Meeting the Neighbours

I had planned on spending the day preparing for work this week. I’ve got proposals to get together for the Tuesday conference call, and ideas to present to Loraine for tomorrow. I need to have suggested marketing plans for two books, ideas for finding new writers, an update on the slush pile, and several things I can’t even remember. Unfortunately this was thwarted by a stupid lock.

You know those stupid locks that flip and lock the door behind you? Yeah, well, I fell victim to one of those today.

I went downstairs to take out the rubbish, and as soon as that door slammed behind me I realised that my keys were left in the flat. Along with my phone and my coat.

The upside of things is that I met my neighbour. After two knocks and a doorbell ring, a woman in her mid-20s answered the door. It was about one in the afternoon, and it was obvious that I woke her up. Not only did she look at me through slitty sleepy eyes, she answered the door wearing nothing but a t-shirt, a pair of lacy pants, and no shame. (Maybe she looked through the peep hole and saw it was a girl knocking on the door, but I still would have put on some trousers.)

I told her my predicament, and she let me into her flat. First I looked up the estate agency and called them, but they don’t seem to have an out-of hours service. In fact, when I moved in, they gave me a list of contractors they use – including a locksmith. But that did a fat lot of good sitting inside my flat. So, the next thing was to find a locksmith. I remembered the name of the company that came to sort out the locks at work, so we Googled them, gave them a call, and voila… £80 and a mere two and half hours later, I was back in my house.

Once again, back to the upside of things. My neighbour hostess was lovely. She made us strong coffee, and we ate cold veggie pizza. (Although, she never put on any trousers.)

She’s a PhD art student. She said she was at DJO or CADJ or something like that. I have no idea what she’s on about, but there must be some sort of art college/postgraduate art school in Dundee. She’s terribly posh, and one of those people that uses adjectives in ways that don’t match the noun.

‘The dialect she’s using in her new book smells devine.’ (Speaking of some new Welsh author she’s reading, but I’ve never heard of.)
‘I don’t eat meat. It’s not that I have issue with the transposition of energy into other life forms, its texture of flesh which I don’t find radiant enough.’

Those are actual quotes.

Oh, and she doesn’t have furniture in her flat either, so I assumed that – like me — she couldn’t afford it. So I said something to that effect, to which she responded with, ‘Oh no, I don’t believe in forcing my body in boxes. I prefer to express myself through free-form relaxation.’

Yeah, I have no idea what she was on about.

But she’s pretty nice, and I soon discovered that we have something in common. We’re both from Surrey, and we kind of bonded over the fact that everyone in Scotland assumes we’re from London, even though we’re not. But, I guess the difference between PoshPhD and me, is that she actually did her undergraduate in London, whereas I stayed in my hometown. Oh, and we had a Gap Summer bonding moment, although she did the whole volunteering with an orphanage in Africa sort of thing, and I just wandered about. But still, even though we don’t have much in common, she’s so graceful she made me feel like we had loads in common.

The locksmith finally came and essentially kicked my door in. Yeah, he put this wedge tool between the lock and the doorframe, and just kicked in my door. I could have bloody done that, and saved myself £80.

Anyway, totally like PoshPhD, and I might see if she wants to hangout sometime. But for now, I’ve got loads of work to get on with for tomorrow.


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