“Did you see the excitement in the street the other day?” my next door neighbour asked me. “It was in The Daily Mail and it was on Channel 7 News”, she added. She was referring to the arrest of an older couple who live across the road for alleged heroin dealing.
I go into work on Wednesdays so I completely missed all the excitement.
“People have been going in and out of the house all the time”, she told me.
I had noticed someone enter the house the other day and thought briefly it looked a bit dodgy. Other friends who live in the street had told me of “a house” in the street where they had seen an odd collection of people entering at all times of the day. They also told me they had seen people shooting up in the back laneway. I’ve lived here for over 25 years, and so maybe I just don’t notice things like that anymore?
When I saw the online story I recognised the couple straight away. I’ve often seen them at the local pub. I was surprised to discover the woman was aged 62, as she looks a lot older than that. To my mind, they looked like a couple who had led hard lives. They seemed to be big drinkers, too, by my observations at the pub. All round, it’s a sad story.
Clearly, if a Neighbourhood Watch group formed near me, I wouldn’t be much help.
Over the almost-year of working from home, I have enjoyed sitting on the balcony during the daytime. It really is lovely to sit outdoors, enjoying the fresh air instead of indoors and in air-conditioning.
Though I haven’t quite become the kind of person my grandmother was, sitting on the balcony, watching the world go by, and taking a little too much interest in the comings and goings of the neighbours, it has been a really nice way of connecting with my neighbourhood in weekday daylight hours.
But of course there are distractions. There’s the regular sound of leaf-blowers. And this week there has been some construction work going on in my apartment block. “You’ll have to excuse me if I put myself on mute for most of the call”, I said to some colleagues the other day. How often do you hear that in these days of work from home?
How on earth did I get a job as a journalist if I too often miss the stories right underneath my nose?