I don’t normally talk to my neighbours…except the 93 year old one that gave me scotch.

scotchI’ve never really been one to get to know the neighbours. I’m mostly a keep to myself kinda girl. I have no idea why I’m like this. Despite being outgoing and social I’m actually quite private (what with my internet blabbing and all) so I suppose that has something to do with it. I lived in a small apartment building in Sydney for a number of years and hardly knew anybody and made no effort to change that. Yeah I’m a total slack arse but to be fair I worked some pretty big hours.

Anyway when we moved here to our little beachside town I didn’t really have the luxury of remaining ignorant of who was next door as we moved into a duplex. Our neighbour lived literally right on our doorstep and in our case, as she was errrr advanced in years, she was pretty much there all of the time. Not that this was a problem. She was the bomb.  Her name was Daphne and she was a very sprightly 93 year old. She adored Monkey and was constantly inviting us over for a cup of tea and proudly chatting about her family. Once I took her to the shops for groceries when it was raining and she was so appreciative she “rewarded” me (her words) with a glass of scotch. She was a real diamond. Sadly, Daphne passed away late last year. She was slowly getting more and more unwell and going to stay with her daughter quite often and then one day she had a terrible fall and bumped her head and that was that.  She left her duplex to her family never to be sold as she wants it to be used as a family holiday house (I’m not sure that she can really enforce that from the heavens above but it is a super nice idea and one that the family is trying to honour).

So this week we have had our first holiday guests in the front duplex. It is a mummy, her 3 kiddies and a family friend. To be honest I’ve barely seen them…until today. The kids were having chitty chats in the driveway early on and then the mummy and I finally crossed paths later in the afternoon. I’m so glad we did as later that evening they needed some oil to cook their roast and because we’d had our little intro in the driveway they felt ok with coming over to borrow some. I was more than happy to oblige. Who doesn’t like to feel they have helped someone out? Especially when it is SO EASY! Besides I only gave them the cheap vegetable oil, not the expensive olive oil. Is that bad?

So for the first visit a grown up came over, presumably to make sure I wasn’t going to be grumpy,  but after that the kids ran all the errands and I just loved it. It was so cute! They dropped the oil back and chorused a nice big thank you. Then an hour later there was a knock at my door again.

Kids:  <giggling and in singsong voices> Could we please borrow the oil again?

Me: Sure, no problem. What are you making this time?

Kids: Popcorn! <big cheesy grins>

Me: Oh yummy! I have an air popper. Do you want to take that instead?

Girl Kid: Yes!  and at the same time Boy Kid: Oh um yes maybe, I don’t know. (clearly the rule follower)

Me: You can take both and see which one you want to use. 

Kids: <super enthusiastic> Yes please!   

What you get when you are nice to your neighbours

What you get when you are nice to your neighbours

And off they toddled, fighting over who got to carry what. I was waiting for the big crash to say my $15 air popper had smashed onto the ground but it didn’t happen. All good. 10 minutes later there was a tap tap tap at the door again.

Kids: <talking over one another> Here are your things and here is a bowl of popcorn with icing sugar and butter for you to say thanks. Yeah to say thanks. So thanks!

Me: Oh thank you! That’s so nice!  

And dammit if those kids didn’t make my night.

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4 thoughts on “I don’t normally talk to my neighbours…except the 93 year old one that gave me scotch.

  1. That story literally melted my heart. We don’t live on the beach. Nor do we share a driveway or doorstep with anyone. Our yard butts up to houses on two sides. We smile and wave. And that’s about it. We know precisely one family in the entire neighborhood. We are both quite introverted and likely would have never approached them but they are very outgoing and knocked on our door just to say Hi. Conveniently, they work for the city so we get a free pass when the grass gets too high or the trash can gets left out at the street. Score 🙂

    • Awesome! Isn’t it amazing the good things life will give us just for being friendly. I’m so glad you enjoyed my story. The kids were just so cute. As I reversed out of my driveway this morning they waved at me and I thought to myself how I am actually going to miss them. Now I know what people mean when they say how nice it is to have a family next door. It brings fun and life to what is just a regular old day. Hope you are having a great weekend! 🙂

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