A couple of people I know have briefly met one of my neighbours a few times - times which had nothing to do with me. The result of that, however, was that when I first moved in here they warned me about him - said I would need to be careful around him and made sure I knew certain things about him - things that sort of made it seem like he is not a good person.
Well, appearances can be deceiving. Because he's not someone I'd spend a lot of time with but he's a perfectly nice guy, he's approachable and he's helped me out a few times. We stop and say hi and a bit of small talk when we see each other. And that's more than I do with any other of my immediate neighbours.
That's something I'm very grateful for as I sit here writing this.
There's been a lot in the news lately about Blue Badge Fraud and about the badges being stolen and all sorts of stuff. And I've spent most of yesterday and up until half an hour ago with a pit of dread and a sinking feeling in my stomach. Because I had lost my blue badge. I found it out before Dad and I went to Tesco. We got to Tesco and I no longer had it. Shit.
I was beginning to think if my carer didn't find it tomorrow (there being one place left to look and it not being somewhere I could get) I'd have to jump through all six thousand hoops involved in getting a replacement ahead of schedule. Including getting a crime reference number from the police.
It wasn't on the path outside here, in my Dad's car, my bag or on the side where I'd put it ready to go shopping, or on the floor by it. It was lost.
I'd begun to suspect that it had been dropped outside and that someone had picked it up and kept it - because that's what has been happening a lot lately - with blue badges exempting people from the Congestion Charge in London and giving various other benefits they've been selling for up to £200 on eBay.
Anyway, I was - thankfully - only partially right. I had dropped it on the grass outside. But my neighbour - the one with the problem, the one I was warned to avoid? he found it and he brought it back to me.
I know there are people out there who have the same issues he does who aren't nice people and who I should probably avoid - I've met a few of them. He however makes me glad I gave him a chance and looked past the problem. And thinking about it, really, his problem, is just another form of a disability (although I'm sure he wouldn't agree with me on that).