On Neighbours

We had plenty of time to think about it on the walk down the road. And at least twice nearly turned back. There just didn’t seem to be an obvious way to go about it. The best thing, surely, was to play it by ear. I slowed my pace once we reached their drive. Mike could go first.

“Hello, we’ve recently moved in down the road. Just popped by to introduce ourselves.”

The neighbours to our east, Bill and Pauline, seemed very friendly indeed. They had moved into their bungalow just six weeks ahead of us. And to prove what a small world it really is, they’d been living quite close to our previous home, in the town where Mike used to work. In other words, they were ‘incomers’ too.

We spent a pleasant 20 minutes or so being shown around their garden. The vegetable plot, with the benefit of the extra six weeks, was well ahead of mine. Today they’d been in the process of putting up a fruit cage. The instructions, well thumbed, still lay on the ground. As we toured the plot my eyes scanned for signs of recent excavation, waiting for the opportunity to present itself. But there was no sign at all of the big green tank.

“Come and see what we’ve done indoors”

Perhaps we would be able to spot it from there.

Another sociable few minutes passed by. They had done a huge amount of work on their kitchen and it was almost complete. Well worth mentioning to Mike. Back outside though, our elephant still stood firmly in the centre of the lawn. There was no choice but to go for it.

“Actually we had another reason for coming to see you..”

“We know.”

“Huh?”

“Ben told us you would be coming.” Bill led the way to the bottom of his garden and out into the paddock beyond. The tell-tale green dome of the Water Treatment Plant sat right in front of us.

Now, why couldn’t he just have told us that at the start?