image: Peter Timmerhues via pixabay
Mildred Thrup was a woman who made resolutions most days of her life. She’d try harder to like her neighbours, she’d spend less on alcohol; and cigarettes, she’d give more/something to the poor she’d try and scowl less and mostly stop being a misery guts.
But it was hard for Mildred Thrup as she was one of life’s characters we tend to say were behind the door when so much of the good stuff was handed out.
She wasn’t very attractive, in fact even dogs steered well clear of her and she liked dogs. She was short and stout, her tiny short legs seemed to give the impression she was squatting all the time and that bought with it its own range of derogative jokes.
She had a voice that crackled as she spoke and if you met her on a dark and stormy night then she could unsettle you more than you needed to be.
But this year it was 2017 and seven was her favourite number and in her life time she had known a few sevens and they were always most agreeable to her.
So as New Year dawned Mildred Thrup put together resolutions he thought might work for her.
Number one was to get to know her neighbours. To stop being disagreeable about them mowing their lawns, or partying late at night or burning off their rubbish and sending the smoke across the fence and onto her washing.
Mildred Thrup knew from experience to make too many resolutions was a recipe for disaster so if she could get along with her neighbours then that might be a step in the right direction. After all Mildred Thrup hadn’t stepped in any direction considered right in an awful long time.
So that morning she went out into her backyard and looked across the fence to her neighbours. Seeing them out she sent out a hearty and friendly HAPPY NEW YEAR an included a few HIP HIP Hoorays as well.
They looked at her in astonishment and hurried inside. The neighbour on the other side was a single man. He lived in the last house in the street and kept pretty much to himself.
She watched for him to come out but had to wait until the afternoon when she knew he’d sit in his yard on one of the two seats he had there. No one ever sat in the other seat.
She was wary of this man. He was short like her and balding and looked much like an accountant.
When he came out she called over the fence. “Happy New Year Mr Rum.”
There was a moments silence before his voice came back over. ‘Happy New Year Mildred. 2017 is going to be a good one for you. Look how well its started.’
Mildred Thrup thought about what Mr Rum had said and yes she did feel different. She’d reached out and with most things with Mildred Thrup it was always a little bit at a time.