I’ve told you about my neighbours right ? Well, for those of you who might not remember, let me re-cap: in the flat beneath me live two women; a mother and her daughter. I am guessing the daughter is in her mid-40s, the mother I’d guess to be in her early 70s. I don’t think they do much. I rarely see the mother; I don’t think that she really leaves the house . The daughter had an odd habit of leaving the flat at about 4:30 each afternoon and returning at about 8:45 in the evening. She was always yielding a rather tatty wheelie suitcase. I don’t know what was in the suitcase, but I took to making up make believe stories about my downstairs neighbour. My favourite is that she makes underpants for old ladies and sold them at the local nursing home.
Then there was the case of the cute guy in the flat opposite. I bumped into him one morning and he helped me to carry the buggy down the stairs. He was in his late 20s, a little skinny but very polite and very drop-dead gorgeous. My curtain started twitching and my little crush grew and grew until one day, much to my chagrin, he moved out. The Estate Agent who brings prospective buyers round to the flat regularly (something else I have been monitoring) has since told me that the cute guy has has emigrated to Australia – what terrible luck!
I had a spying spinster obsession. I was increasingly intrigued by the comings and goings of my neighbours.
Now on Sunday night I got a taste of my own medicine. It would appear that I am not the only spying spinster in the block. In fact, there are probably quite a few if us. On Sunday evening, on my way out to see a comedian who turned out to be a magician in my local pub, I turned round as I closed the back door to my block of flats only to notice the curtain twitching. Only to notice someone look and then look away. Only to catch someone watching me before they hid. Someone was spying on me! Someone was watching to see what I was wearing, who I was with (no one) and in which direction I headed as I left my flat.
My downstairs neighbour was doing exactly as I have been doing. She is a spying spinster like me. She is also monitoring the activities of her neighbours and no doubt creating make believe stores in her head about what they are up to. On her behalf, I have made up three make believe stories about me:
- I am involved in some massive financial fraud plot. I went out on Sunday night to meet my fellow fraudulent colleagues and to plot our next coup. I am not the ring-leader (otherwise I’d be living in a considerably more prestigious abode) but I am the apprentice. I am being cut a raw deal by my fellow criminals, because I am actually quite good at financial fraud, but my talent goes unrecognised. Such is life!
- I run a yoga class on a Sunday night, but only for the over 80s. There are some really flexible octogenarians in the area. I was wearing leggings so this might not stretch the imagination too far. Maybe the mother is planning to join my class…in a few years’ time when she is old enough.
- I was on my way out to go skinny dipping in the river Thames with the local swans. I like to go out at dusk when the birds are out and the fading light changes the colour of the water. It is calm and peaceful. I get my exercise by swimming 50 widths – to the opposite bank and back over and over and over and over again. She thinks I should be arrested, but I swim too fast. No one can catch up with me. Although they’d never admit it, the police are not bothered by my skinny dipping, in fact, they actually quite like it.
I did none of the above, but let’s pretend I did. Can I be the skinny dipper in the Thames please? I want to swim with my fellow swans.