Friday, 10 July 2009

The door bell rang.

It was our neighbour from across the road. She wanted to know if she could leave three chairs with us. The open inspection for their house was in 35mins and the agent had told her to put the chairs somewhere else. Their double garage (which has served as her husband's workshop) is full of their tent-trailer, the dinghy, woodwork machinery and all the household items that the agent told them they needed to have out of the house. The place looks bare. It is apparently the right way to sell a house.
Belinda duly dumps three chairs and, half an hour later, comes back with the two children so that they are out of the way while the half hour inspection for invited potential buyers takes place. I can see the children have very mixed feelings about this. Belinda has mixed feelings about it. They do not really want to move. They will not be going far but they had decided that the children each need a bedroom of their own. It's a big thing. They own this place but the next place will mean a new mortgage.
For us it will mean new neighbours. We like Belinda and her family. We exchange biscuits at Christmas and have always given the children small gifts on their birthdays. We fed their cat and their dog, watered their garden, collected the post and acted as babysitters in emergencies. They did things for us in return. We will miss them.
We know everyone in our little street by name. That's good. We do not have quite the same relationship with them but we recognise them and they recognise us. That is a rare thing in the suburb of a city. I hope we will know the new family who moves in. If I know Belinda she will make sure we meet them. Did I mention the fact that Belinda was born and brought up in the country? I wonder if that makes a difference. I suspect it might.

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