Nice New Neighbours
The lady Next Door
"The lady next door only moved in last week; I haven't met her yet but I think I might have fallen in love with her. That sounds daft I know, especially for a man of my age. The first time I set eyes on her I was out in the garden with my telescope. You believe in love, at first sight, don't you? It all happened quite innocently, you understand. It was a beautiful clear evening and I was just about to view Venus in the South Western sky before the stars were out, so it wasn't quite dark yet. I adjusted my tripod after viewing Mercury and suddenly there she was. Not the Venus I'd expected but a goddess of a different sort, standing naked at her bedroom window. Well I can tell you, my old ticker skipped a beat but I couldn't stop myself staring, so amazed I was at such loveliness. She didn't see me - at least I don't THINK she did. That leylandii hedging provides pretty good cover doesn't it?"
"Would you believe it? I only moved in last week and there's this dirty old man next door who's been spying on me with his telescope. Well, I ask you! Why couldn't he have just come round and introduced himself like a normal neighbour? I couldn't find my bathrobe when I came out of the shower the other evening and quite forgot I hadn't got round to putting up the nets in the bedroom yet. Ogling me quite unashamedly he was. Makes me shudder to think of it now. He couldn't have been looking for stars, not at that time of day - still broad daylight it was, you mark my words - and there he was lurking behind one of those giant conifers. I think I'd better invest in some made-to-measure blinds. Do you know where I can get some? "
"I did something really silly the other day - locked myself out, I did. Don't worry I haven't lost my marbles yet although It can happen to a man of my years can't it? I wondered whether I should pop round and introduce myself to my new neighbour before my brother came over with the spare key. But I felt a bit... well, inappropriately dressed. You see I'd just returned from a fancy dress do at the over 60's club. My house keys were still in my suit trousers INSIDE the house and I was wearing this ridiculous scarecrow costume. I thought I'd better just stand in the garden and wait for my brother to arrive. But when I saw him coming along the road I couldn't resist standing still, with my arms outstretched, just like a real scarecrow, to give him a bit of a laugh. You don't think the woman next door saw me do you?"
"Well, I never! Now I know he's demented, that chap next door. It's a shame really as I was so looking forward to having a friendly new neighbour but I think I'll be keeping myself to myself thank you very much. Yesterday I saw him standing in his front garden underneath the apple tree, dressed as a scarecrow! Just like Worzel Gummage - pointed nose and rosy cheeks, the lot. And all his straw was falling out and blowing all over my front lawn. I know sometimes people think of unusual ways to protect their lawn from birds but there's no need to go to such extremes, no need at all. I must admit he did make a rather convincing scarecrow though. I was half expecting to see the lion and the tin man turn up too. I'll be glad when those blinds arrive. You don't think he was trying to spy on me again incognito do you?"
"I've been having a spot of bother with my waterworks since that woman moved in next door. You see she's had this water feature thing installed in her back garden and it's right underneath my bedroom window. It's one of those new-fangled, solar-powered set-ups. Darn thing never stops, day or night. Sounds just like a babbling brook it does. I keep having to dash off to the toilet - chronic it is and me with my prostate problems as well."
"Oh poor you!" said the soothing voice of Mrs Goodbody, the librarian as an understanding smile etched its way across her face. As always she was used to lending a listening ear to the pensioners who frequently borrowed books from the well-stocked section of large print books. Many of the "Golden Oldies" as she preferred to call them were desperately lonely, but wary of forging new friendships in their twilight years. They would call at the library usually on a weekly basis adding a few books to their "Sholleys" while they unburdened all their problems on her.
But Mrs Goodbody didn't mind. She wasn't like the assistants at the local supermarket who rushed you through the checkout before you had time to pack your purchases or check your change or the irate city bus drivers who were perpetually running late. She could conduct her duties at a more leisurely pace and always had time to spare and the patience to listen.
And today was no exception. She'd just been speaking to old Mr Evans who was now at the main desk, renewing his books on astronomy. And what a fortunate coincidence! The new neighbour he'd been talking about was just that minute coming through the door. If she was tactful, as she invariably was, it would be the ideal opportunity to clear up a few little misunderstandings. "Mr Evans!" she called after him, raising her voice for perhaps the first time in the course of her daily duties. "There's someone I think you should meet."
© 2015 Stella Kaye