A Collection of Open Letters to All of My Neighbours.

Trust me, I totally understand a lady's right to a little wink wink, nudge nudge. Sex, in a nutshell. It's just, normally, I like to at least know a person's name before I get a good look at their nethers.

To the lady on my left,

Well, this is awkward. I don't know if you've realised, but I can actually see into your kitchen from my kitchen. Unfortunately, that 5'9" fence installed between our houses is not tall enough to keep my 5'11" self from making eye contact with you as we do our washing up - what feels like together - most evenings.

If you hadn't noticed, this may be a something you would like to take into consideration next time you decide to have wonderfully adventurous sexual relations whilst perched on top of your gas cooker. Last time I honestly felt like we'd made quite strong and uncomfortable eye contact. I remember because I was cleaning a particularly vicious stain from my stewing pot, and you were... well, you know what you were doing. I've gotta be honest, that's quite an interesting set of facial expressions you have there. You got range, girl. There I was thinking you were in the midst of a particularly aggressive asthma attack, right up until your gentleman caller came back up for air like a diver shucking for pearls.

Trust me, I totally understand a lady's right to a little wink wink, nudge nudge. Sex, in a nutshell. It's just, normally, I like to at least know a person's name before I get a good look at their nethers. I need a connection. (Even with pornography. It's like sure, I know she's been a bad girl, but who is she really and what's the truth behind her homework being so late?) Perhaps I'm just behind on my kitchen etiquette. Is eating out really the new eating in? I don't know. Maybe that's just a difference between you and I: we use our kitchens for much different kinds of cuisine.

Yours faithfully,

126 (Unadventurous Eater).

To the younguns next to the lady on my left,

In the hot hot heat of summer, everybody likes listening to music, sunbathing with friends and having a BBQ. I get you. I feel you guys. But for once, it would be nice if that person was me, instead of you.

The thing is I'm not a massive fan of Portuguese music, if I'm honest. So when I get a bit tired of listening to your music at such an outrageous decibel, and I go inside and shut all my windows and doors, and the sound continues to judder through my house, I think that's the point where the music might be considered a bit too loud.

I noticed you ignored the polite note I put through your door a few weeks ago. That's cool, no worries compadre. It's just, when I'm trying to enjoy a spot of light reading in my garden on my day off, your love for the sounds of Portugal and barbecuing chicken makes me feel like I'm in Nandos for six hours without being able to reap any of the benefits.

Yours truly,

126 (Classical Fan).

To the house next to that,

The weird exercise video that you insist on completing in your conservatory with all the windows open sounds awfully old and kinda pornographic. It's disturbing and awkward to listen to when I have family visiting. Please stop, or at least switch to a motivator that doesn't insist on exhaling so provocatively.

Yours Sincerely,

126 (Allergic to Exercise).

To the musician on my right (first floor flat),

Don't get me wrong, buddy - I love music. I can appreciate a tune as much as the next muso. But the way you start playing Bad to the Bone on your harmonica as soon as I turn out my bedroom light makes me feel like I'm in prison.

I need my sleep, okay? I know I agreed to the perils of terraced housing when I moved next door, and I also realise I have the bedtime of a pensioner, but come on, man! I'm an early riser! If I don't get my sleep I get cranky, and it makes the guys in my office ask inappropriate questions like, "girl, you on your period?" And you know what? Sometimes I wish I was, because at least that would be over after like, four days.

Having said this, I do prefer your musical abilities to your penchant for late-night gameshows. If the voice of Roy Walker interrupts one of my saucy dreams with "Five seconds, here we go!" or "What's Mr Chips doing there?" one more time I'm going to have to start sleeping on my living room floor in a sleeping bag. I can't go back to that, I'm not at university anymore. I have a full time job. I watch programmes like Panorama and Silent Witness. I'm a grown up for Christ's sake, and I don't have time for these games.

Being in the pitch-black of my bedroom, sandwiched between a poor man's Howlin' Wolf (that's you) and Bridget Jones next door - when she finally makes it to her bedroom, that is - is like some horrible nightmare where I've gone blind in an adult cinema showing a continuous loop of retro pornography and I can't find the exit. Let's establish a curfew, shall we?


Yours respectfully,

126 (Howlin' Wolf Enthusiast).

To the couple also on my right (ground floor flat),

Thank you for the Christmas card.

Yours forever,


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