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Rock Street, San Francisco

Next-door’s washing machine broke today. I saw them quarrelling about it through the window. Honestly, these young people nowadays. Think they can cram 50 thousand pullovers into one machine! In my day we had to hand wash everything separately! There were none of these new fangled washing machines. Anyway, I’m not one to gossip, just happened to be taking the bins out and there they were. But now that we’re on the subject of next door, I recently discovered that Mr. Nelson’s business is going down the swanny. That should be a bit of a setback seeing as Mrs. Nelson’s got baby number 3 on the way. Still, children nowadays are such nuisances.

Sitting around all day playing on their play station-this and computer-that. Sometimes I just have to ask myself, “Should a woman of 89 years be living in such a neighbourhood? ” I remember dear old Winston saying to me once, “Gladys dear, one day we’ll get out of this village – see the world”. Poor love never made it past the war, bless his soul, and so I’ve been stuck here ever since. Anyhow, talking of being stuck, there was the most enormous queue in Sainsbury’s this morning. All I wanted to buy was my Tetley’s tea and a tin of Felix for Kipper, and how long did I have to wait? A whole 6 minutes, that’s what!

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Can you believe it? 6 minutes. All these useless checkout girls are being paid far too much. In my day working in the grocery store packing bags only got you two pence for the day! Young people nowadays don’t know the meaning of hard work! Talking of work, I worked in the local gift shop for thirty years and one day they simply asked me to retire! The cheek of it. I am far more able to run a gift shop than the young fellow that runs it now. Of course that put me in the awkward position of having nothing to do during the day and being the helpful person that I am, I decided to help out at the local post office twice a week.

Dear old Mr. Foresight insisted that no help was needed but I knew that he could do with a helping hand every so often. This particular week he’s on holiday with his new wife. I say new because poor old Mrs. Foresight died of cancer 5 years ago. I just can’t understand how people can get re-married. When Winston died I made a promise to myself never to so much look at another man again. I know that Winston is still here in spirit and I’m sure that he’d like to know that I’ve been faithful to him for all this time. It’s not like I’m alone anyway.

I’ve got my tabby Kipper and my goldfish Winston the 2nd which provides me with plenty of company. Dorris from round the corner’s dog was found dead on the road just the other day. Poor woman’s got enough to worry about without that happening. She’s been neglecting all her bills and the men from TV licensing came and took her TV away the other day! Daylight robbery, that’s what I call it. Talking of robbery Mrs. Davis’s eldest son was arrested for shoplifting just last week! Crime is getting so bad around here I even felt the need to move my gnomes out of the front garden for fear that someone would take them!

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