Although what follows happened some days ago, I have spent the intervening time with my head between my knees trying to recover from total and utter mortification. I lay the blame for this squarely on your shoulders and on those of a large ginger Tom cat.
I realise that you are very important, very focused and a high-powered businessman of some description. There are many ways that you have managed to make that plain to us in the two and a half years since you moved in next door. You drive a much smarter car than us. You have photogenic friends who all seem to be called Josh and Katie and have babies called Octavia and Hero. Not that we don't have photogenic friends, it’s just that ours are a bit older and a bit more knackered than yours. And have sensible names. Give it 10-15 years and you’ll understand – oh, yes you’ll understand.
In addition to the above, you have a regular cleaner, your food delivered by Ocado and (this bit just has to go in italics) you have a Personal Trainer. Oh yes! Many’s the Saturday morning in the summer time that the Shah and I have thrown open the back door only to hear you huffing and puffing in your garden with the bossy voice of Ollie or whatever his name is, floating over the fence.
“Hup, hup! Give me 10 more!” he cries. I cry too. Tears of mirth that is, as the Shah makes a series of interesting digital gestures at you and then carries out his own training session for my entertainment. It’s indescribable in words really – maybe one day the Shah will relinquish his anonymity and allow me to video him....now that’s something to look forward to. You may think this is all a bit unfair but we kind of lost patience with you when you went on holiday the winter after you moved in, having neglected to lag the pipes in your loft. As you now know, the water from the four burst pipes caused enough damage to force you to move out of your house for 6 months (living in some luxury in a riverside gaff not far away – not that I’m bitter or resentful or anything) while we had to put up not only with water damage to our property, but to your sodding builders crashing and banging around, cadging cups of tea non-stop, blocking our parking space and generally being a pain in the arse.
Were you remorseful? Well, a bit maybe. I seem to remember that you dropped us a text to say sorry. So that was nice. A bottle of wine and a large bouquet would have been even nicer considering what we had to endure but see remarks in previous paragraph re bitterness and resentment. So it really wasn’t the last straw when I overheard your charming wife explaining to Josh or Katie or whoever a couple of weeks ago that the 100% beautifully renovated, oak-floored house is “just not big enough” for the two of you plus a toddler.
One of the other ways we have come to know of your significance is the way you often depart early for your very important job (I don’t know what you do but I’m damn sure it’s vital to the world economy). You jump into a waiting taxi before 6am– no skanky public transport for you! Oh no!
Three days ago, however, your departure was even earlier – 4.22a.m. FFS! And your taxi was a little late. So, being the Very Important Person that you are, you found it necessary not only to yap loudly on your mobile whilst waiting out front but also to slam the lid of your dustbin which made a crashing noise which woke me up. I leapt out of bed in fright and flung open the curtains, only to see your Holiness in your front garden, beautifully illuminated by the security lights that you had managed to set off on three houses.
Cursing you under my breath, I tottered off to the loo, snapping the light on. The loo (as you now know) has a door which faces a front window and the pitch of our garden path is such that one can see some of the upstairs of our house if one is standing idly outside, waiting for one’s driver. As one does. In my rage, I clearly didn’t close the door properly – my fault I know. So maybe I shouldn’t blame you entirely for what happened next.
As I perched upon the throne, a supplicating furry paw appeared round the door, shortly followed by a pink nose and the aforementioned large ginger Tom. I leaned forward and flapped my arm frantically at the opening door but couldn’t reach it. Unable to move from my perch (Damn you to hell, Pelvic Floor) my gesticulations and feeble cries of “bugger off, Paddy” caught your attention as you strutted about and, for one, horrible second, our eyes met in the 1000 watt glare of an outside light before you turned away with a tiny shudder of revulsion. (Okay – I made that bit about the shudder up, but I wouldn’t blame you.)
A ‘For Sale’ sign has gone up since then. All I can say is that I hope (for both our sakes) that it bears fruit soon.
Best wishes (Not)
The Curry Queen
ps: looking down from our bedroom window, your incipient bald patch is clearly visible. Just thought you’d like to know. xx