Last night I caught a lift back in a cab from a neighbouring station with a woman who lives in my road. How much she loved living in our suburb! How friendly everyone down our road was! Did I know Tulip? A larger than life character who lives next door to her. 

I don’t know Tulip. I know my neighbour one side to nod to. Our first introduction wasn’t auspicious. I’d been crying my eyes out at a film when she came to knock and whilst I laughed, she clearly found it hugely embarrassing which embarrassed me too. She talked about never wanting to go back to work following the birth of her child …. I think we wrote each other off straight away… She has just sold her house and is moving soon.

No, I don’t know anyone aside from the lovely girl I’ve always known who lives opposite. She’s been so willing to scandalise about the other divorcees in the road and there is so much conflict between them, that that  together with the debacle with the neighbour, led me to write the whole road, nay the whole village off! I’ve moaned to anyone who will listen about the white, professional, middle class monoculture to which I’ve moved for the sake of the schools. 

At the Christmas fair I almost cried. They shut the high street to allow for 2.4 children families attired from head to toe in Joules, to entertain children called Sebastian and Marcus with hot dogs costing £7.50. I felt like a fish out of water. I pitied my divorced, single parent  self . It shouldn’t be this way. But remember I was hankering after another life with him at that stage.

I have new neighbours the other side. This morning I met the woman. Open, interesting and again marvelling at the friendliness of the village we live in. We immediately offered each other services of cat feeding and babysitting. 

I’ve normally a talent for creating community. In the last few places I’ve lived,  I’ve brought people together not stood on the outside sniping. 

I was up at 6. By 9 I’d written a business case for a work project, filled 5 bags for charity, uncovered a pile of clothes my daughter hid when she didn’t want to hang them… Found the kindle, washed the outdoor furniture, tidied the loft. 

It’s a beautiful day. My old friend whose advice is hard to listen is often right nonetheless. He said I should be happy it’s over between “he” and I because it signalled the end of a whole lot of misery. No waiting for texts or calls, no waiting at his mercy for resolution. 

Resolution has come and it seems it is merciful after all. 


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