The new upstairs neighbours had moved in! I was able to confirm this to TPR and DM from the bedroom window as I watched a car arrive in the new parking space behind our garden.
Before long we noticed that the builders who had put down the gravel in the parking space had also rebuilt the garden wall several metres closer to our shared building. Some of our garden space had been stolen!
TPR, who was already dressed, stormed out of the house by the front door to demand an explanation from the neighbours. Meanwhile I pulled on some clothes and headed out at the back to check the wall.
It soon became clear to me that the wall’s position was, in fact, exactly the same as before. It was its construction that had changed. Now it was in sections in different styles: red brick, dry stone wall, graffiti-ed concrete. One was in the shape of a huge stone seat. The seat itself was mechanical, ready to swallow up anyone who dared to sit on it.
Now that I knew that our garden had not, in fact, been encroached upon, I headed upstairs to stop TPR shouting at the neighbours. I was too late. He had already said his piece and was now the most unpopular ‘guest’ at the flat-warming party. I made an attempt to smooth things over, but as soon as my association with TPR was known, I was made to feel most unwelcome.
Then it dawned on me that I recognised the new neighbours – from a reality television show on house sales. They had been profiled because they couldn’t shift their tiny London flat. I tried to engage the pair of them in conversation on this topic. They told me that they had been bitterly disappointed at their portrayal in the programme because the editing of content had presented them as a bitchy, bickering couple.
When it was time for us to return to our own flat, we all slid back to the basement down the chute that has been installed in our building for this very purpose.