Quick run-down of recent events chez moi for those with attention spans shorter than Frank Gallagher’s:
- Vinos drunk: too many to recollect
- New dents to van caused by person(s) other than its driver: 1 large one
- People avoiding: many
- Hanging plants bought in effort to placate neighbours: 2
- General state of mind – fear, loathing or lust: fear
I watched 'The Duchess on the Estate' last night – a programme about Sarah Ferguson venturing on to the Manchester estate where Shameless used to be filmed (before local youths apparently disrupted the crews and it had to be relocated) and offering the ‘salt of the earth’ residents who are plagued by roaming youths, gangs, drugs and knife crime a solution to their issues. Aha! Let’s create a community centre and raise funds with a jolly family day, complete with street dancers, gazebos and balloons. The attempt to introduce a village fete-style event with a ‘make, do or mend’ / wartime attitude to those who would clearly rather be interested in bingo, hip hop or a £10 wrap of drugs made me cringe. It was all too Little Britain-esque and Fergie was, in my opinion, either brave or foolhardy to execute a foray into the proletariat, not all of whom were happy about her interventions. Furthermore, her nervousness over whether anyone would turn up at the initial meeting to discuss the community centre was palpable, while inane and snigger-worthy comments abounded (“I’ve never sold drugs but I know what it’s like to be given a second chance...”).
At least this programme took my mind off my own ‘Shameless in the Sierra’ scenario, in which pleasant and lively visitors from Down Under encouraged yours truly to engage in neighbour-scaring behaviour during the weekend. I won’t mention all the dubious ‘highlights’ but they involved late night music delivered via an iPod docking station, someone groaning queasily at top volume and practically speaking in tongues at an hour when you could otherwise hear a pin drop, and indecorous behaviour being witnessed terrace-to-terrace. Oh dear! I fear that my recent entry about Nefarious Neighbours Anonymous was a forecast of what to come – ask the universe and you will get it. Focus on something and it will come about. Argh! The words “sh*t” and “doorstep” spring strongly to mind here. Oh well – at least the fact that I feel extremely sheepish makes the impending England trip in my ‘furgoneta rojo’ (which now has a large dent on the only door that was previously ‘good’) – seem much more enticing.
I hope the hanging plants I left out for the two nearest neighbours are accepted in the spirit in which they were meant. And that I’m not yet considered by the community to be related to Mimi Maguire or Kelly-Marie - otherwise it really will be time to make haste out of the Sierra. “Scatter!”