Gatepost Gossip/local intelligence exchange!

Terraced housesLast night the doorbell went and my neighbour, who is getting married today, asked if I had a plant sprayer to keep her wedding bouquet fresh. I couldn’t help so asked how it was all going ‘James (the man she’s marrying) has gone so its just me and the (seven) bridesmaids. It’s all a bit emotional’. We, or rather the Spinster, has lived through the preparations which seem to have been going on for months; it has  been months of meticulous planning as we all know (or are told by people, mainly women, who’ve already been through this), that the devil is in those all important details to complete the romantic experience. No wonder people are happy to engage the services of a wedding planner.

The Spinster has just come back in doors having taken photographs of the bride and bridesmaids; they all looked lovely with the adult women in hot pink shiny figure hugging strapless numbers and the children in 50’s style cream having had their hair styled into ringlets.  Making conversation with the morning be-suited older gentleman driving the soft top Chrysler the Spinster was able to garner a few more details to convey to the neighbour the other side – this neighbour was most annoyed that her lunch plans would mean she couldn’t witness the whole event and was insistent that I took photos!

The married couple are the epitome of opposites attract; he is a music teacher whose father is a QC and she a stay at home mum of four (one day she said to me ‘in case you were wondering there are four fathers’.  To be fair whilst it certainly is interesting living next door they don’t cause the Spinster any bother – you never quite know how many people are there as managing the difficult custody arrangements takes some juggling; after 6 months the Spinster has just about got her head around it so heaven only knows how the mother manages it. When I said this one day she just said she’s used to it and she’s not yet 30! Apparently her mother said to her one day ‘look on the bright side they’ll all be off your hands by the time your forty’  of course the latest one rather puts the kibosh on that one! (One too many drinks on holiday she said to me wistfully one day..)

ratThe conversation on the street of late has focused on rats; we have rats in the garden again and yesterday one ran over the Spinster’s bare foot in the kitchen! Given the weather the back door has been open most of the time so the Spinster is telling herself that the not so little beast came in from outside; I do not have rats living in the house! The council Rat Man only came 5 days ago and said there were no obvious hiding places in my garden so nothing was done. Apparently the two sightings were probably rats passing through; sometimes you’re just unlucky the Rat Man said! The Spinster doesn’t want to be lucky; after all I’m a vulnerable adult to use Social Service lingo! So first thing tomorrow morning this vulnerable adult is going to be onto Pest Control asking for immediate assistance! Wiles disease (the one you get from rat pee) could see the Spinster waving goodbye to this mortal coil and frankly I’m not ready quite yet.

One evening the Spinster was in conversation with my other neighbour about who was going to phone the council and how we’d split the cost if traps were needed. The Council charge for pest control these days unlike four years ago when we had the same problem; the Spinster has been archiving the Victorious Endeavours missives sent by email before introducing this wordpress blog and  came across a reference to rats in 2010. At the time we were all given a strong talking to about the folly of feeding the birds in our gardens as the rats were attracted by the dropped seed. Reluctantly we collectively stopped feeding the birds in the garden; I say reluctant but in all honesty it was one last thing to stop feeling guilty about forgetting to do! Other neighbours started putting bird feeders in the park that the houses back onto; regularly the Spinster smiles as I watch people carrying sets of ladders into the alley to reach over the wall into the park! When saying this to the Rat Man he said ‘they want to be careful, I won’t say anything, but that’s public property!’ Oh for heavens sake I wanted to say but didn’t as he’s a nice guy and yes I thought I might need his help again; little did I realise it would be quite so soon!

During our doorstep conversation about the rats, and other shenanigans on the Street, the other neighbour (the one getting married today) came out holding her 7 month old baby. She proceeded to tell us how she’d cleaned up her garden so the rats had nothing to attract them; and then she uttered the following ‘but the nappies are still there!’ Our black bags are collected once a fortnight and the idea that the rats were feeding of dirty nappies frankly turned the Spinster and her other neighbour’s stomach! We just looked at each other in horror (quite comical when I reflect on it now). Thankfully the Council have now delivered a nappy bin which is reassuringly rat proof!

Any way must sign off now as the Spinster is off for a facial; as they say ‘every little helps’ and a nicotine addicted woman of my age frankly needs all the help she can get! Plus me eyelashes are being tinted too for the first time; the Spinster has drawn the line before getting to eyebrow tattooing as that sounds like a step too far especially when using tweezers with this built in shake draws enough blood to occasionally give the impression of an incompetent tattoo artiste at work!

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Filed under Musings of a Contemporary Spinster

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