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Friday, June 11, 2004

I always knew it was a good idea to spend lengthy periods of time spying on my neighbours from my living room window while I'm sitting at the computer. True, it's led in the past to the deeply disturbing sight of a man in pyjamas putting out a wheelie bin at ten o'clock in the morning, but my healthy interest in the private lives of my fellow Tudor Closers has finally paid off.

I was carefully observing two of my neighbours this afternoon who were standing out the front, deep in conversation. Naturally I was cursing my lack of foresight in failing to install hidden microphones in the newly planted hedge, and wondering how much it would cost to take an evening class in lip-reading, but it appeared that one of them was in possession of a bunch of keys, which he was proudly showing to the other. We don't have much to say to eachother in Tudor Close, so this was enough on which to base a good five minute chat, whereupon the keys were pocketed, and both got into their cars and drove off.

Two hours later, by which time I was the only resident still... um... resident, on account of the fact that I have no life and nowhere to go in the daytime, I received a knock on the door. I opened it to a distressed woman (one of my fantasies, obviously), asking if by any chance I'd seen a set of keys.

I could practically feel the large 'S' appearing on my chest, and I was tempted to change into a pair of blue tights there and then (again, one of my fantasies), so with great pride I was able to tell her that I had indeed seen a set of keys... from my living room window, sitting in the hand of the bloke from number three. I was tempted to plant the thought in her mind that he may well be a type of Fagin character who had distracted her with his ride-on lawnmower, and pick-pocketed the keys when she wasn't looking, before driving off into town to see what he could get for them at Cash Converters. But in the end I just pointed her in the direction of his flat, and told her to put a note through the door. It's community spirit like that which entitles me to eavesdrop on so many private conversations. I'll probably be up for some kind of Community Action Trust reward for this.