Today I went to my Italian class outdoors in a sunny spot and then very much enjoyed the walk through my neighbourhood back home. I contemplated the newer-built home that are larger than, but probably not better built than our own. We have a nicer view, too. We like our neighbours. We probably would like the other neighbours, a few streets over. 

It’s not a bad neighbourhood, really. I wouldn’t want to work in one of the nearby shops, mind you, and toolboxes occasionally go missing from the backs of vans. There was, of course, that stabbing and also that xenophobic attack on that Eastern European. A woman, clearly off her meds, stopped us on our way to the railway station the other day to complain that she couldn’t get her meds. But it’s not a bad neighbourhood, really. It’s cautiously friendly. It doesn’t put on airs. It abounds in small dogs and large children.  

Nevertheless, it’s the kind of neighbourhood where, when I was about to hang up my regular uniform out on the clothesline, I knew my long, barely frilly black dress would startle the neighbours, and I had better put on leggings and a long white T-shirt instead. 

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