In my January 31 post, Close Quarters, where I started to tell the tale of the parking woes in Tanyard Close in Alvechurch and the strange response of the local housing trust to concerns raised; I said that there were 42 flats for the elderly and disabled in the close. That seemed like a lot to me, but it was what I read on the website about the community. I need to make a correction; there are only 29 flats--that seems much more like the cozy close--and the other 13 housing units are bungalows for seniors in a nearby street.
On Saturday, when I talked to Rob, of course I wanted to hear the latest news about the battle that began to unfold when I was there in January.
In my last post on this topic: The Gathering Protest; I mentioned that a petition was being organized. Well 24 out of the 29 residents of the close have signed it! One person didn't sign because his father is his power of attorney, and the other four may have been away, but basically there is naturally, unanimous agreement with the cause of maintaining the parking in the close for the residents and their visitors as the current signs state.
And in "The Gathering Protest," I had a photo of the stones that had been painted white for visibility when Rob had pointed out that they should be removed due to being a tripping hazard. Well, they were placed back on the grass at the edge of the road to prevent people parking there--and of course if you have heard the news about the recent weather in England you will know that they were invisible in the snow.
Already one truck that was reversing to turn around, reversed over one of them, which was then carried up under the vehicle's wheel well. The driver got out, dislodged the rock, and threw it.
The sub plot of who called the housing trust about the rocks being moved in the first place continues. First Rob thought it was the lady who lives downstairs below him, but then the man across the road (I'll call him Joe) said, "No, it wasn't her, it was Joan (not her real name either.)"
That was a surprise since Joan was such a friendly sort, but while I was there Joe came to the window with dire warnings about Joan. "Don't trust her," he said darkly, "Be very careful what you say to her."
Just before I left, Joan took delivery of a new car and excitedly told us it was coming. She didn't seem like a dastardly villain to me, but Joe persisted in his warnings.
I am happy to say that Rob said to Joan this week, "I've even heard it said that you were the one who called the housing trust."
And Joan said, "What? No! I promise you on my son's life it wasn't me." That was drastic but clear denial. Joan's son has disabilities and also lives in the close.
Today I had breakfast with my friend Irene, who pops up here now and again. I wrote about her in September in a post called, In the Soup, and how she sometimes reminds me of Judge Judy, and also the British television character, Cracker. I was sharing the whole story with her, and she folded her arms in thought.
"I bet I know who it was who reported it," she said.
"Who?" I asked.
"That police guy," she said, waving her hands in the air, "the one that came to the meeting with the woman from the housing trust."
"You know I never thought of that!" I said, "But I bet you're right."
And when I told her about the meeting with the woman who came accompanied by the "police guy" or community service officer, which I described in Close Quarters Part 2, and where she said that they had to take the signs down because they couldn't police them, Irene said, "Well, what exactly is his job? I would have asked him, 'Can you describe what exactly it is that you do? Because I would think that policing the signs is exactly what you should do.'"
Oh! I wish I had thought to do that! This is when you wish Judge Judy had been in attendance.