I’m going to start this post by emphasising, just in case my neighbours do come across it, that the neighbours in the area I currently live are completely lovely. They’re all really nice families, and they’re friendly and smiley, and we take packages in for each other, and honestly, this little bit of road I now live in is wonderful.
I almost don’t even mind the kids screaming as they play – that’s how much I like this place I now live. (I mean, I mind a bit, but that’s what closing the windows is for, and tbh, the kids are so happy and polite the rest of the time, it is actually churlish to begrudge some hyper funtime yelling. It is just the sound of happy children playing, after all, not the random, aggressive yells of Weirdo Neighbour from my first flat, or the endless ringing doorbell at 11pm from when I lived next door to that probable drug dealer, or the strange TV noises till 2am from Frankfurter Floyd. Like, I’ve definitely UPGRADED in the world of neighbourly noise.)
It’s why reverting to my typical role of Evil Neighbourhood Witch sits so uncomfortably with me these days. I mean, I want to just cackle and snarl, but they’re all so NICE. I can’t even glower at them, and whisk my cloak around me in a proper witchy fashion, because the kid down the road just told me my cloak was “well nice!” (they weren’t at ALL threatened) and another kid asked if I’d been to Hogwarts. I mean, it’s true that a grown-up, dressed up as a witch, probably doesn’t look like an actual Evil Neighbourhood Witch…maybe I need a cat and a broom.
I even tried growing out my twiddling whiskers on my chin – but that just annoyed me and I ended up plucking them out with a bulldog clip in the middle of a Monday morning briefing.
Nope, in this quarter, I cannot intimidate.
I did end up in a classic Loops predicament the other day though, when I could hear my poor neighbour trying to corral her kids into the car. Her younger child is at the age where they ask A Lot of Questions because everything needs Thoroughly Explaining. My neighbour is a nice lady, who recently put up fairy lights in her back garden, and they illuminate my bedroom, so she inadvertently turned my room into a tiny planetarium and now I sleep amongst the stars (at 34, I’m still a bit afraid of the dark, so…)
So I really wanted to be supportive of her whilst she wrangled her children. Sisterhood and all that.
And I’d opened my window wider to shout down, “OI! Younger Kid! Listen to your mother, she works hard and doesn’t need your crap!” when I realised that a) we don’t do that on this block, Heavens to Betsy no, and b) they might have questions as to why I was listening in. (To this last I say: children are binary and have two volume settings, Silent and Foghorn, you can’t be surprised when the neighbourhood witch starts listening in, OK?)
Anyway, long story short, instead of yelling at the kid, I was just stood leaning out the window like I was blatantly and aggressively listening to Neighbour Lady have a tough time usher kids into car, and it is impossible to explain all of [gestures to the post] this without sounding like, well, me. But right now, as far as my neighbours know, I’m normal. So I can’t unbag this cat too quickly. So I had to pretend I thought someone had called to me, and then withdraw, and then pretend I’d noticed my plants were dead (RIP Cornelius, I am a bad plant mum), and that I was sad about this and taking some time to weep out of the window…
If anyone has any ideas as to how I can gently introduce my neighbours (normal) to my true self (awkward and weird), please let me know. Thanks.
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