Friday, 16 July 2010

The curse of the mummy (in-law)

I've had a busy day today. Isn't that always the case when you have a day off from work? I did the morning school run as usual. In fact this was easier as Mrs NB was up and out early so the mini me's were ready for school handy today. It was pouring down when we went to school to the point that I put my umbrella up. Swampy on a protest sees more daylight than my umbrella, yes even in this rain sodden land we call England.

It was the summer fair at school today so lessons finished at 2.00pm for pandemonium to break loose and every child and parent to be concertinaed into the playground area after the sun decided to put his sou'wester on and chase away the clouds. Miraculously I came away with some of my spending money in tact, primarily due to the great British tradition of queueing. This meant that we were only able to take part in a limited number of specially selected activities. How does the queue for the bottle tombola get to be the only man made structure visible from the moon? The mini me's got to tell Mrs NB that they bought this and won that and still have the temerity to ask for pocket money before bedtime.

In between all the school activities, I was also helping the in-laws to move house. Again. There is definitely a little but of wanderlust in their bones as this will be the 8th home they have had since I met Mrs NB back in 1995. In fact the house they were living in then lasted best part of three and a half years. When we got married in 1999 (anniversary tomorrow. I'm a good boy for remembering but I'm sure to hear the words "That's not a proper present" in the morning) is when they resumed their tour of the town (as I am led to understand that before I was on the scene they had lived in a few houses previously). I don't think there is an area of the town they haven't lived in yet.

My in-laws moving house comes with a health warning. Not for them, or even our little part of the family.No, the ones that should be concerned are those that they move adjacent to. Their track record with their next door neighbours is formidable.

In 1999, they moved to a house that was in three flats and converted it back to a single family house. The young couple next door were very friendly and he was a builder so gave lots of useful advice on the conversion. It wasn't long before the move to a new house that the lovely couple next door split up and have since divorced.

House number two in the sequence was in a lovely road that was a bit of a rat run at times but still quite a nice house (This was the house that featured in part one of the Diary of an Expectant Father trilogy that I need to conclude). The semi detached was adjacent to a home that housed a couple that were, to say the least, a little strange. They were not young but not old either. We never saw her, but couldn't avoid him. Apparently she was always sick so stayed in bed quite a lot. The neighbours the other side were another young couple with teenage children. Yet again, another young couple bit the dust and have divorced. In addition, the sick oldish lady on the other side was eventually released from her suffering.

Are you keeping count? 2 divorces and 1 death so far.

So the next house was back across town. Another nice house but on a fairly main road and a bit further from the prefferred location so was never going to be a keeper. The neighbours there were lovely. The lady worked with Mrs NB and her partner was the same age as me (mid thirties at the time). His job enabled him to procure some goods very conveniently and he gave us a lovely Pooh Bear duvet and bed set for our eldest. It was such a shock to hear he had had a huge heart attack and died one morning.

Back to our side of town for the fourth move and a house a stones throw from where Tiger Woods had stayed only a couple of years earlier. By now the pattern was set and the elderly resident in the next door house didn't stand much of a chance really.

The next house was round the corner from the mini me's school. There were young next door neighbours and there were older neighbours. The dark side in me wanted to open a sweep on how long before one of the elder couple passed on. I think it was the person who drew eight months that took the pot.

Less than twelve months ago they moved into a bungalow, not far from the local district hospital. They never really settled there. they felt like it was God's waiting room. there is a couple with young children renting one of the bungalow;s next to them, on the other side though was an older lady and these are bungalows that also have back to back attachements as well. In the period they have been there the bungalow to the right has gone up for sale due to it being empty because the lady din't make it and one of the neighbours from behind them has also passed on.

So in the last eleven years they have lived next to 2 sets of divorcing couples and 6 neighbours have died. They've not yet managed to live in a house where there hasn't been some sort of trauma next door.

So today, as we were moving them into there "final" house (heard that before) we met one set of neighbours. They seem very nice and have a growing family. My 20 year old brother-in-law did ask in a whisper "divorce or Death"?

Anyone want to open a book?

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