As I arrived home last night I encountered my whacko neighbour. I feel slightly bad describing Gottfried like that because I think he likes me.
I saw him walk in the front gate ahead of me and knew that we would meet at his front door. He was just putting the key in his door when I came around and the corner and said hello.
"Oh, it's you, Tanya. Hello Tanya! How are you Tanya?"
Did I mention that one of the things that freaks me out is that he drops my name every three or four words?
"Tanya, don't tell me you're getting caught up in this Christmas thing! Tanya!"
I was carrying what looked like several bags, but really one was my handbag, one contained my mail and the other was a huge bag from David Jones which contained a new hat I had bought for the beach.
"Oh I don't know. There's lots to organise!" I said, overly cheerful.
"Well Tanya, I can imagine that you're..."
"No one will know what hit them," I quickly inserted, afraid of what he might say next.
"No Tanya. Nothing will hit anyone. You'll have everything so organised Tanya!"
Oh god, was that a blush I saw rising on his cheeks?
"I don't know about that Gottfried."
I changed the subject.
"I know that you don't celebrate Christmas or New Year, but have a nice time over this period whatever you do." (I'd previously been ungraciously chastised for having the temerity to wish him happy Christmas and new year in previous years.)
"Oh I'll be doing exactly what I usually do Tanya."
"Well enjoy that."
"I will Tanya. Thank you Tanya."
"Ok then..." I maneuvered to get past him and up the stairs to my place.
"I heard you playing the piano the other day Tanya," he added. "It was very nice Tanya. I'd like to hear more Tanya!"
"Thank you Gottfried. I was revisiting some Janis Ian."
"Well whatever it was, it was very nice. You should play more often Tanya."
He looked pleased with himself.
Compared to some of the exchanges we've had in the past, this one was quite pleasant. Since we have locked gates on the front of the property, people don't wander in and park in his vacant car space either. Perhaps this has relieved some ever-pressing stress.
Do you know your neighbours?