Right next door to The Sanish Onion café is a laundrette called, Toxic Bubbles. Its name sounds like the place should slowly poison you to death rather than clean your laundry. After what happened last night, poisoning is now something which I think could possibly be added to their list of services. It’s run by two lesbians. You must be thinking it’s like Queer Street going on over here. If only a bisexual and a transgender would move into the neighbourhood we’d have the complete set. They live in the loft adjacent. Bethany is Welsh. Her wife is from someplace in France. When she speaks she sounds like a female version of Charles Aznavour. She doesn’t look like him but when she sings To All The Girls I’ve Loved Before in the shower she does sound a bit like him. When she first introduced herself to me I thought she said her name was Crouton. I said, “pardon moi?” for obvious reasons. She said “Crouton” again with a French flourish and I said “I didn’t quite catch that” and she said “Crouton” again. There are only so many times you can ask someone if she is called Crouton before it looks like you’re the one who’s the freak. Mercifully Bethany calls her Ethel and now so do I. I have to say she does look more like an Ethel than she does something you’d drop into your soup, if you get my meaning.
At least three times a week Bethany and Ethel have a lot of noisy sex next door. Guido calls their place The Love Shack. I have this mental image of the pair of them leaping naked towards each other from the rafters. There is always a lot of sound of crashing and moaning and groaning. They certainly seem to have a lot of stamina. I really don’t know what their secret is. I think they may also use plug-in sex appliances to spice things up because every so often our lava lamp flickers on and off involuntarily. In the sex stakes they make Guido and me seem like a pair of Trappist monks. Then the following day one of them will come round with a small gift to apologise for all of the commotion the night before. Yesterday Ethel delivered two bottles of her homemade wine. Apparently she keeps a stock brewing quietly behind the tumble driers.
Guido and I opened the first bottle with dinner last night. I can tell you the first two glasses slipped over very quickly with a Spanish tortilla and a green salad. By the time we had finished the bottle Guido was trying to tell me why it was vitally important to add bread crumbs to an omelette mixture (so there’s another little insider tip for you), but rather than call them bread crumbs he kept referring to them as cread trumbs. Then I said, wouldn’t it be a terrific idea if we opened the second bottle? For some reason my vision was sort of blurry, and I couldn’t quite feel the tips of my fingers, so it took me a while to properly aim the corkscrew into the top of the bottle and twist it open. Guido thought that was very funny. So did I. We both laughed until our sides hurt and then we fell off the sofa onto the floor – which didn’t hurt a bit by the way. And, I could still reach the bottle from the floor so we had another glass just to celebrate.
After that neither of us remembers much but I think there is a strong possiblilty there might have been some crashing and moaning and groaning. I am just glad we have such understanding neighbours.