For Sale

The For Sale board photos
showed glamorous rooms up to the
minute, like the house’s exterior.

The elderly woman turned as
I approached, we often meet
walking to and from the shops,
the supermarket, her council
flat across the road from my flat.

“This is too posh for our street !”
jabbing hr finger at the board.
“This house is a posh house.
Our street is a nice street
but not a posh street !”

That house has been For Sale
for weeks, now with a second
company, in a market with fewer
houses For Sale in our town.

She’s right. Our street is good
to live in, but it is ordinary.

For Sale

The Boy Next Door

Six years ago I moved into my
little flat at the end of the
driveway ending its eight week
solitary vacancy.  Some in the
neighbourhood had exploited
this lengthy vacant solitude.

Stepping out my back door one
sunny afternoon loud shrieks
metallic crashes resounded down
the pathway under our clotheslines.
I had sent away children crashing
their scooters over the clanging
manhole cover. Their Gran had
allowed it. I didn’t after being
nearly flattened. I scolded
loudly for her benefit.

Now the boy next door with his
friend came crashing down our path.
Bad timing on the part of all,
I was bringing in my washing.
The boy next door was just my
height but he was only twelve.

Six years later we neighbours
met last week on the kerb around
an injured cyclist. The boy next
door is now eighteen, over six
feet tall, and very solid build.

Fortunately he rides a bike
not a scooter these days.

The Boy Next Door


As cars drove by on our busy
road in the late afternoon
a cyclist fell off her bicycle.

As a driver turned into our street
she saw the cyclist on the road,
body jerking under her bicycle.

As our neighbours pulled up to
their house the driver phoned
the ambulance, asked them for rugs.

As I reached my letterbox
my neighbours called for rugs
which I fetched from my flat.

As I placed my rug over the
cyclist on the road the traffice
increased …. I stood near her
feet to direct cars around her.

As the ambulance officers checked
the cyclist, still unable to speak,
the others checked her wallet
for her name and address.

As they checked her wallet
the cyclists’s neighbour from
the far end of the street walked
past from the supermarket, told
her address to the officers.

So much serendipity
dissolved a disaster.


Moving In

Truck, utes, cars, people all
flowing to and fro along our
driveway shifting boxes, bags,
into the middle flat, lifting
furniture from trailer to carport
driving trailer back to street.

So much activity all day
people calling to each other
yelling loudly when something
is dropped. Grunting heavily
when a sofa is hefted along
by eight people all staggering
past my front windows.

Come evening  all is peaceful
we have new neighbours.

Moving In

Swinging Seventies

She left her parents’ home
for a room in a huge old
house shared with other
young people her own age.

A house visited by many young
people, cheerful, lively, outgoing
always making things happen.

A young man strongly drawn
to her visited often,taking her
out, at last taking her quietly
to her room one night, and
again on New Year’s Eve.

Pregnant at twenty one.
Upset, confused, no pregnant
friends to help her. He was a
nice boy but she did not want
to marry him, or anyone else
at all for a while yet.

Her parents were shocked, angry.
Her sister and brother, friends
rallied around, organised a
small reception to follow
abruptly planned nuptials.

Suddenly there she was at
twenty one with a young man
in a one bedroom flat with an
unintended baby on the way.

Swinging Seventies

Swinging Sixties

She left her parents’ home.

Left for a room in a large old
house shared with four other
young women of her own age

stunning her parents whose
generation lived with their
parents until they married.

A new social tide in the
swinging sixties and seventies
saw many young people leave
their long time family homes.

Her parents had required further
education, then a good job.
Also board paid from jobs –
part time, holidays, full time,
all paid, complied with.

Recognising her financial
independence, the eldest left.
battered by the father’s jealous
rants, over the 1960’s free
ranging society, followed
later by sister and brother

leaving their parents staring,
still ignoring the social tsunamis
washing over them, wondering
why their children left them.

Swinging Sixties

Plans Awry

Drifting off to sleep
I comfortably knew my
plans to catch up washing
clothes, cooking meals next
day would be hectic, still
would afterward leave
several days clear for
urgently important business.

In a pleasant haze of finally
decided plans I slept soundly
…………… and woke very late
next morning !    Aaaarrgh !

The electric kettle quite dead
would not switch on so large
quantities were boiled in a
saucepan taking time, have
to buy a kettle next day.
And so a nonstop busy day
moving very fast, clearing all
tasks before the days ahead.

Plans Awry