Note to neighbour: just because you saw me do it, doesn't mean I'll do it again

One guy turned up drunk and started telling me he loved me. This put paid to my plans involving a girl I was trying to snog

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I've never been that lucky with my neighbours. To be fair, they would all probably say pretty much the same thing. I would ask them but the majority of them have some form of restraining order out on me, so logistically it would be a bit difficult. When I was in my old flat in London I lived through an increasingly curious bunch of wall sharers. The very worst was the guy who got into some sort of financial trouble with the locals and kept on having bricks thrown though his windows. I think that he eventually had some sort of breakdown. He once turned up unexpectedly in full drag at my front door in the middle of a dinner party. He was wearing make-up, fishnets, the whole deal. He leant on my door frame pouting like a two-bit Dutch hooker. He was very drunk and started shouting at me, telling me he was in love with me. This made for good dinner party conversation but unfortunately put paid to my carefully laid plans involving a girl that I was trying to snog.

I've never been that lucky with my neighbours. To be fair, they would all probably say pretty much the same thing. I would ask them but the majority of them have some form of restraining order out on me, so logistically it would be a bit difficult. When I was in my old flat in London I lived through an increasingly curious bunch of wall sharers. The very worst was the guy who got into some sort of financial trouble with the locals and kept on having bricks thrown though his windows. I think that he eventually had some sort of breakdown. He once turned up unexpectedly in full drag at my front door in the middle of a dinner party. He was wearing make-up, fishnets, the whole deal. He leant on my door frame pouting like a two-bit Dutch hooker. He was very drunk and started shouting at me, telling me he was in love with me. This made for good dinner party conversation but unfortunately put paid to my carefully laid plans involving a girl that I was trying to snog.

It's a family thing really. It was an eventful day when "Baby" Doc Duvalier moved in next door to my dad's house in France. We wanted to be friendly but weren't sure what you gave a tyrannical ex-dictator as a moving-in present. We decided on home-pressed olive oil but we only got as far as the machine-gun toting thug at the gates. We kept the music down for a bit, just in case.

When I lived in Prague I rented the top floor of a house off a lovely lady whose son was an air-traffic controller and lived in the basement. I had my own telly but shared a satellite feed with the basement gimp and this could be very embarrassing. He kept weird times and relaxed by watching extraordinarily graphic "animal" films. I realised that if I ever got lucky in Prague it was best not to ask them back to watch some TV as you never knew what horror awaited.

Living in Paris for a year I had to put up with a serious druggie in the studio above me who would get all his "stuff' sent by post from a mate in Amsterdam. You'd think that this might be a fairly unsafe way of delivering drugs until you realise that he got his mate to send the stuff to my flat in my name. The parcels would be duly deposited in my postbox at the bottom of the building, and heroin boy would either break into it or wait until I opened it and then snatch it off me. When I left I posted a turd in a box to him but he probably smoked it. Au revoir, non merçi.

Anyway, I've just moved into my new flat in London and very nice it is, too. The only odd thing, compared to the country, is getting used to having neighbours again. In the country I am detached and hidden from anyone else. Back in London I share my front door with six other flats. I'd had some problems with the company who'd put my carpet in. They'd done the job fine but had left all their spray cans, glue, trimmings and other rubbish piled up in my kid's room and the removal men were arriving. I was not best pleased. I rang them up but in true London fashion it wasn't their problem. I decided to make it their problem and was just leaving my flat when my neighbour, who was on his way out too, said hello. He seemed normal enough and was very pleasant and I wondered whether I might have broken my jinx.

Twenty minutes later I was a couple of miles away from my flat dumping all the rubbish that had been left in my flat on the doorstep of the shop concerned. I was just admiring my handiwork when who should walk right past but my new neighbour? He looked at the scene and quickly realised that a fly-tipping vandal had just moved in next door to him.

I could see him mentally working out where his bin sat compared to mine in the communal bin section. I tried to look normal and waved hello. He waved back slightly half-heartedly and kept on walking fast. I'm sure everything's going to be just fine in a while.

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