The good old fashioned information by-way!
On my many visits to the slightly older villagers, I've noticed an interesting and at times funny phenomena. Firstly, life in general happens inside the kitchen and yes, meals too. Secondly, the table and favourite chair are within looking distance of the kitchen window...oh, and that, most of the time faces the road outside.
Even yesterday, while I was chatting to a lovely lady inside her kitchen, she often lost her place in our conversation as she was distracted by the happenings outside. The odd motor car idling passed, the motorized lawnmower chugging up the hill and a few tourists on foot. Honestly, she had me looking too, whenever I heard or saw something...
The white sheer curtaining used during the day ( akin to a two way mirror, at least while it's lighter outside than inside ) is a most important tool to keep abreast of what is happening to the village, in the village and also gives endless hours of entertainment.
" Oh, did you see Mr. So and So driving passed just now? He is rather early and I wonder where he's off to? "
" Oh, my neighbour's window is closed already? Normally it's open till sundown. Maybe they are away. "
" Oh dear, who's that man walking up the hill? "
A while ago, I was helping out at one of the functions, when a distant neighbour ( about 200 m from us ) asked me, if I had stopped walking because she hadn't seen me start off at my usual time. She was right, I have started to walk a bit later in the morning...
It isn't a case of being nosy but more a case of marking ( the at times rather endless hours to each day ) the day, keeping informed and often setting your watch. Most older villagers can quote you chapter and verse about the arrival times of the various postmen, the weekly butcher truck hooting its arrival and the Saturday morning bakery van idling along the street.
An old fashioned neighbourhood watch is fun and keeps the villagers on the straight and narrow much better than a policeman would. Isn't the first and foremost handed down social stricture from our parents...
" What would the neighbours think or even worse, say? "