May 3, 2009


… Or merely Spotify-ed like me?

From the comfort of my chair, was idly google-earth-street-viewing old haunts in the UK, making lacklustre comments to P along the lines of: Oh, they’ve finally finished that bit of motorway here and that eyesore there. That sort of thing.

Then I swing over to our former home of twenty years which we sold to a couple with two small boys. Oh, look, I continue, they’ve taken down my beautiful shutters (so difficult to fit), painted the front door black (was pristine white) and installed window boxes (definitely out of proportion).

Zooming in, I can detect the gleam of a silver vase in the living room window. Scroll up, and I can see one bedroom window wide open and the other half closed (and that the marigolds badly need watering).

Zooming in further, you can easily make out each side of the rear garden - the house is set in a largish plot. Take a look, P, I call out again. They’ve pulled down the old conservatory and put in what looks like one of those flash Amegda jobbies. And some god-ugly goalposts for the kids…

By now, I’m almost pulling my hair out. P can’t understand the fuss. What does it matter what they’ve done? he replies with a withering look. We don’t live there any more, for pity’s sake!

But you don’t understand, I cry. They’ve ditched all my beautiful new curtains too…!

Finally tearing myself away from No. 22, I turn my attention to No. 24 to check if that’s also turned into an Iraqi reconstruction project. New windows, new coat of paint, new driveway I note absentmindedly. About to turn away - already getting a bit bored by this Google-thingie - when something in No. 24’s rear garden catches my eye.

I zoom in closer. What’s that palid, lumpy mass beside one of the high walls dividing the properties? I zoom in even closer. And all is revealed.

Taking advantage of the unexpectedly bright, sunny day of filming and unknowingly caught in its unforgiving glare are our neighbours, Joanna and Jeremy. Lying protected by high walls from neighbours’ prying eyes but not the camera’s - stark naked!

Well, J & J, it could have been worse. Pity that poor bloke caught on camera being arrested, another coming out of a sex shop, the yobbo vomiting while his mate’s relieving himself on a hedge and the couple caught …well, you know.

Street View maps reveal all sorts of scenes of ordinary daily life depicting all sorts of people caught in all sorts of places they are not meant to be – images available to anyone, remember.

There but for the grace of God, I later say to P who has totally forgotten the earlier conversation. I get another pitying, withering look.

In high dudgeon, I turn for relief to my latest source of soul balm and brain porn. For, in a word, I’ve been spotify-ed! More in next post.

FOOTNOTE: Don’t worry, J & J, you know your secret’s safe with me. Now, where the hell did I put Max Clifford’s phone number?


ModernMom said...

Oh My! Too funny. Everyone will be running to Google Earth!
PS Enjoyed my visit to your blog

Nora Johnson said...

ModernMom: Welcome! Always get excited to have a new reader and so glad you enjoyed the blog!

Best wishes to you in Ontario. (As student yrs ago, travelled through Canada by Greyhound and really enjoyed visiting Toronto & Ottawa. Wonder if you're anywhere nearby.)


P.S. Yr blog looks (and sounds!) terrific!

Moonspinner said...

Just had to pop on over to say Hi in (blog)person, loved your site xx

Nora Johnson said...

Moonspinner: Thank you for yr kind words about my humble blog. Hugely flattering and much appreciated!

I'm off now to peruse further your site which looks particularly gorgeous. Anyone with a penchant for Columbo and Coldplay gets my vote...

Best wishes,

P.S. Also like Dorothy L Sayers, Ngaio Marsh & Agatha Christie (am ADDICTED to crime-crack!) as well as Nicki French, Val McDermid & Harlan Coben among others. What's yr view of them?

ModernMom said...

Me again! I am your newest follower. Anyone who enjoys comments as much as I do must also love love a new follower as I do. LOL

Yes, when you took your trip near Toronto you were not far from me. London is about 2 hours from Toronto. A fairly conservative, University town.

Great to "meet" you!

Nora Johnson said...

ModernMom: Lovely to have you stop by again! And thank you too for becoming a follower of my simple blog. Hugely complimentary and very welcome!

Will be back in Canada and rest of blogosphere just as soon as get out of the way current assignments which have been holding things up a bit. (Something of an occupational hazard!)


P.S. I'm now a follower of yr terrific blog too. And regards to Ontario!

Nora Johnson said...

btw added ModernMom to list of favourite blogs too!

Moonspinner said...

Have not read the last three, have you tried Margery Allingham? Really love Sayers Gaudy Night.

Moonspinner said...

Oh I forgot, love to Lola. She's taking the credit btw for my joining your cleverly written blog.