Tag Archives: neighbours

Winter Frost

Those of you have read any of my previous blogs know my love of a jiffy bag arriving. This week it has been jiffy bag galore around us. You could tell it had been pay day as it seemed every house had been ordering things. Of course down our street all parcels end up being delivered to Hilda 1. It’s nothing to do with the size of either the parcel or the letterbox, mainly it’s the fact that Pete the postie gets intercepted with the offer of help as soon as he turns into the street. On the odd occasion I’m actually in at lunchtime, watching him is great fun. You can see the look of fear on his face as he creeps round the houses trying desperately not to make any sound that might alert the Hilda’s to his presence. Sadly for him Hilda 1 has the hearing of an Owl (seriously, this is the woman who once told me she had heard a rat climbing into my hanging basket) so most days he is unable to avoid her.

This week the street has had a whole range of items delivered, from vitamins to clothing to a new frying pan. Of course mine were jiffy bags of knowledge containing books as always. This week they were even better from my point of view, as they were both books I’d been sent from America to review, so I’m very excited.

The slight problem with getting things delivered to Hilda 1 is that as she goes to bed at 4.30pm you always have to wait until the next morning to get the parcel. Although handily it’s always delivered with the 7am weather forecast and her top tip of the day. Friday’s tip for those of you interested was that you should always use lard when making pastry not butter, helpful to know at 7am.

Of course the fact that I know what everyone else down the street has bought also means that they all know my purchasing habits too. This led to the women over the road, we’ll call her Marina, commenting how she can’t believe I have so much time to read. This is the kind of comment that annoys me, in my experience everyone has the time to read if they want to. For some people checking their email is such an addiction there is barely time in their lives for anything else, similarly those who put constant updates on facebook are often those complaining of lack of time.

Marina is a classic example of a woman who spends hours doing non necessary (in my view) tasks. Putting aside the stream of male visitors that appear as soon as her husband turns her back, just friends obviously, this is the woman that seems to be obsessed with saving the street from the dangers of winter weather.

At the first sign of a morning frost she’s outside with her bucket and trowel throwing sand around until even the seagulls get confused and start circling overhead looking for the sea. When it was snowing, you’d think it was about to be the end of the world. Every time I looked out the window she was out with her shovel moving the snow, only for it to be completely covered again within an hour. Not that it deterred her or the Hilda’s who joined her in the fight against snow. . It was truly one of the most pointless tasks I’ve ever seen, especially as it all disappeared overnight anyway. This is the problem with a lack of reading I think, maybe if she’d read more books she would have known that snow is only temporary and does eventually melt! I think I need to introduce her to the joys of amazon and she might start getting the jiffy bags of knowledge too.



Filed under Reading


It was recently Hilda 1s birthday. In honour of the amount of parcels she has taken in for me, and the fact that she is better than any guard dog you could possibly have, I bought her a plant. I even splashed out and bought it from a proper plant show not just the local garage.

Now usually our entire relationship is conducted over the garden fence (yes I know that makes me sound about 90, I’ll be buying a pair of sensible shoes specifically for driving in next) I find that as long as I stick to my side of the fence its a bit easier to get away from the latest round of which neighbour is the worst. This time though as it was a special occasion I decided to make the effort and actually step over the barrier.

She was of course very happy with her plant (although this was slightly overshadowed by the present from Hilda 2 which was closer to £199 rather than £1.99) and the coffee was drinkable. But I found it quite depressing. Never mind the fact that Hilda1 had no pictures on the walls, or books on the shelves, which I find odd. To top it off her mantelpiece had a grand total of 3 birthday cards on it– one of which actually came from a four legged friend rather than a two legged friend.

I’m not really a card sender, although now I may have to start just to make sure I get some back in return! I always find cards a bit sad. You get them, stand them on the mantelpiece for a few days (unless they were from family members as these always used to go on the tv, a bit tricky now with the advent of flat screens!) I usually then get so fed up with them falling over I take them down. But what about afterwards? Throwing them away seems such a waste, you can’t leave them up of course, you can’t frame them all but if you keep them what can you do with them?

The cost of cards is also ridiculous, I bought one recently and it was nearly £5. I think there is a niche market here for novelists. Instead of birthday cards, maybe novelists could all write short stories which people then buy and give to people instead of cards. I’d rather someone spent £5 on a short story I could enjoy, than on a card that might look lovely but is really rather useless.

Of course this wouldn’t have made Hilda1 feel any better, as she still wouldn’t have had any people buying them for her. But at least she would have been able to keep the three she got for next year, and they could have filled her empty shelves. Anyway I’m off to stock up on birthday cards to send to people…I must be getting old!

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