The Big Issue has just published Good Neighbour Noel in its special edition about, well, neighbours.
Here’s how the story starts:
‘Good Neighbour Noel’ we called him, though not to his face. Then it would be “Noel, thanks for bringing the bins in”. Or “Noel, you didn’t need to mow the nature strip”. Or “Noel, thanks for hosting the street party again”.
Sometimes the salutation would change to “Noel, have you got a minute?” or “Noel, can you give us a hand?”.
And of course he always did have a minute, always could give you a hand.
Noel and his livewire partner Daphne (“No, we’re not married!,” she said regularly) were some of the older residents of the street back then.
Edition 666 is available from street vendors and via the magazine’s website.