A quick recap on the neighbour situation. We've lived next door to Pam and Bob since we moved here almost nine years ago. Bob was always pleasant and friendly; Pam was barely civil at best, sometimes quite hostile. Then in April Bob was diagnosed with cancer; in May, he died; and his funeral was held in June.
My Paramour and I have done what we could to support Pam. She hasn't had an easy time. Her father collapsed ten minutes before her husband's funeral, and had to go to hospital in an ambulance with one of her brothers while the other escorted her to the funeral. A couple of weeks later, her dog died very suddenly. We encouraged her to get a puppy, which she did. She put her house on the market at the end of July, and we thought about buying it ourselves, but it would have been too much of a financial stretch.
Pam is a difficult person, and I wasn't sorry at the prospect of her moving away. However, I didn't think her decision was entirely wise. She told me she didn't want to stay here because her only friends are 'pub friends', she knows she shouldn't spend much time in the pub, and they're not helping. They don't want to hear about Bob, and keep telling her she should move on. In my view, nobody should ever say that to a grieving person. Pam wants to move to live near her family, and maybe that is a good idea, but she's lived with Bob in the house next door to us for the last 20 years, and it seemed to me that part of her motivation was to escape her grief. Which, of course, she won't be able to do.
My Paramour and I met one of our new neighbours a few weeks ago. We were on our way back from town and saw a couple of people on the pavement outside Pam's house, pointing at things and chatting, so we went and introduced ourselves. Mark, our new neighbour, was with a friend, looking at some of the work that will need doing. He told us that he and his wife had wanted to buy our house when it was last on the market, but couldn't afford it at the time. We both took to him: he's a few years younger than us, friendly, with a good sense of humour. It's been 15 years since I last had a neighbour I really liked, and it would be lovely to live next door to people we get on with.
Today is their moving day. Last night I went to the supermarket and bought two bottles of fizz and two cards. (I'm afraid I bought a slightly nicer bottle for the new neighbours.) This morning I took Pam's bottle and card next door, first thing, and left it on her wheelie bin. About half an hour later I got a text message.
How kind. Thank u. Have just found your card. I will miss your kindness and understanding. Bob really liked u both as I do. I feel totally bereft 2day when I should b happy 2 make a fresh start. Once again thank u. x
My Paramour thinks that maybe the move will be helpful for Pam. I hope he's right - but I'm not convinced.