A man who spoke to his next-door neighbour claims it was easy and that he might even try it again. ‘Some folk say I’m just being modest,’ said Basingstoke resident Charlie Grimshaw, ‘but quite honestly I didn’t really think about it and just did what anybody else would have done in the circumstances.’
Mr Grimshaw and his wife have lived next door to the Wilson family for over twenty years, but until his ice-breaking words last week, they have never spoken.
‘At first I thought there might be a violent reaction,’ Mr Grimshaw said, ‘but we’ve got this ten metre high fence between us, so I felt reasonably safe. You can’t be too careful these days when you’re trying to be friendly.’
‘I was standing at my gate,’ explained Jean Wilson, ‘when I saw Mr Grimshaw come out of his house. I recognised him straight away from a photo I’d seen of him in the local paper when he won a bowls competition. I quickly looked down at the pavement, as you do, then he suddenly said: ‘Hello.’ Well, you could have knocked me down with a feather duster. Before I knew it, I heard myself saying, ‘Hello.’ Just like that. It just sort of came out.’
‘I had to say something,’ Mr Grimshaw explained, ‘because as I was passing next-door’s gate, this woman who was standing there, nodded to me. Then she said, ‘Hello’ back to me, as if we’d been neighbours for twenty years and more. When I got back inside and told the wife, she was gob smacked and we had to have a cup of tea.
‘Actually, looking back on it all, it was really quite easy, and I suppose I might do it again one day, but I’ll probably leave it for a year or two. As the wife says, you don’t want to be too pushy, do you?’