Cheek by Jowl, By Emily Cockayne


"I think one side is in now, the other not," Cockayne writes about neighbours in her Norwich terrace. "My kids are hurtling round so they will know we're in."

Still, it could be worse, as we always say about neighbours. This relishable history explores such phenomena as a toilet shared by five families made worse by one resident falling asleep on the loo, next-door sex like "overhearing a murder", cockerels crowing 400 times an hour from 2am.

Discussing sex in the suburbs, Cockayne reveals that pampas grass is "the swingers' signature plant".