best in the world. I must have had over 100 people come up to give condolences about Boycie and meet Trigger. People travel to Bath to come and see me. I had a couple today that travelled over 30 miles. This couple have a rescue dog from the same place I got mine and they made the trip specially so they could come to see me and Trigger. I find that amazing. I’m charmed in some ways, the amount of people that are very good to me. I’m a coordinator with The Big Issue now as well. I carry extra magazines so the vendors don’t have to go all the way back to the office to buy magazines, they can just come up and buy them from me in the centre of town. 

My catering company, Duff Cooks, is still operating. There’s not much business at the moment but I get the odd job. I did a funeral before Christmas. I seem to get funerals for some reason, I don’t know why. I even got booked for another person’s funeral who wasn’t even dead. The idea of it was to do at-home catering. Doing people’s dinner parties and that sort of thing. 

A lot of the stuff lately has been in function halls and large church areas. I can cater for any event. It’s limitless, basically, it all depends on kitchen size and kitchen accessibility. Everything now is so much more expensive to buy in. Prices have doubled. But I can do anything from Chinese to Mexican. The last funeral I did was a blank canvas. They just asked for a hot buffet. So I did a vegetarian bean curry, a buttered chicken curry, a vegetarian bean chilli and a beef chilli. I also did samosas and chapatis, rice and garnishes, a pineapple salsa to go with everything. 

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Every morning I start the day with Wordle. I wake up, make a cup of coffee and it sets my mind straight, I suppose. I get the word every day. It’s very unusual that I don’t get it. I’d say my average score is three guesses. I use the same starting word every day: paste – because a lot of five-letter words have A, S, T and E in them. I normally do the Sudoku every day as well in the Daily Star newspaper. There obviously is a mathematical way of doing it, but sometimes I just have to guess. I have tried the one in The Big Issue. It’s bloody impossible. It’s like the crossword. One of my customers has actually won the book twice. I mean, I’ll have a go. And sometimes I’m lucky. 

Words: Steven MacKenzie

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