Its half past ten, I'm in the garden and the fence is probably a bit worse than I originally thought. We basically now share a garden with the people behind us. I'm planning on walking round to their house to talk to them about it when I notice someone moving in their kitchen, so I wave at them.
They don't notice so I up my effort and wave both my arms and point at the fence laid on the floor at my feet. I do this for a couple of minutes. I'm feeling completely ridiculous when the person, who is washing up notices me, but strangely she just politely waves back and carries on washing up.I've never seen her before, they must be the new people. This doesn't stop me from feeling a bit confused by her casual wave, if I was in that situation there are some questions that I would be asking myself.
QUESTIONS I WOULD BE ASKING MYSELF
- Why has my garden doubled in size.
- Who is that strange woman in pyjama's and dressing gown standing in my garden waving her arms.
- Where has the house at the end of my garden come from, I don't remember that being there before
- Didn't I used to have a fence
I hear a door opening and a man with a ponytail pokes his head out of their side door. Coincidentally he looks scared too. I suppose it is entirely possible that I look like an escaped mental patient. I was only really coming out for a look, my hair isn't ready for a meeting with the new neighbours. I reach up and feel it, its completely flat on one side while the other side has escaped from my bobble and seems to have formed itself into a nest like structure (I could house magpies in fact). He's still looking but hasn't moved. Its like a Mexican stand-off. I will have to speak.
I shout, 'Hello. I'm sorry for appearing in your garden on a Sunday morning'. He looks confused. Why doesn't he move. I'm losing patience.
I shout again, much louder. He jumps. But he moves. He runs actually. Oh god he's going to rugby tackle me to the floor and sit on me til the woman in marigolds summons the men in white coats.
Obviously he doesn't. In fact he's quite nice. He has a pony tail and and cutting edge red or dead glasses, and he's quite posh. Perhaps he is the secret millionaire looking for needy people to bestow his millions upon. I'm actually quite pleased I'm in a dressing gown with mad hair now, he's bound to feel sorry for me. I toy with developing a twitch for the duration of the conversation just to strengthen my case for his money, but I decide against it, it's already odd enough that I'm stood on a collapsed fence in his garden in my night clothes.
Anyway it transpires that he's called Tom. He's just bought the house with 'Sarah' or Marigold as I've decided to call her, and they only moved in yesterday and hadn't noticed the fence had fallen down. I almost suggest that his lovely red or dead glasses could do with a good clean but I don't.
Marigold comes out and we exchange pleasantries, but I feel distinctly at a disadvantage here, they are both young (mid twenties) and dressed which instantly gives them extra points. I talk about my husband and children but get the feeling that they don't quite believe me and might have idea's of their own.
WHAT I THINK THEY MIGHT BE THINKING
- The wind didn't pull their fence down. I did.
- I have just escaped from the local mental hospital.
- I don't have a husband or children. I invented them. I have cats. Or I did till the people with tranquilisers took them away from me.
'He won't be dragged away from his breakfast' I joke. (Yes I truly am the queen of small talk)
We all politely laugh. We still need to decide what we're doing with the fence. Marigold is starting to look anxious again so I shout Phil, louder this time.
'Once he's gets started he really won't be dragged away from his breakfast' I persist. Then I hear Phil coming through the house.
'Here he is, the master of the house' I shrill.
I have never, ever called Phil 'the master of the house', why on earth have I started now.
THINGS I WOULD NEVER CALL MY HUSBAND
- The master of the house
- Him indoors
- He who must be obeyed
- Our lad
- My man
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW AT THIS POINT.
At this time every year Phil gets really dry lips. Sometimes they start to crack and sometimes he's picks the skin off them. This makes them sore so I get him a lip salve every year to keep in his coat pocket. He has misplaced this years lip salve. Bear in mind the new neighbours don't know this!
So, where were we, oh yes, I'm looking at Phil in horror. Evidently he has picked a bit of that dry skin, because there, smeared around his mouth, is blood, lots of blood, even worse, the blood has completely coated his teeth. He is smiling at our new neighbours and he looks like Hannibal Lecter, in that charming scene where he bites the other chap's tongue out.
I really don't know what to do. Marigold has moved behind Tom. The poor woman is genuinely frightened. I mutter to Phil, loudly actually, 'Phil, your mouth, there's blood' and instead of asking what I mean Phil does the worst thing possible.
HE LICKS HIS LIPS.
Oh my God! He might has well have opened a nice bottle of chianti there and then. They think I am married to Hannibal Sodding Lecter.
Suddenly they remember somewhere they need to be urgently, but not before they tell us that the fence will be repaired within a day or two.
What's the betting it's 12 foot and electrified.