One of my regular readers posted a comment yesterday and mentioned how my blog has changed as I post more about activities now than people.
I hadn’t really thought about it, but she’s right.
Before Covid, my posts would be full of friends and acquaintances, funny asides of MOH and MSM, Slimming World, Darts, and not forgetting those slices of cheesecake and coffee up at the cafe on the prom as we people watched.
Other than fellow dog walkers, we don’t socialise very much now, and it’s not just due to social distancing, it’s everything in general.
The lady whose funeral it was earlier this week was very popular, but because we were sorting out some banking business, we couldn’t pay our last respects on the roadside as the hearse went by. By all accounts, the pavements both sides of the road by their house were full of friends and neighbours. When I was told what was planned, I was included because I ‘talk to everybody’ and there was a high probability I knew the person concerned. I still cannot place her, but it is possible I was chatting to her husband on our drive one afternoon for about half an hour a few weeks ago.
How well do you know your neighbours?
A lady four doors down has been here over 20 years and says she doesn’t know half the people I wave to or who wave to me. Most of them are dog owners, though there are a couple who always wave and we don’t know who they are.
I know a lot of people by sight if not by name, and if they have a dog, the chances are I know the dog’s name but not theirs.
When we first came here, we were surprised at the number of ‘dog prams’ for elderly dogs who could make part of the journey but not all of it being pushed to and from the park, prom or along the High Street. One of the shops, now closed actually, had a roaring trade for them and prices started from £35.
One sweetheart lived a few houses down and would sit to attention in his chariot like some kind of Rolls Royce hood ornament. He was always glad to see me and like a true gentleman would stand up when I went over to make a fuss. Sadly he died a little while ago when it was discovered he was full of tumours on the operating table for the treatment of one. He was 14.
Of the twelve canine deaths we’re aware of, we know of only two people who have replaced their dogs, though some who have lost their beloved pets walk their neighbour’s dogs rather than have another. The guy at the end who asked us to look in on his elderly semi paralysed dog while he went to Lanzarote for 10 days now has a young black dog that sits in the window all day yearning to be outside. The guy grunts at everyone, and the dog is curious, but I don’t trust it, and there is something about him that unsettles me.
If I take each house in order, I know 4 of the 6 residents in the cul de sac opposite by name, all bar one of the occupants of the properties on the opposite side of the road to the junction, and all but two on our side to the same junction. Those two properties are holiday lets, one of which has just been sold, and the one opposite has new people in it that we nod to but it’s early days as they’ve only been here since April.
We see our immediate neighbours periodically, though I text one every day since her husband died to make sure she’s OK. If we see her we stop and chat, offer to do some heavy or bulky shopping, or invite her in for a meal or cup of tea, but those visits are few and far between now. She’s doing OK, and being careful not to shut herself off as much as she did in the beginning. She knows we are here for her and on a couple of occasions has asked Hubby to check something out or either of us to dispose of a dead mouse left on her garden by a tabby cat that occasionally visits.
I miss darts and the fun nights of double one syndrome, non diet suppers and general banter we had as a team. Hubby and I still play in the hall though I lose far more games than I win, but if I actually hit what I’m aiming for, that’s a definite plus.
I’m lucky to be half of a couple, and the dog at least gets us out, but I miss people, and for a people person like me, that is not necessarily a good thing.