13 Jul

Best Neighbours In The World

After a hot and uncomfortable night’s sleep, there’s nothing that raises the spirits more than waking up at eight o’clock on a Saturday morning knowing that you have the Best Neighbours in the World.

The problem with bad neighbours is that you don’t even know that they’re there. They’d probably still be asleep, having one of those horrible ‘lies in’ that fools enjoy when the ugly end of the week is done. The Best Neighbours in the World don’t need rest. They are up bright an early and aren’t so selfish that they won’t share this fact with you. They talk loudly on the mobile phones or scream at the tops of their voices beneath your bedroom window just to make sure you know that it’s eight o’clock.

You see the Best Neighbours in the World now have put a rubber swimming pool beneath my bedroom window. The Best Neighbours in the World also have the Best Grandchildren in the world to stay over on a Friday night so they can also be up bright and early and fill my life with their innocent song!

‘Grandma! The dog’s weeing in the pool!’ echoes over the neighbourhood whilst all the Worst Neighbours in the World are still asleep.

Then the Best Granddad in the World starts the electric pump to top up the swimming pool’s air.

‘Leave it alone until I’m done!’ he shouts, his voice rolling through the peaceful pastures like an empty vessel which, as the saying goes, makes the most sound.

A squeal of delight that might just be the Best Squeal of Delight in the World penetrates the last of my dreams as the first grandchild hits the cold water.

There’s more screaming and arguments and loud chatter. A fight ensues. Cold water is thrown. There’s a temper tantrum and then a demonstration of the Best Parenting in the world (tip: it involves shouting) as the normal chaos is restored.

By about 8.45 I realise that having worked deep into the night, I have no excuse to stay in bed. I’ve had my six hours so I get up. The Best Neighbours in the World are still in the garden. The Best Grandkids are still shouting, laughing, screaming, provoking the dog…

It’s 9am and I’m dressed and in the kitchen. I make my breakfast and open the doors to let some fresh air into the house. And that’s when I realise that all is quiet. Because they’re the Best Neighbours in the World, they know when their job is done. They’ve now gone inside. No doubt they’ll soon be off out. Every weekend they do this. Noise from 7.30 until about 9. And I never learn my lesson…

But what’s this? I realise, again, that I have misjudged the Best Neighbours in the World. They’re in the garden again. The screaming has started. I’m at my desk, ready to work, and I had been worrying that today might have been one of those horribly quiet days when the only noise comes from the Test Match on the TV. Instead, today will be a day of children screaming, dogs barking, power tools, crap music on the radio, arguments and then a barbecue possibly with the Best Relatives in the World! Oh, you people out there don’t know how unlucky you are. The Best Neighbours in the World will make this day so memorable but that’s why they’re the best!

2 thoughts on “Best Neighbours In The World

  1. That’s funny, they must have emigrated from Australia.

    Every Sunday morning at 0800, start the two-stroke lawnmower. After 45 minutes, another 45 minutes of two-stroke (small, high rpm this time) brushcutting. Make good with very high rpm two-stroke leaf blower.

    Decent earplugs are your friends.

    • Oh I’ve tried earplugs and I can’t stand wearing them. You joke about Australia but we’ve often wondered if there might be any way to get them to emigrate. They’d suit a country where there’s plenty of space between people.

      Yesterday was children screaming (and I mean that kind of screaming that only kids can do without destroying their throats) from 8.30 until 6.30. And the painful part is that none of the children even live here. They’re grandchildren and friends of grandchildren, whose parents probably had a very enjoyable quiet day. That’s more than I had… Got nothing done except watch England hammer the Aussies.

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