Our neighbours in Balaclava some 14 years ago for about 8 years were Mr and Mrs Zile, pronounced Zeel, I believe. I think they were born in Latvia or was in Lithuania, and Mrs Zile had worked at a post office or mail sorting place. Her English was better than her husband's and they were a pleasant old couple who I would describe as good neighbours but never forceful.
Her welcome to us when we moved there amused us and imagine it said in a heavy European accent, 'Welcome to you both. If you need anything, please ask us. We like to help people. But do not ask us for money. We do not have any money, but please, ask us for anything else but money.' Mr Zile was the person who kept an eagle eye on the street and if mail needed collecting or bins bringing in from the street, he was the person to ask.
Generally the neighbours in the street were terrific. Everyone knew each other by name and it was certainly an eclectic mix and no one quite fitted the category of what you would call normal.
This piece of her own work was given to us by Mrs Zile when we left. I came across it the other day and I decided to scan it, but as it is on A3 paper, I had to have two cracks at it. The person referred to as collecting animal welfare signatures was Gloria and she was always to be seen collecting signatures in either Carlisle Street or Acland Street. She was a very 'interesting character' with a colourful past, well a colourful present too back then. Her pet when we left the street was a rat, always snuggled under her jumper or on her shoulder. I could write rather a lot about Gloria....one day.