Sunday, April 16, 2006

Everybody needs good neighbours....

....yet still we end up with randomly irritating ones.

On the day we moved in a strange, pale woman with a wall eye and very bad teeth indeed wandered through our open front door* to "have a look at the kitchen floor". I was a little taken aback, to say the least. Fortunately she is at the other end of the row, and is on "Avoid" status owing to her scary husband (he looks like if Boycey off of Only Fools and Horses was on crack. And was a serial killer), and her ginger son ("ooh, they've got a little girl, Jason". Cue slight increase in the fervency of Jason's mouth-breathing and a mental note on my part to never let Small Person out of my sight if their car is outside the house), and my utter, unfounded conviction that at some point there will be a double-murder-suicide round there and our road will be featured a lot on the evening news.

We have also learned that "town house" is a posh way of saying "terraced" (to be fair, we knew this already), and that, on being asked about the soundproofing quality of the party wall, site managers will lie through their teeth with the fingers of both hands crossed behind their backs and waffle on for ages about modern build quality and technological advances in the study of insulation. This of course means that we spend pretty much every minute between the hours of seven am and midnight listening to the people next door, who number anywhere between four and thirty-seven, thundering up and down all of their stairs like a Weight Watchers class on a group outing to the chippy. The chief culprit is a small boy of around three years of age who has come to be known as Mr Thumpy. His is a very particular style, which owes a lot to the Incessant Thudding school of noisy-neighbourliness. Little bastard. I hope he trips on his fashionably baggy Gap cords and falls the whole three flights, breaking both his thumpy little feet and fracturing his shriek.

That aside, we absolutely love it here. Apart from the weirdos, the loud people, the building site over the road, the parking issues (now resolved. I was even polite), the fucking-over we got from the mortgage company (apparently "twenty-eight days after completion" translates to "whenever we fucking well feel like it" in terms of taking our first payment), the broken boiler which necessitated a three-hour trip through the life and times of the boiler man (more on that another time), the breathtaking speed at which we're haemorrhaging money and the fact that I can't decide where to put the toaster, it's a beautiful, beautiful house and I wouldn't change it for the world. Moving in with the Other Half has been blissfully smooth and me, him and Small Person are already forging a happy, comfortable family life together. As she said this morning, she's lucky to live with someone she loves that isn't her Daddy, but is one of her parents. Brought a tear to my eye, it did. Even the Ex, who brought her home on Saturday and saw the place for the first time, remains rational and cheerful.

Oh dear. It's all a bit too good to be true, isn't it? Never mind - bring it on. Nothing can phase me at the moment. I'm all uncharacteristically cheerful and optimistic. Watch me crash and burn...

* It was only open because we were moving stuff in. Bloody cheek.

** Obviously, as a mother myself I don't mean this. I'd settle for an accident which, although relatively minor, makes them rethink the logic of living in a three-storey house and move somewhere else, leaving me free to vet potential new occupants and scaring away everyone bar middle-aged, childless librarians*** .

*** Who will, knowing my luck, turn out to have sexual proclivities that would make a Conservative MP blush and who will haunt us night after night with the moans and wailing of kinky librarian sex.


Blogger shiftclick chimed in with...

A very wonderful long-awaited update. Thank you!

I even laughed out loud at your description of the noises next door. I can relate, from past experience.

It is a bit scary to have Life and Karma behaving themselves, isn't it? One always wonders what they've got up their sleeve...

16 April, 2006 21:42  
Blogger bedshaped chimed in with...

Tell us about the boilerman already!

16 April, 2006 22:23  
Blogger Donna chimed in with...

So does this mean you're connected now, or are you blogging from a borrowed connection? either way - welcome back!

16 April, 2006 23:03  
Blogger frangelita chimed in with...

In my old place, I once heard my middle-aged next door neighbour "enjoying" himself. It was not a pleasant experience and I couldn't look him in the face next time I saw him. Hopefully you won't get that from Mr Thump *shudders*

16 April, 2006 23:31  
Blogger Jemima chimed in with...

I had to read a lot of this aloud because my snorts and chuckles were becoming mysterious and annoying. Fracturing his shriek has to be one of the best phrases relating to wishing another ill that I've ever heard.

17 April, 2006 11:23  
Blogger patroclus chimed in with...

>>like a Weight Watchers class on a group outing to the chippy<<

Surly, you are truly Queen of the Apposite Simile. And welcome back!

17 April, 2006 14:49  
Blogger Arabella chimed in with...

New to America, I lived in a little town in Florida. At the bottom of the path to our apartment was a little cottage inhabited by an old man (the inevitable NYC retiree). Now and again we would hear him cry "Moiderers, ya moiderers!!!!" Bit alarming first time. After a while it was just a regular Seinfeld moment.

17 April, 2006 16:26  
Blogger Arabella chimed in with...

Erm, I worked in libraries for years and completely missed out on the kinky sex thing. Typical.
Happy times in your new abode, the three of you.

17 April, 2006 16:37  
Blogger surly girl chimed in with...

arabella - was the man at the bottom of your garden max out of hart to hart?

17 April, 2006 16:39  
Blogger Tabby Rabbit chimed in with...

Welcome back. Glad to hear you're all settling in well (more or less).

17 April, 2006 16:57  
Blogger Arabella chimed in with...

Now that you mention it....he did have a little dog.

17 April, 2006 17:24  
Blogger mobuto chimed in with...

But why do you choose to label people you do not understand or people who are unlike you as wierdos.

I think you should try to introspect, dig deeper into your mind and heart and then maybe you will discern your own motives, motives that motivate your self.
Consider the above to be a advise from a new age guru.

17 April, 2006 18:37  
Anonymous Whinger chimed in with...

Snif. I'm going to miss Stephen Hawking a little.

No one deserves a lovely home more than you, and am just so pleased for SP that she has so much love.

17 April, 2006 18:40  
Blogger surly girl chimed in with...

indicap - um, because they're weirdos? oh, and because i have the freedom of expression?

consider the above to be a advise from a grumpy, judgemental witch.

17 April, 2006 18:42  
Blogger First Nations chimed in with...

you have my luck with neibors. i'm so sorry!
glad you're back!
now be happy, dammit, before i come over there and make you be happy! then you'll have something to cry about!
um, wait.
never mind.

17 April, 2006 19:10  
Anonymous Stu Savory chimed in with...

The people next door are always interesting, or, as they say in Scotland :
"They're nay bores!" ;-)

PS: Go on then, tell us about the kinky library sex. Pant, pant.

17 April, 2006 20:16  
Anonymous Piggy and Tazzy chimed in with...

Oh pleaaaaaaaase! Run the little stomping bastard over.

But make sure someone's in place to film it first!

And welcome back to blogging by the way. We missed you*.

We were bored.

* not really.

17 April, 2006 20:26  
Blogger Smat chimed in with...

Mr Thumpy will grow out of it _ I live next door to a family of four boys (aged 4,7,11 and 14) and we hardly hear them above our noise, honestly. Don't boys moulder in their bedrooms for several years anyway? You'll never notice he's there in a while.
Glad to see you back btw.

17 April, 2006 22:40  
Blogger tom909 chimed in with...

Advice from a new age guru? you can stick your advice where the sun don't shine pal, and consider that the advice of a grumpy old bastard.
I fucking hate neighbours so much I've had to move right out into the middle of Dartmoor.

17 April, 2006 23:57  
Anonymous Anonymous chimed in with...

I live next door to a woman we have fondly nicknamed "the Foghorn" and her budgie.

The only way to shut up noisy neighbours is to out-weird them. Go for it Surly, you know you want to...

18 April, 2006 10:11  
Blogger Wyndham chimed in with...

What, perchance, is a "wall eye?"

18 April, 2006 11:23  
Blogger surly girl chimed in with...

like when it's all not looking at you and is rolly and weird and you don't know which eye to look a person in when you speak to them.

or did i dream that?

18 April, 2006 11:57  
Blogger DavetheF chimed in with...

I was on the verge of buying a nice house across the valley from my present abode when a neighbour woman strolled in the front door as I dickered with the estate agent. She was wearing rather than carrying a small hairless dog (Chihuahua?)and said confidently that don't mind her, she'd come to check out what sort of a new neighbour she'd have as she was choosy and liked to visit a lot. The deal fell through almost as fast as the estate agent's jaw.

18 April, 2006 20:12  
Blogger Bela chimed in with...

I've had very noisy neighbours on and off everywhere I've lived in London (not in France, for some reason); I even had to sell a lovely flat 11 months after buying it, because my downstairs neighbours were a pair of skinheads (among other things, and in between terrorizing me, they used to watch a contraband video of A Clockwork Orange practically every night). One of my fears is that my partner and I will buy the house we've been dreaming of owning for over 20 years (big enough, light and airy, with a cute garden, etc.) and, bang!, the neighbours will be psychopaths, who will make our lives a misery. I'd have to commit suicide. :-(

24 April, 2006 13:22  

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