Daughter: I forgot to tell you. The other day the man next door visited us, for the very first time.
He was rather pissed, and he came to show me something.
He came inside carrying a long frame with drawings in it.
"An artist friend of mine did these." he said. They're good aren't they."
"Maybe you could do something similar"
In the frame was a series of pencil drawings of jazz musicians, side by side, playing trumpet, saxaphone, drums or piano.
Alpha had let the man next door in, because I was busy painting, and I kept on working.
He didn't take any notice of any of my paintings, apart for one, my portrait of you.
When he looked up and noticed it on the wall, he exclaimed "That's your mother!"
"You've really captured the way she looks!" "She's so beautiful!"
"I love your mum, ..... she's such a lovely person!"
Daughter: Maybe because I didn't stop painting, or go out of my way to be friendly, he suddenly began to look uncomfortable, as though things hadn't gone as well as expected, and next thing he retreated out the front door.
Another thing about the man next door, he's had a hair cut, and it makes him look quite different.
He looks younger, and more fit and energetic.
Alpha rushed inside, dropped off his bike off, and hurried out again.
When he returned he explained why.
Alpha: I was on my way home, passing the house a few doors up that is being renovated, when I saw the man next door standing in the doorway.
He called out to me because he was looking out for another strong man to help.
He and another man had already been recruited from the pub by the owner of the house, to help lift a heavy beam up into position.
It was very heavy, and we had to climb up onto a platform with it, before raising it into position above an opening in a wall, but with the four of us, we soon got the job done.
Daughter: Its good the way Alpha and I now feel as though we are accepted, and part of this street.
Now there are lots of people I talk to. And there are others I recognise, and smile at.
Mother: Last night and this morning there have been drilling noises, and banging, in next door.
And there seems to be a man there helping the man next door.
Just now, when I walked past, I could see inside his front door, and it seems to be very dark and cavernous inside. There's still a big hole the length of the hallway, and floorboards have also been removed in at least part of the front room.
Alpha: Yes, the floorboards have been removed so holes can be dug in the ground underneath for concrete piers.
And floorboards have been removed from the upstairs rooms too, making one big space of all of the four main rooms of the house.
Now the man next door, and his girlfriend, sleep on a mattress on the floor in the back section of the big downstairs room, and you can see his motorbike there too.
THE FOLLOWING MORNING.
Daughter: There were people in next door last night, talking and laughing.
At first there was banging and drilling going on too, then they settled down to party.
There wasn't any music, but what was worse than loud music was the voice I could hear.
A voice I recognise. The voice of a friend of the man next door.
I hate this man's voice. It jangles my nerves just to even think of it.
It's so loud, and on top of that he shouts, and says stupid, annoying things
Alpha: After the party next door ended at about three am, the people moved out to the front of the house, and I heard an argument start, between the man next door and another builder.
The man next door was accusing him of making a mistake in another house, and making it unsafe, and charging too much.
The argument developed into a fight, and there was shouting, and threatening, and maybe violence, which ended when the police arrived.