Wednesday, 14 February 2007

Love Hurts

Valentine’s Day dawned on a rather subdued street - the Robinson Row is still rumbling on.

Opinions are divided. Jack Next Door claimed he could see it coming. “A neglected garden is a sign of a neglected marriage” he said wisely as he leant on his broom. I took offence at this – my marriage isn’t neglected even though my lawn is. Jane Opposite was remarkably cool about the whole thing. “He looked the type” she sniffed (not disdainfully, she’s got a cold). “If my Bill ever cheated on me, I’d cut it off and use it as a fag holder” she added before whisking back inside. The mind boggles! Ruby was saddened by the whole thing. “She looks like a battered tulip” she said, near to tears as she sorted clear glass bottles from coloured in her mini recycling plant in the front garden.

The most upset of them all though is Alice Three Doors Down. A scandal like this under her very nose and she knew nothing about it. Because I was “on the scene” so to speak, she keeps quoting me (making things up) around the neighbourhood and pumping me for information - I don’t want Lydia to think that I’m spreading rumours about her. I went to see her this afternoon – she looks very pale and her eyes are permanently red rimmed. “I just wanted you to know that whatever you hear from the neighbours, none of it has come from me” I told her as I made her a cup of tea. The tea she offered to make me came straight out of the cold tap and the milk was rancid. I found some powdered stuff in the cupboard and did the best I could. She nodded and took a long sip of her tea. I offered to get her some shopping in and invited her for lunch tomorrow. She declined both offers but thanked me with a hug.

I had barely left her front garden when Alice pounced. “How is the poor love?” she asked, craning her neck to see through the window. “Fine” I said firmly, edging away from her. She followed me, practically yapping at my heels. “Why don’t you and Marcus come in for some lunch and you can tell me all about it?” she continued. Marcus? “Mackenzie and I have had lunch” I said, even more firmly, practically taking her nose off as I slammed the front door on it.

I then got a phone call from Jill With The Purple Door who wanted to know how “things” were in a sympathetic voice, last heard when Mrs Thatcher was talking about the seven hundred million unemployed. The last time this woman phoned me was to ask me to remove Senior Dog from her front gate as he was pining (and yelping) for her on heat springer spaniel. About three years ago. I don’t speak to her when I see her in the street or along Nunhead Lane. But all of a sudden I’m being invited to coffee.

Mike has moved into Susan’s house. I don’t think Mike had much choice in this matter – on Monday afternoon Lydia threw all of his belongings out of the upstairs windows. Clothes, CDs, DVDs, shaving gear, shoes, books…..the whole lot rained down on the road leaving it looking like a tornado had hit it. Several of the neighbours were quite concerned about their cars and hastily moved them as Lydia threw the contents of Mike’s half of the bedroom out of the window – Ruby’s car had a pair of blue checked boxers hanging from the aerial and a copy of the Beatles latest CD wedged in her rear screen wiper as she shifted down the road at a vast rate of knots.

David is quiet on the whole subject, other than to ask if his car was alright and not dented by any flying objects.

Before he went to work this morning, he presented me with a card, a dozen red roses and an invitation to the little Italian restaurant at Shad Thames, with babysitting arranged and triple confirmed (Charlie is nothing if efficient). My happiness was tinged with a bit of sadness but also relief.

What is it about other people’s misery that attracts us? And I’m not excluding myself from this either – I must admit that on Monday night I sat down and counted my blessings with more than a hint of smugness, snuggling up to David in the boudoir and congratulating myself on having a non-straying husband. I’m not saying that I’m in anyway pleased that all this has happened (unlike some I could mention who claim that Lydia “had it coming”) but I’m secretly chuffed that it’s her and not me. Does that make me a bad person?

I have a sneaking suspicion that it does.


trauma-drama said...

I suppose Mr. Cheater forgot the old wisdom "do not shit where you sleep" and I trust when he starts cheating on ms.cheeky (and he will) that he expand his search for a slut out of his current neighborhood. Poor Lydia though-he's probably done her a favour-any good man would probably be luck to have her! Tell her to dust off that stunning black dress and have a fling with a terribly handsome twenty something ego booster! Enjoy the second chance!!!

Nunhead Mum of One said...

she's not at that stage at the moment - she's finding it difficult to get dressed in badly matching items of clothing, much less dust off her LBD! she'll get there though

Natasha said...


I posted a new entry (finally) in mine so go check it out.

"Sex in the Little City"


dulwichmum said...

I still can't work out how you would make a fag holder out of it - please telephone me and explain....

All about me

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Nunhead, London, United Kingdom
I'm a mum of one, wife of one and owner to several dogs, a variety of breeds and sizes. I live in the up and coming area (or so they say) of Nunhead and have mad neighbours, strange friends and certifiable relatives. I shop locally, although I do defect to Sainsburys once a week - shoot me now local shopkeepers.