Friday, April 25, 2014

The End of an Era

I feel like one of those wartime reporters, sitting at a window, watching the conflict (or lack of it) from my portal and chronicling, for history's sake, a momentous event. All I need is a glass of scotch, a butt-less cigarette hanging from a determined mouth and a fedora and all will be perfect; but it's 8.45am and even in my most reckless days that was an unlikely scene.

Fishwife is moving out.

Possibly the best next-door neighbour I've ever had, despite the ridicule and scorn I have poured towards him and his loud, pooh-fixated family. The second van is loaded and I expect, because he is just so bloody organised that they could be gone before I get back from an envelope run to Staples in town.

I haven't had a chance this year to pay much attention to their antics next door; there's the occasional 'Daddy, I've done a big pooh!" screamed down from the bathroom window with triumphant assertion and I've wandered down to let the ducks out on a weekend morning and found their eldest knee deep in chicken shit, reinventing home poultry farming at the age of 10, while surrounded by a bunch of birds that obviously think a slightly odd sounding child is their god. But my gut feeling is they've been lying low because they've wanted to move. They are a big family and the house they are in is in many ways smaller than ours despite being technically identical (it's long and boring story also architecturally meh).

He still knows everything and I expect he'll have more idea than me what goes on in the road long after he's moved, just down the road (about 500 yards).

The street is taking on a new complexion and my busy work (and illness) schedule has meant that I don't really have new nicknames for any of them. In fact, we've had three new families move in since I last wrote about this place and I'll be dipped in pooh and shouted at if I've even seen one of them or would know them from the potholes in the road. Anodyne? I might have to move myself.

By the way, I'm bashing this out like a pervert on a fetish site because I've been ill again. Again, you say? Heh...

I've been attacked by my chest - to quote Joni Mitchell - from both sides now! My COPD means that catching a cold is bad and catching a chest infection is ha ha ha. I got both at the start of April, wobbled through until a week before my birthday, when I had the suspect mole removed, in a minor surgery done at my local surgery. It went well and I shall remember the sound of the doctor cutting my flesh for as long as I live. Four days later, on my birthday, I went out with the wife and friends for food and started to feel a little dodgy. The day after I was quite poorly; it appeared I had another cold and it looked like someone had mixed the inside of my chest with mushy peas - and that was just the stuff I was hacking up. By the time Tuesday came around and I was back for the removal of the stitches, oozing joined the hacking and I again marvelled at how the human mouth can fill up with unwanted saliva when faced with something putrid...

My chest wasn't just bad, it had gone bad too. I was a pus-ridden borderline septicaemia case and was given industrial strength antibiotics. I phoned the wife up and asked her to buy a gun; if I was a fucking horse I would have been put out of my misery by now!

Still, the drugs appear to have worked; my chest infections are either gone or are so far removed I can function on something more than autopilot and it gives me the chance to sit here, in my dressing gown, with the window slightly open and the blinds manoeuvred so that I can see out but no one can see in, and watch as Fishwife and family ride off into not quite a sunset, more like a damp and slightly chilly English morning. I won't be able to do it again. I think I'll miss him...

Thanks fella.

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