Mother misses her Filipina*neighbour, who suicided, very much, but she is not about to welcome another from exotic climes into her life. Beside Mother's house are three units, built about ten years ago. One of them is occupied by an Indian couple, their toddler daughter and the mother of one of the couple.
Mother has occasional chats to the couple and she allows them to use her rubbish bin if they have too much rubbish and she has space in hers. Nice to be friendly with the neighbours of course, but friends?
The Indian grandmother has taken to bringing her grand daughter into to see Mother. Grand Daughter is too young to speak properly, having only a few words in her vocabulary as yet. Grand Mother has even less English words in her vocabulary. She stands at Mother's front door after ringing the bell, smiling and chatting away in Hindi. Mother hasn't a clue what she is on about but it seems not to matter.
'Invite her in for tea Mother', I suggested. I was smartly rebuked. 'What would I talk about with her when we can't understand each other. I don't have the time anyway. I have my jobs to do.'
Fair enough, and the Indian Grandmother does seem the type who might make a daily habit of calling in for tea.
With a flash of inspiration by Mother, she took them to the back yard and with some gesticulating, showed them her lemon tree and asked if they wanted some. The lemon tree has long supplied the Highrise with lemons for g & ts and cooking. It has looked like it is dying for more than ten years, yet it is constantly in fruit.
Indian Granny accepted the bag of lemons and happily trotted off home with her grand daughter in tow.
Is Mother going to give them lemons every time they call? There will be no lemons left for the Highrise g & ts.
To be continued, no doubt.