Who's The Daddy: "You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose who moves in next door."

You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose who moves in next door. Thankfully, in the 25 years we’ve lived in our house, all our neighbours have been pretty good - and the new ones are no exception.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 25th May 2022, 12:38 pm

Since July 1997 we’ve shared a wall with a single guy, a couple who soon became a family of four, a single woman who added a new storey in her two years there and now a family with two young kids.Now our daughters have grown up and moved out (although daughter #2 is back from uni for the summer next month) our house is so quiet you can actually hear yourself think. For about 20 years it wasn’t, but now it is.

And because the walls in 1930s semis aren’t the thickest, we can almost hear next door changing their minds, and they can hear us too.

At first they apologised (told you they were nice) and we said don’t be silly, we’ve had young kids and know what family life is like - too fast, too furious and too noisy. And anyway, we don’t want to be known as THAT couple on the street who moan about the sound of children’s laughter.

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The walls in 1930s semis aren’t the thickest, you can almost hear next door changing their minds.

They’re a musical family and are currently learning to play the following instruments, pretty well as it turns out - piano, violin and trumpet.

Weird things can happen though, like when we were watching a Netflix documentary about Britain’s most notorious paedophile and high-profile children’s entertainer Jimmy Savile, and his catalogue of depraved acts committed for decades while hiding in plain sight.

During a particularly quiet yet harrowing bit, we heard some weirdly inappropriate incidental music and wondered if there was something up with the telly - the James Bond theme tooted out of a trumpet, next door’s trumpet as it turned out. That eased the tension a little.

The only noise that comes out of our house these days is from Mr Twirly, a 30-year-old Scottish turntable that pumps out 90s bangers through a crystal-clear 125 watts per channel amplifier hooked up to a pair of floorstanders that, if your postcode starts with LA1, you can probably hear on a windless day.

Being the considerate neighbour, I always wait until next door have gone out for the day before letting it roar. Amazingly, not everyone likes mid-90s Prodigy.

The penny’s finally dropped for our reactive sighthound that next door’s fluffy kittens, owned by the previous owner, don’t live there anymore, so he doesn’t need to protect us by bounding up and down the flowerbeds.