Well, after three years of barely even thinking about Nigel, the International Man of Mystery Next Door, let alone writing about him, I now find myself writing about him TWICE in the space of just a few days. Just call me Magic Amber, Super Sleuth Extraordinaire. Or, perhaps more accurately: Girl Who Answers the Door in Her Dressing Gown With Jogging Pants and a Hoodie Underneath Because She is SO FREAKING COLD All the Time.

Or even “Girl Who Capitalises Too Much”. You decide.

Anyway, there was no super-sleuthing involved in this morning’s Nigel incident, but I DID open the door in my dressing gown (look, it’s REALLY cold here. Also, there is something wrong with our heating, apparently. It’s probably that a dead body has been stuffed inside the pipes or something.) to find a man from Scottish Gas standing outside, holding a clip-board and squinting at me suspiciously.

“Hello!” I said, trying to look like, why, I ALWAYS wear my dressing gown in the middle of the day! (And actually, in winter I almost always do.) Whereupon he asked me if there was actually anyone living in the house next door.

“Not living, no,” I said, glad to have yet another excuse to talk about this. “But possibly lying dead on the floor, or inside the walls?” Then I embarked on a breathless tale of how Nigel hasn’t been seen for years – YEARS – and how this one time he turned up and then left in a hurry, and I think he is maybe with MI5, but if he isn’t, then maybe a dastardly villain of some sort, or dead?

(Of course, if he IS with MI5, they will probably come round now and “silence” me for blowing his cover on the Internet. If this is the last ever post here, you’ll know why. It’ll also mean he was a bit of a rubbish spy, though, to be honest, I mean, way to raise suspicion, Nigel! If that’s even your name.)

The man from Scottish Gas was most interested in all of this. It’s the way I tell ’em, I guess. When I’d finished he raised his eyes to the heavens and thanked the Lord said “Really? REALLY?” but in a tone of voice that suggested, “Well, we’ll be doing something about that then, don’t you worry your pretty little head about it.” Then he made a note on his clipboard, which I assume said something about Nigel, but which may well have said, “Woman next door is mad” or “Homeless people have broken into house next door and are squatting there making up outrageous stories”.

He did spend some time after that walking around Nigel’s property and making further notes, so perhaps something has now been set in motion, which will lead inevitably to an exciting denouement involving everyone in the street standing out there in their dressing gowns while police surround the house and hostage negotiators try to talk Nigel down, using one of those loud-speaker things. And then Terry and I are rewarded handsomely for our role in the whole thing, which has been… er, nothing. (Although, to be fair, Terry does sometimes mow Nigel’s front lawn.) I hope all of this doesn’t happen while we’re on holiday next week. I also hope it doesn’t lead to a less exciting denouement, in which there is some prosaic explanation for the whole mystery, and Nigel’s house is sold to a noisy family of fifteen with ten TVs and five sound systems, which they proceed to blast music from all the live-long day, while throwing endless house parties and whistling.

I bet it’s the second one.

    1. He really is! I mean, we basically live in a detached house, while only paying for a semi-detached, and we have no noise whatsoever. And you know me, I'd take dead bodies and an infestation of rodents over the dull thump of a bassline any day.

      It has totally spoiled us, though, unfortunately. To the point that if that house IS ever sold, and people move in, I have made Terry promise that we will immediately sell ours and move to the middle of nowhere.

  1. I nearly fell over my keyboard trying to get to this. Terry mowed Nigel's lawn?! Well that's it then, it's only a matter of time before you awarded the house of the "deceased Nigel" for to service to humanity/ dead people. You can knock through the walls and have a mansion!!

    1. This has always been my dream. Either that or we somehow burrow through the wall into the house next door, and claim squatters rights. I mean, it COULD happen!

  2. Well, sounds like you sang like a canary to a man who SAID he was from Scottish Gas but who could easily have been a counter-spy – and Nigel could have heard the whole thing from his hideyhole in the wall. Just as I would have done! At least you have some excitement and I, for one, am looking forward to the next exciting (it is!) instalment.

    1. Oh my God, you're right! I didn't even think of that! Nigel (or the Mr Big who controls him) obviously read my last post about him and sent round the gas man to "deal with me". Aaaargh!

  3. You're totally going to come back from holiday and find you missed all the police/gawping neighbours/hostage negotiators/forensic investigators – it always happens that way. A friend of mine and her family returned from their annual Christmas vacation to discover police tape up around the house next door – turns out their neighbour had gone gaga, killed his flatmate, chopped him into little bits and hidden the bits around the house. Including in the toilet cistern. Didn't do much for property prices.
    .-= Selina´s last blog ..Your daily dose of pretty: Lulu Corselette =-.

  4. Oh Amber. I go all webless for, well, for ever, in fairness, and somehow forget how funny you are, come back and spray mulled wine all over my keyboard and monitor! Brilliant stuff, as always. x
    .-= Caroline´s last blog ..Stuffed Squash =-.

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