I have been feeling a bit ashamed of how I seem to be turning into a grouchy old woman who hates all students, especially as when I worked, I really enjoyed the contact with young people, had enjoyed (mostly) the Lovely Son's turbulent teenage years, and still like to think of myself as a reasonable, understanding, even kindly person not likely to turn into an axe murderess at the slightest provocation.
So I held onto that draft letter about the noise and drunkenness, and thought I should at least try to meet and speak civilly to the offending newly-arrived students before complaining about them. One was walking to and fro with her mother today, neither looking up as they passed Sandra, Lesley and I, who were chatting at Lesley's front door, so on their return I said hello in a cheerful and non-grouchy sort of voice, and duly received a response, albeit a slightly startled one. Perhaps we looked cliquey and forbidding, although given how we were all dressed this afternoon, bizarre and coven-like might have been more like it. But, Step One has been taken in establishing neighbourly relations.
Later this evening, I was just coming out of the front door with the dog when a girl ran past, skidded to a halt, and proceeded in an all-too-recognisably penetrating voice, to ask about the dog - everyone thinks because she's small, that she must be a puppy, although in fact she is the real grouchy old woman round here, looking cute in the window while growling very rudely at passers-by.
And we had a pleasant little chat; Miss Foghorn introduced herself, and told me how she loved living in this street as it had been so noisy where she lived last year, and that she isn't used to cities and streets with neighbours as she grew up on a farm in the country. And I behaved incredibly well, neither snorting nor hooting, and certainly not mentioning in bitter tones that I have had to move bedrooms. We parted amicably, both hoping that I would meet the other girls in the house soon, although Miss Foghorn did say that as they all looked alike, I might get them muddled up. No, dear girl, Newcastle is full of girls with long straight blonde hair; we are experienced in telling you apart from each other. Anyway, Step Two taken. Who knows, Step Three might include welcome offerings of cupcakes. I don't feel quite so much like the street battleaxe now.
On another matter entirely, I find to my horror that I am frightened of my new sewing machine. Not the machine itself, really, but the cutting out of fabric. I have altered things, taken up hems, and made a few repairs, but can't quite bring myself to actually make anything that involves taking sharp scissors to new material. What a wimp! Maybe that can be next week's challenge.