Neighbours can become your good friends or your worst nightmare. Or as in our case, you can be totally indifferent to them that you don’t even know their name or recognize their face if you meet them on the High Street.
To those who have been following this blog long enough, you might recall me mentioning the elderly lady who lived next to us in our previous house. She was quite the character. She was over seventy years of age, yet still drove her car and was always dressed to the nines. She had a collection of trench-coats even I would not mind wearing. Her bags and shoes always matched, her hair was always set and she always wore that bit of make-up. At first she would only talk to A. For some reason, she would ignore me totally whenever I met her in our courtyard. Yet then I would hear her talking to A when he returned back from work. I set out ignoring her, yet one day we met just by our gates, I bid her ‘good day’ totally convinced she was going to ignore me, and to my surprise she set about talking to me, telling me about her family and her deceased husband. I was then pregnant and showing too, so the conversation switched to that. The cherry on the cake was when she saw A and myself go out, and she realized that A was my husband – she told me ‘Oh, this lovely fellow is your husband then?’, and we became ‘friends’. On my way out I would ask her whether she needed anything from the centre, when she found out we were going to change house she gave us several phone numbers of home-owners who she knew wanted to rent, we exchanged cards for flowers on Easter – all in all the awkward silence we had between us in the beginning developed into a pleasant acquaintance.
Where we live now is totally different. A year and a half after moving here, I still do not know who our next door neighbours are. I once struck up a conversation (albeiet a very short one) with a woman who lived here, who had a young boy of around five, but she moved last year and in her place came a very surly-looking fellow – still young in his early-30s, but creepy-looking. A couple of months ago we had a small issue with him, when his sister parked in our space, left the car there for nearly 48 hours and we had no idea whose it was. We left a note on the car to have it moved, yet it went by totally ignored. When another neighbour told me that the car probably belonged to the surly neighbour’s sister, I knocked on their door, yet no one answered. I called our estate agent but nothing could be done because they had recently changed the services of their towing company. In other words we had to sit by and wait, leaving our car parked in the middle of the internal road because we had no idea who it belonged to. And then when the sister ventured outside to get something from her car, I confronted her and told her what needed to be said. A couple of minutes after, the brother came to apologize and ‘ensure there are no bitter words between us’. From then onwards we’ve totally ignored him.
This morning was funny. After leaving his car parked in his space for the past four days, snow and all, this morning the surly-looking chap came out, entered his car, realized that he had to wipe the snow off his windscreen, did so with his sleeve and started the engine. All of a sudden he emerged from the car, made a snow ball and threw it at a stray cat which happens to live in our garden! He threw two in all at the poor unoffending cat! I was in tears, laughing so much from behind the window. Because did I mention – he lives alone with a cat. An ugly ginger cat which has the scariest eyes ever.
A and myself have very strong theories going on about the activities of this strange man who lives with his terrifying ginger cat and who’s always in without ever having any guests. None of them are pretty I’m telling you.
Any creepy neighbours you’d like to tell me about?