This morning, Audrey and I are spying, through our net curtains, on the new tenants who are moving into Bernard’s old flat. (Bernard was the idiosyncratic old man who we used to occasionally meet in the street and who died recently – unexpectedly and completely alone.)
Unfortunately, they have a boom-box playing loudly in the uncarpeted hallway while they are busy feathering their new Derbyshire nest. I say unfortunately, because it is gruesome Irishman Ronan Keating who is honking and sheeshing his way through a smorgasbord of formerly enjoyable popular standards. Listening to Ronan Keating makes your brain feel like you are breathing in the stench of shit. Watching his videos makes you feel like you are enjoying it.
But what is rather startling is the proportion of furniture and sturdy boxes – presumably containing a fresh assortment of sundry personal items, paperback books, alarm clocks, kitchen utensils, footwear and the like – to the amount of people involved who are actually carrying the stuff inside.
The new residents of 28a seem to number eight or nine at my last reckoning, but the amount of property and belongings going inside seems to be tiny by comparison. Yes, I know, I’m being nosy; but bear with me a moment. So far, I have counted 1 table, 3 chairs and a sofa, 6 large cardboard boxes, 1 cupboard, and what appear to be about 5 rather flimsy single beds.
It is only, as far as I am aware, a two-bedroom flat, and quite a modestly proportioned one at that. These cheerful people who’s new home it will soon be seem to be quite young – about twenty or so years old – and, as I say, there are at least eight of them. And they seem to be speaking some flavour of East European language that I cannot yet recognise. Hmm… I think further investigation is required. (This investigation will not be a difficult one to undertake, however: four of our potential new neighbours are of the female variety – and very pretty ones at that.)
Come on, Audrey - let’s make a nice wholesome vegetable hotpot to take around later.