Given all my gripes about our house, it has had me thinking about all the houses we’ve lived in, there have been a LOT. We are actually very lucky to live where we do; we live in a very nice town, even the chavs are of quite a high quality, not as good as the Harrogate chavs but you pay a premium for chavs like that. We have some lovely neighbours and although our house is a bit of a squeeze for us, it is nice (I mean, I can’t use another word for it, you know how you should always try to look for a better word than nice? Our house is just nice. I mean, it’s a Barratt home, what else is there to say?). Things could be a lot worse.
I have concluded that the worst house we lived in, was in Australia; it was the second one we lived in (we lived in three). Along with the plague of cockroaches, a dead mouse in the back of our microwave (a tale for another time) and the terrible aircon, we had to put up with the shaggers at the back of us.
We moved in about two months before Jack was due, all was well. We met our neighbours out on our shared drive one day; two guys who must have been in their late twenties like us. One was very quiet, small and a bit geeky looking, he sort of looked like he should be living in his parents’garage and playing computer games. The other was tall, much more confident and wore active wear all the time to show off the fact that he worked out. A lot. As it turned out he was a personal trainer. But they were both friendly enough and no trouble.
Jack arrived in September and the succeeding months passed in a haze of the blazing Perth summer and dealing with a fog of depression. As both of those things lifted, the personal trainer next door got himself a new client. Who bizarrely, given the proximity of a perfectly good park around the corner, he chose to train outside on the shared driveway. I was disturbed one afternoon, when both Ruari and Jack were having a sleep, by a blast of music and some counting. Irritated at the thought of my offspring being woken prematurely from their naps, I wrenched the front door open to be greeted by some blonde piece doing squats just in front of my door. I gave the neighbour a quizzical smile, which I hoped imparted the actual meaning of ‘What the fuck are you doing, you knob?!’and said ‘Oh do you mind, the kids are just having a nap?’
He smiled and picked up his radio and they moved down the driveway, in front of his house. Why weren’t they there in the first place?!
This went on a few times, they would always start off in front of my bloody door at the same time, with me having to ask them to move. Can only assume he was a sandwich short of a picnic. More bicep than brain.
Eventually though, one night, in the wee small hours, it became something more. We were woken by some poor woman being murdered on our doorstep, or so I initially thought in my just woken up state. Then I realised that somebody was shagging, on what sounded like our doorstep. I tiptoed through the house and opened the door, nobody there. I poked my head right out, still nobody there. Well though they trained on the doorstep, thank goodness they had the good grace not to shag on it. It was a warm night and we all had our windows open but good grief, it really did sound like they were right outside our house. I went back to bed and tried to block out the noise by burying my head under the pillow but to no avail, I had to listen to thirty more minutes of howling and grunting until they finished.
‘Did you hear next door last night?’ I said to David the next morning.
‘No. Why, what were they doing?’ he said.
I told him all about the very loud moaning, to the point that I had thought they were on our doorstep.
‘No, didn’t hear it.’
I am unsurprised. David can sleep through anything. He once slept through our house being broken into; I was six months pregnant with Ruari and had to shake him awake and insist that somebody was in the house.
Never mind. He got his opportunity eventually.
The noisy shaggers kept at it for quite a few nights after that and then one night, they really stepped it up a notch. It was around 1.30am and the moaning, whimpering and groaning started up but even louder than before, not that I thought that was possible. I can only conclude that previously, only we had had our windows open but now they must have too. Even David woke up this time.
‘Bloody hell!’ he whispered.
‘I told you!’ I whispered back.
We sat in bed sniggering, until eventually Jack also woke up. So there we sat the three of us, until, the shagging took on something new; the sound of skin slapping together. David and I exchanged an amused look, eyebrows raised and then burst out laughing. I then started making animal noises in the hope that they might realise that they were horribly audible and feel mortified enough to lower the volume.
But no. They had no shame. They just kept going. And going. And. Going.
‘Slap. Slap. Slap. Ooh ooh ooh. Grunt grunt grunt.’
Finally at about 3am, they reached their, ahem, climax. To add insult to injury, this is the moment our beloved second child chose to clap for the first time. To be fair, I can’t remember when Ruari first clapped now so at least it made it memorable. I will never forget the first time Jack clapped.
With a mixture of mortification and amusement, we burst into laughter and finally settled back down and went back to sleep. Until they went again at 4am. I’m not kidding. One has to admire their stamina.
It went on for a few weeks after that, until the weather cooled and the windows closed, then we couldn’t hear them any more and then we moved house. So though I may currently have a neighbour who pervs on my bottom, it’s fair to say I’ve had worse neighbours.