At I Heart Lesfic, we believe the world could use a bit more kindness after one of the hardest and longest of years. Many authors have signed up to help IHL spread kindness in the world.
Today, the wonderful Jenn Matthews is here to share a story. Also, Jenn is giving away 1 ecopy of Sing for My Baby. Below the guest post, you’ll find more details about the giveaway.
Take it away, Jenn.
We’ve always had neighbours, of course, but since buying a house, and moving into a fairly new estate, we’ve discovered the fantastic thing that is neighbourly kindness.
This sort of kindness is one of the major great things about living where we do. It’s a fairly quiet neighbourhood and everyone waves at everyone else when they pass—this seems to have increased in regularity since the pandemic. We’ve been called a few times to people who’ve fallen off bikes (wife is a paramedic practitioner and we often work as a team in this way) on the nearby bicycle path, and we give Christmas cards to all those neighbours we can remember the names of. Once, I got an incorrect and far too large KFC order and offered it to the local families.
We have a cat and two dogs, all of whom are very social. Next door, Jackie lives with her two boys and isn’t allowed pets due to her rent agreement. Very sad for someone who’s an animal-lover. We always say hi over the garden fence—we can see one another through the grapevine trellis—and exchange daily amusements.
Once we got to know her, we realised we’d struck gold. What a lovely person to have next door! If we needed an egg, there she was with one. If we ran out of sugar, she did the classic ‘cup of’ through the trellis to help us out. We began to send our dogs, Whisper and Cooper, round—our gates are very close together so social distancing/dogs running off wasn’t an issue—to Auntie Jackie’s, and they’d have a great time playing (and weeing) on her lawn (we don’t have grass). She even got them toys they could keep at, and play with, at hers. And plenty of treats, of course.
Auntie Jackie was also able and willing to look after our cat, Dana, whilst we were away. Dana soon found she felt just as at home at Auntie Jackie’s as she does at ours. She spent time languishing on Auntie Jackie’s sofa and generally being made a fuss of.
Recently, she’s been going round when we’re at home, which is kind of rude, but hey. She gets a break from the nutcase dogs. But she’s rather a naughty cat and twice now, she’s stolen an entire meal from Auntie Jackie’s kitchen counter, clearly meant for the boys after a long football session. But Auntie Jackie doesn’t mind. She’d rather have the occasional dinner nicked than have the cat visits cease.
We’ve also shared shopping a few times, as both households have periodically needed to self-isolate. Auntie Jackie is a teacher, and my wife and I both work for the National Health Service. Whenever one of Auntie Jackie’s class tests positive, she’s then forced to work from home and is unable to leave. In that case, we send her a text—“Sainsbury’s order coming tomorrow; do you want anything?—and she submits her requests. Sprockerdor Delivery Service then sends her a text back to confirm and gives her a timeframe. Cue two tins of baked beans appear on her doorstep. And Auntie Jackie has repaid the favour, when we’ve had to quarantine.
All in all, the neighbourly kindness of Auntie Jackie has been such a bonus during the pandemic, with various lockdowns and restrictions in place, as well as the extra care we need to take due to our patient-facing jobs. We’ve supported one another as households, taking in parcels, without the need to be physically close or visit one another’s houses (not including the meal-thieving cat). When we’re finally able to mingle once more, I’m sure many a cup of coffee/tea/gin will be shared, barbecues will be gathered around, and we’ll really be able to embrace that neighbourly kindness thing with no barriers.
Until then, we shall settle for checking on one another, and sharing humorous dog/cat pictures via WhatsApp.
by Jenn Matthews
A beautiful opposites-attract, lesbian romance fused with music, fear, hope, and honesty.
Primary school teacher and singer Rosie Tanner has stopped waiting for someone to have a baby with. She’s diving in and going it alone…although her pregnancy plans are a secret for now.
Amber Kingsley’s only goal is to stay sober and safe, so any complications like relationships are definitely out. That is, until she accidentally joins a community choir—despite having no musical talent or interest—after laying eyes on beautiful star soloist Rosie.
It seems her heart has some crazy ideas. So should Amber actually listen to it?
MEET THE AUTHOR
Jenn Matthews lives in England’s South West with her wife, dog, and cat.
When not working full-time as a health-care assistant at a mental health rehab unit, she can be found avidly gardening, crocheting, writing, or visiting National Trust properties.
Inspired by life’s lessons and experiences, Jenn is a passionate advocate of people on the fringe of society.
She hopes to explore and represent other “invisible people” with her upcoming novels.
CONNECT WITH JENN MATTHEWS
Thanks so much for stopping by today.