When the doorbell rang I was heating up a scotch egg in the oven. I always used to eat them cold, like you would from a packed lunch or picnic, but I had looked at the packaging and noticed the phrase 'delicious hot or cold'. This was the previous year and since then I had had occasion to eat a hot scotch egg no less than seven times. The fat would run out of the meat and add an oily glimmer to otherwise dull-coloured bread crumb coating.
I didn't answer the doorbell immediately. It was Saturday morning and the only callers we ever got then were disparate oddballs. Elderly ladies in Islamic headdress door-to-door selling colourful scarves. Chaps in ironed white shirts who like to talk about Jesus. Chancers hoping to make a few quid with a sponge and an empty bucket. If it rang a second time I would go out of the flat and look down the stairs. Through the obscured glass in the front door I would be able to discern vague shapes and colours.
The postman never came before midday and besides I wasn't expecting anything. I couldn't imagine the bell would ring again. It never did. Instead I checked the timer on the oven. Two minutes left until my hot scotch egg would be ready for eating. Not long enough to undertake most activities so I stared out of the window. Across the way a neighbour stared right back at me. Our kitchens looked out sideways from the building, into each other across the yard. Light from high up brought white reflections and shadow patches of trees in silhouette falling across the window obscuring the identity of my neighbour.
A pigeon flapped across the gap landing on my neighbour's sill. I watched it settle and heard it's coo through the single-pane glass. The timer rang and my scotch egg was ready. The neighbour was gone, the doorbell was silent, the pigeon was settled, and the scotch egg was hot.