We've all done it, standing at the window, gazing at next doors new car. We've all spent ages watching our neighbour marching up and down with his new lawn mower with envious eyes. It is all part of life's rich pageant, or so we are told. But haven't you always wanted to be the one who leads the way with new technology or the first to have the latest Mobile Phone for example? The guy who everyone goes to first when they want advice about which car to purchase, or what is the best garden compost!
We would all like to think of ourselves as the font of all wisdom, however, we need to make sure that we do not also become the `smart-alec` neighbour that everyone despises.
It was with those thoughts in mind that I always kept to myself, any arrangements I made in respect of insurance. I did get involved once or twice with our neighbours, who were considerably older than we were when we first moved into our house, but only really to pay lip service, and nod encouragingly in their direction as they waffled on about the garden, their house and their car. It did occur to me that they never once mentioned home emergency cover in their many sermons, but I just assumed that a couple entering their twilight years would have the sense to make sure that such events were covered and they were not left vulnerable to any unforeseen event.
Little did I know that I was soon to become the target fro not their admiration, but the combined praise of their aged friends.
After we had lived in the house for a few years, we had three children and they started to grow up. As the oldest of our children got to about six or seven years old, we were unexpectedly offered the chance to have an evening out by our aging neighbours. It was one of those `over the fence` discussions and we did not need to be asked twice! They had noticed that we did not get out much and remembered when they were our age and wanted to have a night out, but they couldn't because of their kids. We did not go very far as it happened and we told our geriatric babysitters where we were going.
When we came home later that evening, we were met with lots of hand wringing and grim expressions. The old man had used the toilet and when he tried to turn off the tap in the hand basin, it jammed. It was still running but it was not yet overflowing the bowl. I think that he expected me to panic, however, I just reassured them both and went into the front room where I kept a little desk and came back with our home emergency cover details. I wish I'd had a camera for their expressions whilst I calmly rang the emergency number and arranged for a plumber to come out straightaway.
Once I had expounded the virtues of home emergency cover they arranged their own cover. They also got their friends to do the same. I was instantly transformed as the new incumbent of the `ask that guy` position in our little community. We were the new Jones's!