No, not the actual neighbours. As it happens I have great neighbours now. On one side, they mend their fences – not just in a Robert Frost way but I mean they literally mended the fences when they blew down last month. Living in Coventry, there is every chance that these are the very larch laps that the Luftwaffe missed, so I appreciate it. The other side blew down too, and I am taking responsibility for these. My Nigerian neighbour on that side is great – in fact he once helped me break into my house and when I thanked him, said “we don’t just do cars” – but he isn’t a fence mender. These are much better neighbours than the ones in my last place who dropped me a thoughftul note one day to say welcome and to tell me (a) my music was too loud and (b) they could hear me snoring. To soften the blow, they used notepaper with pictures of meerkats on. I really wanted to tell them that I could hear them having sex (footnote: unsatisfactorily, as it happens) but instead I moved and took my snoring with me to a place with thicker walls. And then there was the neighbour whom I never saw. I went round once by way of introduction and he didn’t answer the door. On reflection I should probably have been alerted by the fact that his front door was actually barricaded, but I just eventually forgot all about him and assumed that I would one day just smell his rotting corpse. But then out of the blue, he popped round at 5am one morning and broke all my windows, and demanded I return his trousers (footnote: I didn’t take his trousers)
No, the neighbours in question are my blogging neighbours. Today WordPress suggests:
Today’s assignment: follow five new topics in the Reader, and begin finding blogs (and bloggers) you love.
Now I’m already acquainted with some bloggers, but I will do my homework and explore more widely. I already have a random collection of favourites – poets, artists, writers, photographers – and I love the eclectic and bonkers nature of life on Planet Blog. To be honest I find some not to my taste. There are those, for example, who claim to be funny, but in fact just apply lots of exclamation marks. Or worse, LOL (with an exclamation mark for added hilarity). There are also many whose lives are beset by the madcap antics of their cats/dogs/children and who have to hit the Pinot Grigio at the end of a crazy day!!!!! And there are the survivors. Oh dear. Just typing those words makes me look like a psychopath. Is it OK to say that there are just some neighbours I don’t feel any connection with? I have nothing against them, but I find some of these blogs derivative, just a tiny bit predictable, a little bit lazy. A bit like Marks and Spencer’s Per Una range.
So for those who don’t know, the Reader is the repository where you store your favourite bloggers, and check in from time to time to see what they’ve been up to. After a busy day, having put the little tykes to bed, pulled the kitten out of the tumble dryer – LOL!!! – and onto my third PG, I like nothing better than to sit down and write ad nauseum about my miserable life and my failed marriage. When I’ve finished (footnote: I have written about 25 of these derivative, predictable and lazy posts if you want some examples) I then check out my neighbours and see what they’ve been up to.
I have some real favourites: the type of neighbours I wish would ask me round for coffee, because they kindly leave their curtains open and their lights on, and I love what they’ve done with their alcove. I would like to share one particular favourite if you don’t mind: the fabulously intelligent, talented, perceptive, sharp, funny, and cutting writer, artist and generally all round annoyingly brilliant Sian at Chapter 20. I’m looking forward to meeting many more. And I absolutely promise not to steal your trousers.