Winter though it may be, I elected to tidy up the garden… and then mess it up by devising a brick-and-stick sculpture thing. Then, contented, there came a voice - a very rare communication from across the fence:
Jo: I say, Shane!
Shane: (turns) Hello.
Jo: We’ve accepted an offer.
Shane: Oh, wow. (rises from grass level, approaches fence) Will you be rich?
Jo: No – but it looks like we’ll be moving very soon.
Jo: Mm – lovely couple – he seems like a real character. They’re probably just a bit older than you and Emma – no chain, and they’ve got the money! I tell y’, it’s a weight off.
Shane: Yeah. And it is absolutely definitely happening?
Jo: Oh yes, I’m – we’re - very confident.
Shane: Well… blimey! Very pleased for y’.
Jo: Yeah. (sighs)
Shane: Yeah. (doesn’t quite know what to say)
Jo: (seeming a bit fidgety) I feel like celebrating!
Shane: Right, yeah. It’s a big deal.
Shane: Is Keith in?
Jo: No – he’s working ‘til late tonight.
Shane: Ah. Well, Emma’s just cooked a huge curry and we’ve got loads of bottles of wine that we’re never likely to get round to drinking – if you’d care to come round?
Jo: I would! Can I leave my slippers on?
Shane: Absolutely – let’s live a little!
Jo: I’m on my way.
Shane hurries into the house.
Shane: Jo and Keith next door have sold their house – again - Jo just told me and she said that she felt like celebrating, so I said she could come round and eat curry and drink wine with us.
Emma: Okay-. When?
Shane: Right now.
Emma: But the house is a total mess and… Jo hasn’t been in this house in… she’s hardly spoken a word to us since Keith came round to complain about Jim shitting all over his garden.
Shane: But they’re moving and we have to be friendly and not mention that it feels a bit weird.
Emma: It may be a time to drink wine.
Shane: Yeah, but not too much. She said that the chap of the couple who are buying their place is ‘a real character’ and I need to know what she means.
Emma: ‘A real character’?
Emma: Should be interesting.
There came a knock…