There is a voice. I turn from the post box to locate its source.
A man is ambling over from a small jeep. The engine still runs. He is clearly the source of the “excuse me.” I allow my letter to fall from my hands into the post box’s cluttered womb, easing my wrist from its slot and giving him my full attention.
Grey-haired, he is wearing immaculate cream slacks. Retirement bling.
“I don’t suppose you know where these agents are based?” He gesticulates towards the ‘For Sale’ sign on the bungalow over the road.
A number of houses around mine are for sale – I do not know whether to take this personally or not. This particular one right opposite has been on the market since about Wednesday March 14th, and I am excited that I might be meeting a potential new neighbour. New people!!! I study him closely so I can report back to everybody.
I give him the information he requires. He asks me what living in the Village is like, and I offer him long examples of how we all know what each other is doing and just pop in to each others’ houses to say hello at any time of day or night, sometimes when we have been drinking. It is a neighbourly community like that. He looks a bit less friendly after this, and looks over his shoulder several times as he retreats to his car before driving off at some speed, doubtless to catch the estate agents before lunch.
He seemed like a pleasant chap, and I am determined to stick to my parting words to him, which were offering him a hand with moving in.
I make sure to take the number of his car. He is not from round here, after all, and he could have been looking at houses for sale with a view to committing some crime.
There is no more excitement. I return back over the road to the cottage, to tell all to the LTLP.