There goes the neighbourhood

There goes the neighbourhood copy
There goes the neighbourhood

You can’t go anywhere it seems, without bumping into someone you know.

Just last week whilst taking a short break away from a stressful life in Villamartin, I was innocently strolling through the delightful main square in Mojacar Pueblo in Almeria, having left my good friend Walt dozing on a bench in the sunshine with the other local pensionistas, when a voice boomed out: ‘My God, Colin, what are you doing here?’

I was also conscious of another quieter remark from one of the group in question:‘There goes the neighbourhood’, but I chose to ignore such immaturity.

It turned out to be four acquaintances who reside in Quesada, and who just happened to be booked into a hotel adjacent to the one we were staying in at the nearby playa it transpired.

What a coincidence and what are the chances of that happening we all agreed noisily and at some length.

My snoozing friend had awoken in the meantime and seeing that the flatulent bloke next to him was definitely not his erstwhile companion, had scanned around, spotted me, and made his way over to join us.

‘I don’t believe it’ he uttered, sounding a lot like a poor man’s Victor Meldrew. ‘What are you lot doing here? And the whole verbal performance of a few moments before was repeated.

At this point, Walt’s wife Eileen and the Princess who had been occupied for an hour doing their level best to boost the local economy by blitzing the jewellery, shoe and handbag establishments to within an inch of their lives, had now emerged from the highly original and artfully named Just Shoes.

After a few seconds adjusting to the unaccustomed light and the absence of cash registers, they focused on us waving and gesturing for them to join us.

There were squeals of delight (or was it dismay) as they recognised our new found companions, and once again the air was abuzz with more declarations of surprise and astonishment and many cor blimey’s,until the whole gamut of incredulous exclamations about coincidences was exhausted.

The following day on our way home, we decided to stop off for a browse and a coffee in the town of Vera.

We were just discussing why there should be so many boarded up shops and closed business premises, when I heard a familiar voice from a past life in England at a nearby table.

My God Colin, what are you doing here?’

What’s the French for Déjà Vu?

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