Back in March, I got myself a new high-backed camping chair for beach sitting, in preparation for what will surely be a long hot Scottish summer.
I was inspecting this in the scheme’s car park when Irene bustled over.
“Are you Edward?”
“No, I’m Andrew.”
“I’m Irene. I’m the chair of the resident’s committee here. Have been for 20 years.’”
I know, I thought. And the editor of The Newsletter.
Irene was clutching a fairly nice-looking tablet, in the manner in which a highly-organised teacher would clutch a clipboard on Sports Day.
“I’m just waiting for family to arrive,” she said, and bustled off towards the car park entrance.
Not a word about The Newsletter. I’ve been here for five full months now, and still not seen an issue.
Last Thursday I got my COVID-19 jab in an East Lothian drive-thru. The whole process was super-organised. I almost fell in love with Ruth, the lady injecting me in the arm, she was so sweet. This may have been an overly emotional reaction to finally seeing the daylight at the end of the COVID tunnel, as she was clearly too old for me. Although with the mask, it’s not always easy to tell these things, these days.
Straight afterwards I felt like I’d drunk a mid-strength lager a bit too quickly. When I moved my head it felt like the contents of my head took just a fraction of a second to catch up.
But after my self-monitored fifteen minute recovery period sitting in the car, I drove off home, stopping off for a McFlurry in my second drive-thru of the day, as a reward to myself for being so brave.
At 4am the next morning I woke up feeling achey and shivery, and stopped just short of crying for my mummy. In the morning it had all subsided a bit. But I took what I am confident is a well-earned break from running for a few days.
The same day I got an envelope through the door, addressed to ‘Joppa Neighbour’. This, in itself, is controversial, as my mum is insistent my flat resides in Joppa, and I maintain it’s in Portobello. I have not shown this letter to my mum, as it would strengthen her case.
But I was excited that perhaps the envelope contained a Newsletter.
Alas, it was an invitation to join the local Joppa neighbourhood app.
“Your neighbourhood is using it,” declared the letter, “and you should join too.”
Well, should I, now.
It felt very much like Irene had a hand in this letter.
Apparently, downloading and using the app will provide a host of benefits, like lost pet notifications, and safety issues in the neighbourhood.
Disco Dave and I have had mixed experiences of neighbourhood social media. At his previous address, he was a fully paid up member of the street’s WhatsApp group, and reported on several occasions getting messages that the water was off in the street, which would then be confirmed by fifty other people immediately. Similarly when the water came back on.
I message him about the Joppa Neighbourhood App.
“You should join. 100%,” he affirms. “Otherwise how will you know when your power is off?”
It’s a fair point.
Today is 17th May. Still waiting for the hot Scottish summer to begin. Must be any day now.