I spy with my little eye...
Trip Start May 27, 2010
97Trip End Aug 31, 2011
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Phil went off to Dublin for a bucks weekend early on Friday morning. When he told me he was on his second pint at 7.15am, I knew he was in safe hands and was well on his way to having a good weekend away. And so I made a plan for how I was going to spend the weekend alone, scared, lonely and bored. In all honesty, it was nice to have a weekend to catch up with housework, sleep in and chat to people back home by the wonders of Skype (and of course spend time missing Philo!). But when all the housework and shopping and Skyping was done, I found myself spending a lot of the weekend on the couch pretending to watch TV when I was actually looking out the window and taking mental notes of the comings and goings of our neighbours. My peripheral vision is ruined thanks to my attempts at discreetly spying out the window. Perhaps I don't normally spend so much time at home over the weekend to notice the activity in the street, and so it seemed to me to be a particularly busy weekend in the street.
Of particular note:
The chavs over the road...
Phil suspects they are rorting the government and receiving benefits that will allow them to rent a house in quite a respectable residential area, an area which they wouldn't otherwise be able to afford. The young family of four stick out like sore thumbs in the neighbourhood, but they don't do anything to improve peoples' opinions of them either. They remind me a little bit of me when I first moved out of home, young and thinking I was all mature and perfectly capable of running a household. I imagine the inside of their house to be much the same as the one I moved into with my brother in 2000, decked out with hand me down furniture (which we were very grateful for mind you) and remnants of our teenage bedrooms including kitsch decorations and op shop crockery. We made do, which is what I assume these youngens over the road are doing. The one aspect of their being that doesn't compare with my younger years, however, is the fact that I reckon they're drug dealers.
On one single day, with visitors over, they left the house about 20 times (I didn't actually count), walking down the ramp that takes up their entire front yard, down to the car parked on the nature strip, and speeding off up the street only to return 25 minutes later to re-enter the house by knocking on the window and having someone inside open the door for them. Clearly they don't have any spare sets of keys, nor can they afford to have some cut. When the door is opened it's like the pound have let loose all the mutts, and dogs come pouring out the front door. Mangy looking cross breeds bound around on the ramps, with no collars and no leads, being man-handled and abused by their owners who can be seen whopping them over the back when they run onto the road thanks to a lack of obedience and control. Everyone knows how I feel about that particular issue, and it took all I had not to walk out there and suggest to that chav that he think a bit harder about the reasons his dog might be behaving in that disobedient way. But then I figured that would blow my cover.
It was a hard rubbish collection day on Monday, and so on Sunday afternoon people up and down the street were bringing out their pre-loved waste to be collected by the council the next day. An opportunity presents itself for some when it's hard rubbish day, and particularly so for the gyppos (who would drive past countless times hoping to find some scrap metal to cash in on) and for the chavs over the road. I saw them make about four trips to the piles of junk, each time returning with something new. From ironing boards, to watering cans, to a wicker cane armchair. One mans trash and all that.
Now, some might say that I have been overly-observant or in fact that I have been invading their privacy, even stalking. But I have to say that when there's behaviour like that going on in close proximity to the place you live and feel safe, you want to keep an eye on it. If the many many trips they make in their friends' cars are to deliver drugs, you want to know about it. When you see the girl coming back from the shops and then her partner run out of the house carrying an ice hockey stick and barrelling down the road, his fat gut struggling to keep up with the rest of his body, you can only assume one thing - that he intends to use that stick as a weapon.
Old mate Bob next door and his dog, Alfie
Little Alfie and I are akin. Whenever we pull into the driveway the little white terrier jumps up onto the couch in Bob's bay window and stands there looking at us until we walk into the house and out of sight. He's all over it, watching everything that happens out his front window. But he has good reason - he knows everyone in the street. He's a lucky dog that gets walked numerous times a day, courtesy of his owner's nicotine addiction which sees them head off for walkies every couple of hours.
6.00 on Sunday evenings is the best time to spot this dude. He works hard to support his challenged family, but drinks even harder come Sunday. Off he goes to the pub in, you have to assume, a sober state. He returns some hours later, drunk as a skunk and barely even able to walk. One night we saw him get out of a taxi and stand in the middle of the road for several minutes before he stumbled up to his doorstep. Pure entertainment, but pure sadness when you think about the reasons he gets himself into that state. And on a school night!
If any of the neighbours had a problem with my observations, they would realise that I am actually doing a community service by looking out that window. Keeping an eye on things and generally paying attention to my surroundings could pay off one day if something were to go down. But maybe, just maybe, I need to get a life, and let go of this window-reconnaissance obsession once and for all! I hereby undertake to close the curtains when I am home alone.