The thing about living on a quiet country lane in a quiet country village is that you get to know people quite quickly. We see the same cars coming up the lane where we live, the same people taking their dogs for a walk, the same old lady on her bike, not that I'm hiding behind the curtains with binoculars or anything. Everything becomes familiar, so when something or someone different comes along, you notice straight away.
Just lately, the lane inhabitants have been noticing a large shiny black Bentley driving past every now and again. Now there are not that many of us living on our lane and only a couple of farms at the end of it, so we have all been wondering who the blonde lady driver of the big black Bentley has been visiting (just out of interest, you understand). One of our elderly neighbours, Mr Forrester (80 years young) decided to investigate. The big black Bentley had driven past his house and he hadn't seen it coming back down the lane again. Mr Forrester jumped into his little tractor and set about his investigation - he had carrots to collect from a field, you know! He arrived at the end of the lane where there is a small lay-by. Parked up was the big black Bentley and a white transit van. "Wonder where the people are?", he asked himself. They were nowhere near the farms or any houses. Suddenly the door of the white Transit van opened and the blonde lady appeared, looking slightly dishevilled, followed by a man, presumably the white van man. Mr F could see inside the back of the van and there was a mattress on the floor. The moral of the story is, even if you think your little assignations are secret, there's always a Mr Forrester collecting his carrots and then reporting his findings to the rest of the village.
Another funny thing that happened was when we got new neighbours in the rented bunglow next door to our house. It was a couple, maybe in their late 50's. I used to see the lady walking her dog up the lane every afternoon. Can I just put this politely, dear amis? I think she had a drink problem! We used to find empty vodka bottles behind our greenhouse and one day my husband, Roberto, drove past and saw her rolling around on the grass, unable to get up.
We rent a shed to a young mechanic called Scott. He's always doing up old cars in the shed and he doesn't cause any problems to anyone. He reported to us one morning that the previous night the lady next door had come to see him and shouted at him for making too much noise. Well, we hadn't heard a squeak that night. However, Scott felt bad about it and went into the shop where this lady worked and apologised the next day. She said "I don't know what you are talking about". She couldn't remember doing it.
As for our other neighbours, well that's a story for another day chers amis.