At the moment they have a large heap of hardback books outside their house (and half way across the pavement) with a sign saying 'Books! Take what you want!'. How very generous - if you are looking for a Haynes Car Manual for an Austin Allegra or want to read about 'Unsolved Crimes of the 70's' with half the pages missing and two weeks worth of rain on it.
Anyway - while trying to push the pram through the book mountain earlier I reflected on a exceedingly strange event that took place at their house last summer - an event which I am still none the wiser as to discovering what happened. I wrote about the incident at the time and here is a copy of what I said:
Ok I am sure that there will be people out there who believe that I am living in a fantasy land or on my way back to the loonybin (or in fact perhaps both) but this really did happen this afternoon - and my husband (and the rest of our street) can vouch for it. Even I am left stunned at what I've just witnessed.
I live in the middle of a row of terraced houses. The house at the end is very rundown and an elderly lady lives there with her adult son. They are lovely people but she's an alcoholic (she has had a tragic life) and her son has learning difficulties. They are both very kind and often bring me sweets and things. As far as we I know (we've lived here 7 years and I chat to them regularly) nobody else lives in the house - although you often hear a very fierce bad dog barking (but never see it) and lots of people come and go.
ANYWAY this afternoon at about 3pm I came back from the shops with my eldest son. I jumped out of the car and wondered why there is a large group of blokes, with pints in hands, standing outside the pub opposite staring across the road.
As I start getting my son out I heard smashing glass and one of the blokes outside the pub shouts 'RUN, get out of here' and I look up to see........
...a man, naked from the waist up (and he was a BIG man) smashing his way out of the living room window of the house at the end. He looks totally wild and is screaming 'GET ME OUT OF THESE F'CKING CHAINS' and is wrapped up in what looks like the chains you use to hang hanging baskets up with.
I seriously thought someone might be toting a gun so I picked up my son and bolted to my front door (I thought 'World's Wildest Police Videos' was taking place outside my house at this point).
There was more smashing glass and a big old rumpus and people shouting 'get out of here, HE'S COMING OUT THE WINDOW' and then this bloke emerged - cut to ribbons and (and this is where it gets REALLY odd) holding a large rose bush/tree still embedded in a very large plastic flower pot.
He collapsed in the road and a (very brave/mad) woman ran to his aid. He shook her off and then bolted (complete with his rose bush) into the pub opposite. Must have been an interesting moment for all the old geezers enjoying a Sunday afternoon pint....
People ran over to the house and were trying to break the front door down but the dog inside was going mad. Someone was shouting there was a little girl in there (there wasn't) and it all got very chaotic.
Shortly afterwards 5 squad cars, a riot van and 2 ambulances showed up. Various things happened and they all slowly left (together with Rose Bush Man) and everyone went back to standing around outside the pub having their pints and saying things like 'bleedin' eck that was diamond!'.
Sorry but WHAT!?!?! I had never seen this guy before and the people who live in the house weren't in.
He was pretty porky so he's obviously not been kept chained up in there for years or anything (unless they fed him well).
Answers on a postcard!?
Ok so that was last year and the developments since are:
1. The dog had died. Well I guess it was the dog? A shallow grave appeared on the front lawn and I've not heard it barking since.
2. NOTHING ELSE! I still have no idea what happened. Just after that we went on holiday and by the time we got back it was too late to start being really nosy and saying 'erm, you know the other week when that man in the chains burst through the window? Yeah, that's right, the one with the rosebush! Well, erm, WHAT was all that about?'.
Everyone else seemed to be so calm, like they were 'in' on the situation.
I have so many questions. Who was the guy? Where is he now? Is he back living in there? Has he been there all along? Why did he come out through the window? Why the rose bush? Why the chains?
Perhaps it was just a case of botanical repotting (whilst having some kind of paranoid delusion...) that went horribly wrong?
I guess we will never know.
But if, by some remote chance, you DO know then please, please, please let me know...