Hello there, nice to meet you. Allow me to introduce myself: I’m Cora, a white, middle-class female specimen. I live in a beach town in the South-West of England. No, I’m not English, I’m an original immigrant from the Netherlands.
Since about a year I live on my own. Not by choice though, my true love sadly passed away. Now, you might wonder, is the life that I live a lonely life? Yes – and no. Yes, because nobody watches me when I brush my teeth. No, because I have my social network. On a daily basis I see and talk to my English fellow-men. More remote, I have my Dutch relatives and friends. It is my intention to write in this blog about the community that I find myself in.
Monday 22 August
Today I met three of my neighbours. First, I met my neighbour next-door. Let’s call him Evan (not his real name). Evan returned from shopping in town, carrying three heavy- loaded carrier bags. Evan is always dressed in black. Black trousers, black T-shirt, black sunglasses. Blondish-grey hair plus a trimmed beard. At the moment he is renovating indoors and that’s not easy. Walls are crumbling down and that’s not what Evan wants. So he went back indoors to deal with this indoor problem.
Later I heard a knock at the door: Gaby (not her real name), my next-door-next neighbour. She was standing in my porch, behind a stroller buggy. In the buggy sat Aimee, the baby of the neighbours next to Gaby. Aimee’s mum works some weekdays at home and Gaby had offered to take baby out for a stroll. Would I like to join them? she asked. However, much to my regret I had to decline: my lunch (Tea? dinner?), my main meal was ready to be eaten. So I thanked her and they left.
Tonight I went to the beach, a fifteen minutes walk. Lovely weather. Although it was almost seven o’clock, there were still plenty of people rambling, playing, surfing, chatting. In front of their beach huts or at the beach. I met neighbour number three of today: Jacqui. She lives at an odd number, down the road, together with her little three-legged Spanish dog. ‘Oh, you look glamorous’, I told her. ‘You think so?’ she frowned, looking at the little plastic black bag that she held between index finger and thumb, with a rather stretched arm. Well, what has to be done, has to be done. But Jacqui had to move on. ‘Let’s catch up soon’ she called over her shoulder and walked away.
This was my Social Network of today. I wonder who I will meet tomorrow.