An off-white BMW is parked at the edge of the village and a 50-ish bloke with with a mullet and a lived out face is walking around with C, whose pantsuit matches the BMW. Great village outfit, not.
C isn’t a villager, she lives in the city and she inherited a house and some sheds from an uncle. I’ve written about her before on my blog, and not in a kind way. None of the villagers like her and Villager J and I always mimic her mannerisms after she’s gone.
I’m guessing this man is a potential buyer of the house she owns, opposite mine. There have been others to look at the property before and it has been for sale for ages, so I’m trying not to get too worried.
“You’re going to get a new neighbour!” villager J says when I see him the next day. I’m not sure if he’s joking, because winding me up is one of his favorite pastime pursuits. “Yeah right.” I say. “No, I’m serious, C has sold the shed next to Tonta’s house, guy who bought it says he’s going to convert it .”
“But I thought C let Tonta use it for her firewood?”
“Yes but it isn’t hers, C can sell it if she wants to, you don’t think its nice, having new blood in the village?”
I’m thinking of how to answer him for only a second or two and my resolute no follows.
“Why not? It would be nice having new blood in the village, besides, we accepted you here .” We’ve had this conversation before. “I arrived here with husband and a young child and I was more or less vetted.” I point out.
“And you have proven yourself to be a worthwhile addition to the village.” J says. “Just as well that you’ve always behaved well. Don’t think for one minute we’d not all had turned our backs on you if you hadn’t.”
I laugh, but I know he’s serious. And he repeats the story about the woman in the other village nearby who had moved there from Barcelona, she didn’t behave well.
A few weeks have passed and I think that Villager J simply exaggerated , so the calm returns.
Why am I so opposed to change and new neighbours? First and foremost, the large grass courtyard at the back is communal, if someone would buy C’s house we’d suddenly have to share it. However, if this guy has bought the shed, then luckily he wouldn’t be living directly near me. He’d be Tonta’s neighbour effectively. But I also like the fact that I am the only foreigner here. Even if he’s from Spain, he’d be considered a foreigner too, and I’ve come to like my Only Foreigner In The Village status.
Not sure if he’d be too happy though, when he finds out about Tonta’s triple role in the village: the village idiot, village drunk, and serial cat keeper. She’s harmless but a bit of a nuisance, turning up slurring in front of our house on occasion, followed by her mob of cats wanting to fight with mine.
A few days later I spot the off white BMW again and my heart sinks. This man is serious.
I walk up to J’s house to see what’s going on. He’s sitting on the wooden bench outside his house with a few other villagers who have gathered. “Yes, they’re actually doing the deal now. ” Villager J says. He’s points in the direction of Tonta’s house, and there they are, C and her husband with their stuck in Swiss 80s dress and Mullet man, as well as Tonta.
“I wonder what Tonta makes of it all.” I say.
“They’re obviously going to introduce her to him, I think. ”
Tonta doesn’t look happy, we can tell that from where we’re sitting.
Villager J told me later in the evening that Tonta didn’t want a new neighbour. She said he could be god knows what and bring god knows what into the village, so she’d put a higher offer in than the man was willing to pay, way too much, but she’d had a lottery windfall a while back so she could afford it.
“Crazy drunk, why would she waste money to do that? Man was completely gutted, he thought it was all a done deal.”
The off-white Mercedes never returned, but the odd feeling that my status had been saved by the village idiot remained.