My son and I have moved into our new flat. We are on the first floor and have a downstairs and an upstairs neighbour.
From my sofa near the lounge window I can see my downstairs neighbour leave her flat. She doesn’t leave very often, but she does seem to have quite a strange routine.
She leaves her flat with a wheelie suitcase at about 16:30 every day. It is not a smart suitcase. She is clearly not going away on business. She doesn’t wear a suit. She tends to wear a pastel coloured t-shirt and a mid-calf length skirt. I’d guess she is in her late forties. She is not glamorous and doesn’t really seem to worry about fashion. I imagine that she looked like she is was in her late forties when she was in her twenties. On the plus side, I suspect that she will look like she is in her late forties when she is in her sixties. She is ageless and timeless.
I first noticed her strange routine on a Saturday afternoon and I presumed that she was going away for the night…but she always seems to return. Today is Monday night and I have just seen her return at 20:44. What on earth is in that suitcase on wheels and what on earth does she do with it for four hours in the late afternoon / early evening ?
I have turned into a net curtain twitcher, except I don’t actually have curtains yet; my surveillance is obvious, explicit and overt. I am intrigued, curious and slightly obsessed.
Hypothesis number 1: She sews old ladies underwear and delivers new knickers to the nursing home down the road every day except Sunday. It is possible. If my grandmother is anything to go by, old ladies always want new knickers and at the sunset of life, you should be able to have whatever you want. Right? Maybe she sews them in the morning and then packs up her wares after lunch and walks them down the road ready to lay them out on the table next to the tea and cake in the nursing home. She probably does a roaring trade! Except, I never hear a sewing machine…
Hypothesis number 2: She has a maid’s costume, not a raunchy one, but rather a costume like the one’s they wore on Downtown Abbey, in her suitcase and she has an appointment with a paying gentleman friend six afternoons a week. I don’t think it is a salacious arrangement. He just likes to watch a woman dressed in a conservative maid’s costume clean his home every afternoon. She reminds him of his mother. His mother was a maid and watching my neighbour reminds him of his childhood. It makes him feel safe, secure and loved.
Hypothesis number 3: She has a suitcase full of loaves of bread and is taking them down to the river (we live quite close to the river) to feed the ducks. Maybe she sings whilst she is throwing the bread: “Feed the ducks, one pound a loaf, one pound, one pound, from local Tesco’s, Feed the ducks, one pound a loaf, one pound, one pound, from local Tesco’s” (song gets higher and squeakier at the end).
This is killing me. I need to find out. I am going to have to ‘bump’ into her as she is leaving and offer to carry her suitcase down the three steps to the road. That will give me an idea of the weight and therefore a clue as to the contents. You never know, she may even offer up an explanation. I hope she doesn’t though, it will ruin my imaginary fun.