Neighbours (1)

I don’t really need to say any more, do I?

To be honest we like ours and – apart from learning Spanish – they have been helpful in lots of ways. Feeding us, for example, as though we were little waifs and strays.

“Here we are Catalina, my family isn’t too keen on the bean stew today, would you like it?”

“Catalina, come and get the remains of the salad that the family don’t want.”

Said family really prefer burgers, chops, steak, anything fried really. Definitely not vegetables or salad or bean stew. They have aspirations and this does not include peasant food.

We on the other hand don’t have aspirations, and although found it amazingly strange to be given meals (not even on wheels – just over the wall) we got quite accustomed to it.

Hopefully we have given back enough – for free – welding, decorating, lending tools, plumbing, flood prevention………

Anyway, seems they’ve fallen on hard times and we don’t get the meals any more. The son-in-law is out of work more times than he is in work, so they rely on the daughter’s cleaning money that she earns a few mornings a week. The parents get a state pension.

I should probably have said that the daughter and her husband and their two kids live in a small house on the back of her parents, so there are six people next door.

There is a short wall between us that we lean on and chat over. Or used to. Recently for whatever reason this doesn’t happen much. It could be because it is winter, and they don’t like the westerly wind.

So they pull down the venetian blinds. Yes, venetian blinds. They have put up these naff venetian blinds between our two houses, so they can control the air, the sun, the wind, whatever really. The blinds go up when they want to watch what we are up to (not usually very much), and down if they want to be private.

They always go up when we have someone round. They always go down when they have someone round.

Today they went up for the first time in weeks. They obviously wanted to dry the washing.

We really must go to the shop and order some posh-looking blinds.

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