I have something of a love/hate relationship with my next door neighbours. They disappeared over the winter and it wasn’t until they came crawling back, shamefaced, about a month ago that I even noticed they’d been gone. Seeing them through the window made me think that spring could finally be on the way, even as Cornwall got covered in yet another unnecessary helping of snow.
The guys next door didn’t mind, though. They run a little neighbourhood watch program – mainly on the lookout for unattended chips – and they stayed almost entirely unmoved in the face of blizzards, and ice, and all sorts.
Whenever I appear at the window they get up and we have a little staring competition. Even though they lived next door last year and made it through the harrowing experience of being in my general vicinity without incident, they still don’t seem to completely trust that I’m not going to do something awful to them. And maybe one day I will snap when they start screaming at 4am, but it hasn’t happened yet. And even if it did I don’t think I could clamber over the roof to get to them because I’m not, try as I might, a Mary Poppins chimney sweep.
What I’m trying to say is, as neighbours go, these guys are a little bit odd. But we’re about to enter year two of our co-existence, and I think we’re just about managing to stay on one another’s good side. I’ve become used to the drill – they’re having a quiet moment right now. Then comes a nest, a full family joining in with the early morning wakeup calls, probably right around ‘ooh, it’s warm enough to sleep with my window open’ season*, and then they disappear for six months. Then they come back as if nothing had happened, like so many previously-dead Eastenders characters.
My only slight issue is that Disney movies led me to believe that when I finally made some birdy friends they’d be the pretty, delicate kind who might occasionally run a duster around and would definitely help me get dressed. And, admittedly, they’d be set up for failure from the get-go because it would take a full flock to haul me into my bra of a morning, but it would still be nice to try.
Instead I’m stuck with idiots who shit on my windows and wake me up at 4am almost without fail.
And, worse still, I look for them every morning when I open my curtains and every night when I go to bed. Sometimes I go into my bedroom just to look out of the window and see what they’re up to. I wish I knew how to quit the seagulls next door.
*Is the proper name for it, maybe… summer? It’s such a distant memory I honestly can’t think of the name any more. The sunny bit? Sky goes a funny colour like not-clouds? No jumpers? You know the one.