Neighbours Part XV

Our block of flats has a new villain. It’s the new chap at Number 6. He moved in just four months ago, but he’s already demonstrated a selfish, inconsiderate streak. And the evidence is there, plain as day, for all to see. He won’t deny it either, as he doesn’t really seem to stop and chat to anyone. You might be wondering, what has happened. Well, let me tell you.

The other day, one of the girls of the block left a stack of Easter chocolate on the window sill by the entrance, along with a little note saying, ‘Free to a good home’. I grabbed a photo of some of it, which you can see above. I think it was Hot Lady at Number 8. I’m sure it’s her writing. And she’s been exercising a lot, so sacrificing a chocolate feast makes a certain amount of sense.

You can probably see where this is going. The whole lot disappeared. All of it. And a day or two later, all the empty boxes and wrappers appeared in the recycling bin, amongst the stuff thrown out by Number 6. You can see it’s Number 6 straightaway, because the Amazon boxes are all round them, delivery label side up. He didn’t even try and hide it. Heck, if I didn’t know better, it was his funny little way of bragging that he’d had it all.

You might be wondering, if there was still chocolate on the window sill when I took the photo, why didn’t I help myself to some? Oh I did. I took the lot. Every last egg and bar. And very tasty they were too. But I’m not silly. You don’t think I’d openly dispose of the evidence within my pile of recycling, do you??

I know. Crafty…


Neighbours Part XIV

There have been developments at our block of flats since the last episode of the Neighbours. Flat 12 has now sold, and it’s not been sold to a Buy to Let investor. So the longest standing couple in the block are having to move away, which is a shame. Flat 8 is now on the market, so the young lady there will also be seeking new accommodation.

The new girl in Flat 2 stopped me to chat yesterday. She’d been worried that her music might have been disturbing us. It turns out that she’s not been having too much luck with her new flat. The lights didn’t work when she first arrived, the gas hob then tried to electrocute her, there’s black mold on an internal wall and now she has carpet moths laying eggs under her feet.

Her music hasn’t been disturbing us – modern blocks have pretty decent sound proofing. The revelation that she has an infestation is a little disturbing though. She seems a nice enough person, but we find that we now like her best from a distance. Let’s say two metres, minimum. Which is convenient, because we can all pretend this is to do with the virus, not her bugs.

Today’s featured photo is a ten minute walk from home. Bournemouth Gardens follows the deceptively named* River Bourne from the sea to about a mile inland, where it disappears into an underground pipe**. The river runs right through this shot, but it’s out of view. You can see a bridge that crosses over it. And behind the bridge is the plague of homeless drug addicts that fester in the park. I know this is unkind of me. But. Well. Sometimes, I am unkind. I’m afraid they do not make good neighbours.

* it’s a stream, at best.

** of course it doesn’t. It appears from, not disappears into the pipe. Water runs to the sea, not from it. But most people will walk inland from the coast.


Neighbours Part XIII

What’s new in the block, you might be wondering. Well, let’s see now. The new girl at No 2 is settling in. We’ve only seen her once or twice in passing and the conversation hasn’t gone past basic hellos. I think she’s rather a heavy smoker though. The smell of it leaks into the communal hallway. She had a gas engineer round to fix her boiler the other day. I know this because I overheard the lady at No 4 questioning what he was doing, creeping about behind the building.

I also know that she is new to Bournemouth and that she knows nobody here. I know this because I was eavesdropping at my front door as the gas engineer was leaving. He asked her out on a date. She said yes. They swapped phone numbers. They are clearly planning on breaking lockdown laws. If not this weekend, then next weekend. Should I call the rozzers? I am open to suggestions.

Otherwise, the only other new news in that No 12 is up for sale and the owner of No 8 is also planning to put that flat on the market. The guys renting No 12 are the blocks longest serving residents, having moved in twelve years ago. We, I believe, currently rank as the third longest standing residents, behind Panty Lady in No 10. We may both be promoted one up the rank. I think the expense of renewing the leases, which must be done soon, is the cause of the exodus.

But none of this relates to the photo. The photo is my nearest high street. It’s not much of a high street. It is what you can see in the photo and the same again on the other side of the road. We’ve lived on (or more precisely, just off) this road for seven years at different addresses. It has changed plenty over the two years.

The chiropractor and care shops were, until recently, both owned by a chap selling trophies, complete with custom engraving. Schools and sports clubs would have been his main source of business. He’s moved in to a unit on an industrial park. Much cheaper than running a pair of shops, I suspect. The chiropractic industry is probably having a growth spurt right now, what with a nation of couch potatoes suddenly taking up lockdown exercise.

The laundrette is the one I visit most. Every week. Like most people living in flats, we have a single washer/dryer unit. The washer bit is fine. The dryer is next to useless. They always are. You can only do a half load at a time, it’s takes hours, costs a fortune in electricity and at the end of it you have a basket of very hot but still pretty damp laundry.

So I wash at home, then pop up the laundrette, fill two drying machines, feed in a total of £3.20 into the slots and it’s all done within 25 minutes. That’s nearly half an hour to catch up with all the local gossip. The lady who runs the laundrette is an absolutely first class source for gossip.

Next to that is a new micro brewery, All Hail Ale. They’ve been in there for a couple of years now. It took them a while to get a license. Some of the neighbours, Launderette Lady included, had objected. But they’ve been absolutely no trouble. They attract a decent sort of clientele. And it’s nicer than what was there before. When we arrived on the scene, it was a Nepalese restaurant, but had clearly been closed for years.

Finally we have Da Mario pizzas. We used to eat there now and again, but haven’t for ages. Both Mrs P and I have celebrated a birthday in there. It used to be owned by an Italian gent and his Colombian wife and they did a roaring trade. A year or two ago, they sold up and started up a new deli/coffee type diner on a nearby stretch of road that sees almost zero foot traffic.

I thought they were mad and would go bust in next to no time. And I was right. The new owners of Da Mario still do a roaring trade.