Sunday, 18 December 2016

Not Much Of A View

the view from my kitchen window


Our home in this rural Wiltshire market town is a very small but useful bolthole for when we are in England - a coach house on a new housing estate with the living accommodation built above four garages, very secure for when we want to lock up and leave it for several months.  This home is so very different to our house in France but what it lacks in character and space is compensated by its warmth and convenience for the brief periods we spend here.

We have no glorious views of the countryside.  My kitchen window looks out onto a courtyard and a block of apartments.  Rather like Hitchcock’s Rear Window I can watch my neighbours while I’m washing dishes at the sink.  I don’t know many of them to speak to but I am very familiar with their daily routine.  I know what time they go to work and what time they get home.  I know who does the cooking because they are busy in their kitchens at the same time as me.

Most of the residents are young couples except for Mr & Mrs Irish. They are an elderly couple who retired here from Ireland to be closer to their daughter who lives nearby.  Mr Irish is always very chatty and keeps us up to date with the local gossip.  He has informed us today that the new family who moved in next door to us are 150% better than the last family and that a new lady has moved into the middle flat.  Also the girl in the top flat has been off work for several weeks after an operation on her jaw and Mr Frost has got a new car.  (He was outside washing it this morning.)

I’m convinced there are vampires occupying the ground floor flat.  They have their blinds pulled all the time and always have hoods pulled up over their heads when they venture outside.  I mistakenly thought that the corner flat was occupied by hit men as they were always carrying guns in and out.  Transpired that the ‘guns’ were in fact fishing rods.

We will enjoy being here for a while but after a couple of months Paul will be pacing up and down like a caged animal desperate to get back to his garden in France.  In the meantime I shall enjoy being a 'curtain twitcher' and watching the comings and goings of my neighbours.


11 comments:

  1. It is the perfect bolt hole for your lifestyle. The ones you think are vampires in the ground floor flat are in fact vegans.

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  2. I did wonder about your Wiltshire home and how you could leave it for such long periods of time - now I know :)

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    1. It's very comfortable here during the cold weather and gives us the chance to catch up with friends and family in the UK.

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  3. Nice one Rachel !
    It seems an ideal place, for a short stay. We gave up having two houses, both with fair sized gardens, because wherever we were, we kept wondering what was happening to the other one ! Nothing bad ever happened, but as we got older we started to worry, and decided that it wasn't worth the angst. Having two big dogs, it wasn't practical to live in an apartment, even for a short time. Ooops, sorry Sue - I've said the D word again !

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    1. It suits us at the moment because, as you say, impossible to manage two gardens. Easy to maintain too but I do miss my log burner. It would probably be OK for a Buddy size dog though...

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  4. It looks very quiet and pleasant. I see there is a closed-in garden as well.
    Greetings Maria x

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    1. It is extraordinarily quiet here and very close to open countryside.

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  5. We have a couple of homes in England. The one we will possibly use again is a 1960's faux-regency house in a very quiet, very central, Brighton street. The houses were built in rows of four, and there are four separate rows. We used to know almost everyone there, but now I'm not so sure. There was a Mrs Old, a Mrs not-so-Old, a 'Nobby' Stiles, an Etheopean Prince, Ursula the nurse who was called Nursula, and a good representation of Brighton's gay/lesbian community. A fun home.

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    1. Do you think you might move back there in the future? Brighton is a great place. My grandfather used to take us there when we were young, memories of ice creams, speedboat rides, pebbly beaches and blue railings.

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    2. Only if I can no longer swing an axe or dig.

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