Early evening I was relaxing on the sofa after a long day. I thought there was a lot of action outside; I could hear the kids laughing and shouting. After a while I got up and noticed blue flashing lights through the curtains. When I peeped out there was a fire engine outside and the house 4 doors away was on fire. Mark and Emma live there. They are a slightly unusual couple. The house looks like it needs a good coat of paint and the garden is overgrown. For ages they never spoke to anyone but after the last lot of trouble in the square they became friendlier. I never could work out what they both did. Mark never seemed to go out much at all but Emma used to disappear for a few days at a time looking quite smart. I got to know them most when Vodafone wanted to put a large phone mast within a few metres of our houses and they led the campaign to stop them. I rang their bell on a couple of occasions to drop off various letters and things for them and Emma would never answer but call out of the bedroom window and say that they were working. Ian and I joked that she ran a telephone sex line from her bedroom (very unkind of us!). Anyway, on occasions they were both pleasant, quite keen on environmental issues and wildlife and things seemed to be improving for them. They have an open fire in the house and burn logs and today the chimney caught fire. Nothing too serious but after the fire brigade had squirted a few gallons of water up the chimney the house was a bit of a mess! Once it was clear that the situation was not life threatening the local kids mobbed the fireman. They stared in wonder at the engines and the water and collected autographs from all of them; in their eyes they were obviously heroes and at least they were real important people (in that they save lives) and not silly celebrities that do nothing for anyone, so I thought it was great and it looked like the firemen were enjoying it as well.
I spoke to Emma and Mark. They said it had been a bad day as this morning they had to have their cat put down, at lunchtime they had estate agents round to value to house and this evening the chimney caught fire. Emma told me that they were separating and that she was going off WWOOFing which apparently means willing workers on organic farms. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WWOOF
I am beginning to think that the square may be a bit jinxed. There are 15 houses and in the five years I have lived there, 3 have caught fire. That is 20%! Surely that must be higher than average!