Everybody needs good neighbours

I’ve been ‘borrowing’ wifi from my neighbours, but to be fair I have also been entering them in a lot of competitions to win free stuff. (I don’t think they’ve won anything yet, but I ticked ‘yes, please do contact me to tell me about other offers’ so they’re sure to be in with a chance.

I just hope I can find a subtle way to let them know that all those promising new emails and letters are thanks to me. I don’t want a big fanfare, obviously, but a little appreciation would be nice). I think my neighbours like living next to me anyway, because I’m fun. I have a rule only to play ‘night music’ in my room, so club anthems blare out from the moment I wake up. (I would highly recommend adopting a similar policy. Brushing one’s teeth is much more interesting if you have a throbbing electro beat to keep time with).

I’m not big on grocery shopping, so I like to pop over to my neighbours when it’s say, lunchtime, and have a quick chat. Other people’s fridges are really very well stocked. It is really best to pick a neighbour with a child for your lunchtime drop in, because then you often receive quite glorious things like chicken dippers and smiley faces. Equally, small children are absolutely brilliant as long as you don’t have to take them home with you. I had a most informative session last week where I was taught how to draw a horse properly. (I had been sloppily forgetting the forelock, and my mane started too low).

That time, I’d popped over before dinner, which is also a very profitable time. The children are rounded up at some pre-ordained yet secret signal, and whisked upstairs for baths and stories. At this point, having carefully folded your much improved horse drawing into your pocket, it is imperative to sigh loudly and say something like, ‘Gosh, I’ve never been so glad for bedtime.’ This will elicit knowing smiles from the other adults, and usually results in a drink being offered.

Clearly a trip to the loo is a critical part of every good neighbourly visit. It’s a chance to replenish not only one’s toilet paper supply, but also to flick through those really expensive, heavy magazines where it’s terribly hard to find anything that isn’t an advert. I can talk to you quite knowledgeably about this month’s ‘Homes and Gardens’, and let me tell you, I certainly did not part with £7.99 to do so.

It is important not to overstay one’s welcome, obviously, so I tend not to stay for dinner. However, I don’t want to be rude, so if it looks really delicious, I will make an exception. Today I entered my neighbours into a competition to win free tickets to Ibiza. I spent the rest of the day with all the windows open, playing the best of Creamfields. You know, to prepare them.

It is quite amazing how well sound travels in a small mews, because when I went over for tea it was just as loud in their kitchen as in mine. ‘Is that yours?’ my neighbours asked. ‘Yes!’ I said enthusiastically. ‘You must get a Bose! Listen to how loud they go!’ They didn’t say anything, so when I got home I signed them up to receive the Bose daily email about their latest products.

It took a while, and the wifi was terribly slow, so tomorrow I’m going to recommend they get a better broadband package. As I said, I think they really like living next to me.

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