Stories

UMBRELLA

Umbrella

Warning some mild nudity

If I climb to the very top of my house and look at an angle through the attic box room window I can see into my neighbour’s garden.  Well, I could when old Mrs Rogers lived there but not so well now that the new people have moved in.  They are a couple, well I think they are a couple but I don’t know if they are married.  Who can tell these days?   People just move in together and everyone just accepts it, not like when I was a young woman.  I know that they both go to work because I have watched them going off in the mornings. He doesn’t wear a business suit. He wears one of those polo shirts with a logo on it.  I don’t think he is a builder though because he is quite clean when he comes home. Maybe he works in a shop or is a waiter or a barista (whatever they are?)  She usually wears smartish clothes, sometimes a skirt but more often trousers.  She has one of those name tag things around her neck with the council logo on. Perhaps she is a social worker or a librarian.  I suppose she must be quite respectable to work for the council but they take all sorts now.

Anyway, I can’t see into their garden so well since they have put up the new fence.  A dirty great six-foot thing, all I can see now is a bit right next to the house. I dug out Reg’s old binoculars but even with them, I can’t see much more.  What do they want to do in their garden that they have to keep so private?

Last weekend they were laying a patio.  Well, I think that is what they were doing because I can’t actually see that far but I watched him carrying in a whole lot of slabs and they have been out there all day working.  I know the weather is warm but does he realise how awful he looks with no shirt on.  He has a beer belly and tattoos.  It looks disgusting.  He was wearing shorts too with socks and boots.  What is that all about?  I saw that when he was taking things in from the car.  I can’t see his bottom half in the garden now because of that wretched fence. She was out there with him in a little strappy sun top that showed off her bingo wings.  I couldn’t see what else she was wearing but I expect it was those cycling shorts.  Does she realise what she looks like? She really doesn’t have the figure for things like that.

On Wednesday they had a delivery.  They haven’t asked me to take in parcels yet but I expect they will soon as they are both working but he seemed to be at home on Wednesday.  It was a very large box with the name EzySpa on the side.  I quickly looked it up on Google and it would seem to be an inflatable hot tub.  Well, that will really bring down the tone of the neighbourhood.  They are the sort of things that people on ITVB have – not that I ever watch it but I have seen the trailers.

 

It is warm again this weekend so I expect they will be out in the garden again, probably in their new hot tub doing whatever it is they do.  You can’t swim in them and apparently, they are full of germs like Legionnaires disease.  You wouldn’t catch me in one.  I can’t see it but I can hear them because now they have put up an enormous sun umbrella that completely blocks my view.  Whichever way I stand I can’t see into their garden at all.

They have got friends round because I have seen them arriving and they have parked their cars outside my house.  She was out in the front garden hugging them and doing those ridiculous air-kisses and wearing one of those full-length floaty dresses that people wear as cover-ups on the beach.  Not really suitable for a dinner party I think.

I took my little doggy out for a walk past their house this evening.  There is a tree just by their garden where he likes to do his business so I have to stand there for some time.  I can hear them in there bold as you like, laughing and talking.  I can’t quite hear the words because there is music playing. I can hear the clink of glass though and the sound of splashing water.  I expect the women are drinking Prosecco and the men are being very macho and drinking beer straight from the bottles, a disgusting and unhygienic habit. Why can’t they use glasses?  Maybe can’t be bothered with the washing up.

They are still at it and it is past 10 o clock at night.  They have fairy lights in the garden and I can see them shining from my attic window but I can’t see what is going on because of that blessed umbrella.  It is all very decadent.  I expect they are all frolicking around in the nude.  An alfresco orgy in a quiet residential street in Folkestone.  What is the world coming to?  I could call the police and have them arrested for indecent exposure except for the fact that I can’t actually see them.  Anyway, the police don’t bother with social disturbances now.  They would probably just dismiss me as a prudish old woman.  I won’t be able to go to bed until it has finished otherwise I might have disturbing dreams.  Reg and I never even entertained the idea of things like that.

By Jane Cottle

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