Updated on July 7, 2020

Out of the window.

Richard Laverick

She’s there again. I wonder what excuse she’s putting into the bin this time. Looks like an individual biscuit wrapper. I know that as Penguin biscuits are in her top ten list of favourite biscuits. She told me it’s the only thing she can keep down since her gastric band was fitted. Funny it's not vegetables or fruit she can manage but chocolate and cakes, not that I’m making anything of this, it's not in my nature to judge, but it’s more likely to be an elastic band put in judging by the full carrier bags from Tesco.
She has been to the bin eight times this morning and it’s only gone ten o’clock. It’s only to see if she can get a glimpse of what's going on next door to her at number ten.
She usually keeps to herself but since her husband died she is to everyone's business. Poor thing, lost her husband to a car accident. Apparently crossing the road with his headphones on. He was singing the end of Frank Sinatra’s My Way, but he did'nt see the car coming the other way. She did not see the irony of it when I pointed this out but as she was grieving at the time, it is understandable that she missed it.
Suppose I can understand wanting to know other people's lives, I too lost my husband, the big C. Lovely man, I can’t complain of faults but totally deaf for years. Had one of the oldest hearing aids going and would not get a new one no matter how much I nagged at him.

"Nothing wrong with this one!"He would say, spending the best part of the day twiddling it, as it whistled on like a free flow jazz piece of music. I took the batteries out one night did'nt realise for three days. Bless. Then he started to get ill. Struggling to, you know, U.R.I.N.A.T.E.

"Your getting old," I told him, "But check it out with the Docs." Of course he would'nt go.
"They stick their fingers up your bum you know."
"No they wont."
Turns out I was wrong, did'nt speak to me for a week. Till he got the news…. Only time I saw him cry.

She has given up again and gone back in. Probably will come back out to clean her window sills next, wipe down her brickwork right next to her Royal majesty next door. She thinks she’s the bees knees.
"All fur and no knickers." My husband would say.
No decorum. Would shout for Nigel her son, "Time for tea. "Then smack him across the head. "GET IN You little Scroat."
Husband is nice enough, builder I believe, drives a white van, has a Smurf on the front of it with no head but always says good morning when you see him so you should'nt judge.

"Morning Hilda, Lovely day. You off to spend your winnings?"
That was Hilda, never liked her. Has one of those shopping bags with the wheels on. Was'nt so much that I did'nt like, but the argument over Strictly come dancing. I did'nt like the way Brendan Cole would argue with the judges.
"He’s just standing up for his partner." She would keep saying.
“Lovely swivel in his hips”.
Sex mad. Not surprising, been without her husband for oh Nine years now. She said the marriage fizzled out and he moved in with his sister in Jersey. Rumour has it he ran off with a GoGo dancer in Bognor Regis. Not that I’m one for gossip, it’s not in my nature, it’s just what I heard, but she was a bit sharp getting rid of her twin divan bed and his Johnny Mathis albums that’s all I’m saying.

Oh here he comes, Mr Richardson. Don’t have to question which side of the bread he butters. He’s never married and he breeds toy poodles, you know what I mean. Not that I have a problem with you know, homosexuals. Not that I have a problem with those sort of people, I’m not a judging person, what goes on behind closed doors is their affair, but when people know they are without having to ask, you know they’ve gone too far in public.
We never showed displays of affection. I did hold hands once but it was late evening during a power cut in 1954 and the one way system at Curtis St was a nightmare to get across. That’s when I knew I would marry Stephen Hepplethwaite, love of my life. Except he had other plans with Dora Greene, the butcher's daughter from Potters gate. Can’t buy a bag of sausages without thinking back to then…. and wishing them penny less and with a dozen brats…. We never had children…

What time do you call this? That's George, our postman for the area. One Lazy eye and always smells of TCP. Used to work at the Coop delivering milk door to door but couldn't judge the houses with steps and would end up smashing more than he delivered.
A parcel for number ten I see. Something fancy I bet. Hope it's net curtains for her kitchen, have you seen them. Never seen the Daz challenge that one. I mean if that's her windows what's her carpets going to be like.
Aye aye, coming this way, looks like I've got…. No, he's gone past. Nothing again. Used to get my Women's weekly delivered but since they started advertising sex lube I quickly knocked the nail on the head with that magazine. I mean, you don't want that sort of thing pushed through your letterbox do you.

Garden could be trimmed and tidy. I'd get the council to do it but you can't get them to pick up the grass cuttings and when they don't know the difference between a Peony Rose and Rhododendron you know you're only going to have trouble. I should really have the bushes taken out to stop the neighbours cat from surprise attacks on the birds. Lies under the Ena Harkness and then pounces on the big birds like some Ninja Warrior, feathers everywhere. I usually throw the remains over the fence which they just ignore. It's like a horror film of little bodies strewn all over their garden, which the husband tidies by running over them with his electric lawnmower.
She's always on a diet next door. Not sure what kind of diet allows for that number of pizza boxes on her bin top. I've always been lucky that way, can eat what I like and never put on weight. Malcolm was a good eater but you could tell with him. Had to sew elastic into all his trousers. Would imagine him getting a pocket caught on a handle and being flung like a catapult through the air.

Their goes Barry, off to place a bet I don't doubt. Don't worry it's not a serious gambling addiction. Never puts more than a few pounds on so he says. More the thrill of it then the winning. God knows we could all do with a thrill right now. When the chatter over the cheese counter at Waitrose is Mrs Braithwaites new hair colour you know something up. Tuscan sunset if you're interested, Mrs Braithwaites hair colour. Nice enough colour but not with her pale skin. I blame daytime television for her lack of skin colour. She's glued to it till Bargain hunt is finished and then has to tell you about Philip Schofield's urinary infection when she sees you. I think she's getting a bit confused, mixing This Morning with the medical drama Doctors. Not that I watch it. Sometimes Emmerdale and Corrie, although they've gone down hill. I remember when Sugdens drama was burning the loaf for the farmers guild and tried to hide the fact by cutting it in half and passing it of as Faccatcha, it was the talk of the town for weeks, now it's sex drugs and murders. Rife it is now. No stick with Radio four and the Archers, you know you're on safe ground with them.

Well I can't sit here listening to you prattle on, got things to do….. Just see if that's Doreen first coming out of Keith Sedgwick's house…. Now theirs a story, not that I'm one to gossip...

© 2020 Richard Laverick


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