a very early morning shopping trip. The supermarket in the local shopping centre opens at 7am and so does the chemist. Given a forecast of 46'C today I wanted to be out and back as early as possible. The heat was already on but had not been turned up to "absolutely mad to be out". It was just "mad to be out". (I drank almost a litre of water while I was out.)
Two days ago there was an ambulance outside one of the houses on my regular pedalling route. Despite the growing heat there was also a small group of people, some with dogs, another with small children talking to each another. I recognised two of them by sight and acknowledged them with a quick nod and a hello - and I pedalled on.
Yesterday one of them walked past our place as I was giving thirsty plants an early morning drink - and refilling the bird bath. He stopped and said,
"You didn't stop the other day."
"Didn't stop? Sorry, did I miss you saying hello?"
"No. Didn't you want to know why the ambulance was outside number fourteen?"
"No. It was none of my business. I don't know the people who live there."
"Oh, just thought you would want to know."
He seemed put out but I really did not want to know. It is none of my business. Even if an ambulance had been outside the house of someone I did know I would not have stopped. It would still be none of my business. If people wanted it to be my business - and that would be because they wanted me to help in some way - then they would contact me.
I am like that with accidents too. I will go the long way around if I can. It is none of my business. I can't do anything to help if the scene is being attended to by professionals. I get out of the way.
But it made me think of other things which are really none of my business. Marriage breakups between people whose names are deemed newsworthy, allegations of sexual misconduct, allegations of fraud or violence and all sorts of other items which might be termed "gossip" don't interest me. Not only does it not interest me, it annoys me. It isn't my business. I also strongly suspect that it makes problems much worse than they might otherwise be.
"You should take more interest in your neighbours," I was told by the man who stopped. Should I?
I do take an interest in my neighbours. They know where to find me if they need me. Quite a number of them have our telephone number for that very reason. Two people had phoned to ask if I was doing a very early morning trip and, if I was, could I just leave a prescription at the chemist. (In this heat the chemist will do a delivery later.) I like to be asked. It means I know they are all right and that someone will also check on them later in the day.
I think that's all I need to know.