I took Kavitha to visit our previous neighbours today. They are all in their nineties and have been asking to see the baby.
Hilda lived across the road from us. Our road is a small one with six houses, three on either sides. The houses were built in the 1960s. They were designed in such a way that each of the houses on either side of the road were mirror images of each other. Hilda’s was the one opposite to us and she moved in soon after it was built, which means she was living here when Bobby Moore lived in the next street. Hilda’s husband died a long time ago, and she has been living there on her own since then. She had a good view of our house from her kitchen window and would tell me if there was anything strange happening when we were out. She would tell me if the gardeners, window cleaners, patios cleaners or roof repair people I employed did a good job and whether I should get them back again.
Hilda’s was a whirlwind romance and as soon as she met George, she knew that she had met her soulmate. It was goodbyes to her then boyfriend who didn’t even get a second glance after that. George bought her a car in the mid 80s and died soon after. She refused to sell the car and kept it for as long as she could, which I believe was till last year. She even had a guy who came specially to take it away and have it serviced yearly. She was driving regularly till a few years ago and has been caught speeding twice in the same spot, and so is lovingly referred to as the ‘speeding granny’.
Last year her daughter decided that she shouldn’t be living on her own anymore and bought a house near where Kavitha lives now and so Hilda had to go and live with her. It’s only about a mile from Kavitha’s house. We’ve been wanting to go and see her for a while, but never got around to doing it. So today finally we went to see her.
She is the loveliest person you will ever meet and I’ve never ever seen her get upset apart from once when she was recovering from surgery and had a bad day. Even then all she did was get a little tearful.
After seeing Hilda, we went to visit our elderly neighbours from our previous place. They are also muddling along in their old age wondering how long they can stay in their home and be able to look after themselves. Doreen and Norman haven’t got any children. Frailty and old age has caught up with them and they have to depend on others for help, which is something they’ve resisted for so long and is finding difficult to accept.
It was lovely seeing them all today. Little Lakshmi also enjoyed meeting them for the first time.