I had a really strange dream yesterday. I was a successful writer, and was going to do an interview in some posh magazine, but the interviewer didn’t want to enter the house and kept trying to ask me questions through windows in the house. At some point, she was hanging off the sill outside the window of our upstairs ‘office’. It was my subconscious trying to tell me that it is time to clean the house, I suppose.

The neighbours are thawing up the gardening cold war which has been in a state of armistice since last year. Actually, the thawing has gone on for a month, but the big movements and grand stratagems of inter-neighbour showing-off have only started in earnest now. That’s why there are three different building projects, complete with scaffolding and plump middle-aged men with too skimpy clothing balanced on ladders on our street.

This has caused the DIY bug to twitch in Mark, and he has started to talk about fixing the shingles on the roof, or plastering the side of the garage. I could only look at him and realise that if we stay here much longer, Mark too will stand up on a ladder with track trousers half-way down his arse, to make sure that all the neighbours see him working on the house.

The chairman of the neighbourhood association have been here again, so that we should join his little coterie of feudal dictates. He tried last year, but we sent him away without committing, and have avoided him since. Now, with the garden war heating up again, it was apparently time for a new attempt and he and his wife passed by our front gate when we were out there.

When I came home today, I almost started sorting a pile of bricks which stand leaned against the garage. I’m afraid that the poison may be in me too. My instinct was to rearrange them so that they would look more orderly, instead of the haphazard way they’re piled now.

Luckily, I caught myself, and could run in and confess my growing bourgeoisie to Mark. Soon, I fear I will have to do something drastic. Like, maybe paint the front door green to break from the stifling conformity of the blue doors here on the street. Or maybe we should do something really drastic – like putting our clothes line out front. Our underwear swinging in the breeze would show them.

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