The gay couple who live in the double-fronted house just off the south circular en route to Hither Green station have a perfect life. At least, they present the image of a perfect life.
Big sash windows offer a view of moodily-lit living, cooking, and eating areas. Sometimes both of them occupy those pastel-clad rooms.
If I’m on an uncharacteristically early commute, I’ll catch sight of them eating their breakfast, in silence, sat opposite one another at their pine dining table.
Let me be clear. I am not a stalker. I’m not a creep. I’m not someone you should cross the road to avoid.
It’s just that I’m reminded of their domestic bliss as I sit at my desk scribbling down bollocks which will never be published, catching sight of a shockingly dirty windowsill and window frames with black mould accumulating around the edges.
My initial thought was one of disgust. I have no excuse. I have no dependants, no stresses other than a day job. I am renowned in the workplace for insisting that all the chairs are positioned neatly under the table in a room before the meeting can begin. I am particular about starting the working day with a new page in my notebook. Why on earth don’t I apply similarly fussy standards at home?
But rather than sitting at my desk carping on about how disappointingly dirty the window frames are, I figured I’d take action. First Mr Sheen and, when I discovered that wasn’t going to work, out comes Mr Muscle. As I type, the bleach is working its magic on those ground-in stains. It’s fizzing its way into the dirt.
I hadn’t realised until today quite how much I envied other people’s homes in the area. Or how a glimpse at their lives would prompt me to hone in on those spots in my home I’ve hitherto overlooked.
I suspect I’m going to need more than Mr Muscle.