In fact, I doubt they would have noticed if we’d had balloons, a marching band and thrown a party to wish them a happy departure – because they were still roaring at each other as they drove away, drowning out all other sound within a five mile radius. Mr Bean and I were practically bouncing up and down with excitement as we listened to the ringing in our ears peter out and heard the wildlife that had been frightened away by the next door ruckus return to the garden. It has been a long two years.
We love our house. It’s not huge but there’s generally enough space for ourselves and all the paraphernalia that Little Bean has accumulated since she came into the world. We’ve worked hard on our garden and although Alan Titchmarsh wouldn’t say it’s a masterpiece, it provides us with colour, barbeque space and a few vegetables and we’re proud of it. If only we could tame our neighbours so easily.
The couple living on the one side of us are lovely. They’re friendly and chatty and we give each other lifts, borrow printers, share plant cuttings etc. – regular neighbourly things. They also have conversations at decent decibel levels so we don’t have to wear earmuffs in our own home. Even the couple who lived there before were sweet. The husband, a towering mass of rippling muscles and rugby prowess, often used to pop over in his apron offering us homemade brownies and coconut cake. Yes, eat that stereotype.
But the house on the other side of us seems to be cursed. Just two weeks after the shouters moved out, a new couple has moved in. We’ve just said hi one time where they took the opportunity to introduce us to their massive Rottweiler. I love dogs, even big ones but I’m afraid Rottweilers are one breed that make me a bit edgy – especially with Little Bean being so little and the garden fences so flimsy. The couple seem nice enough but a few days after they moved in the husband departed for a four month work placement elsewhere. And I realised the earmuffs would need to come out again.
The wife (understandably I suppose) is trying to fill the silence of his absence by blaring pop music all night long - and all day on the weekends. If it was the radio, I might be able to bear it but I think it’s her own iTunes mix on repeat. I’m trying really hard to be sympathetic but if I hear Gary Barlow’s Jubilee song ‘Sing’ sung (see what I did there) one more time I can not be held accountable for my actions. I really should invite her over for dinner sometime but I suspect our music tastes may indicate further underlying differences.(I mustn’t be so mean – this blog is terribly confessional.)
|Neeeiiighbours, everybody needs good neeeiighbours|
Perhaps Mr Bean and I just have bad luck? In our previous rented accommodation we had a neighbour who used to go outside every single night at 11pm, just as we were drifting off to sleep, and start up his car, which was parked right outside our bedroom window. For about half an hour he used to sit there with the engine running, sometimes revving it. Then he would go back inside and we would finally get to sleep.
One of my friends, had an odd neighbour living downstairs who started off with a chicken in the garden, which then expanded to a whole coop of the cluckers, a duck, and as if that wasn’t enough, a goat. And this is in Surbiton suburbia, not a smallholding in Sussex.
So, in short, while my door is always open for a neighbourly bag of sugar, you’re going to have to get your own earmuffs. Looks like I'll be needing them for a bit longer.
Any neighbours from hell stories you'd like to share?