I've met the wife. She wears the hijab but she's not at all retiring. Her name is Sameena. She'll make a good neighbour I think.
These are terrace houses. We share a hedge which I've gotten into the habit of cutting on both sides. I used to do it as a favour to the old lady who was there before- and Sameena seems happy for me to carry on.
Sameena's decorators dilly-dallied and shilly-shallied. The date for completion came and went. The revised date came and went. They were nice blokes. The older man used to sit out on the front step smoking. He and I had some jolly conversations. Once, when our taxi failed to turn up for an important medical appointment he offered for his colleague to drive us there in the van.
Then they found dry rot.
The decorators disappeared. Maybe they were sacked. Things went quiet for a while.
And then the workmen moved in.
Last night there was a guy banging and thumping and whizz-whizz-whizzing until nearly 2.00.am.