The one that is not, is our cottage, which is the second house in the lane or the middle house. So sooner or later we shall have new neighbours on either side. We live on the outskirts of a rural village about four miles from Chester. Despite being so close to a city we are almost living in the country and are surrounded by farms. The lane where we live is unadopted which means that it is unmade. Our cottage is over one hundred years old and is actually two farm workers cottages knocked into one, but the other two house are modern and fairly recently built. We are biased, but to us our cottage is the most desirable property in the lane, as we prefer something older with character. There is a fourth house at the end of the lane, which fronts onto the made up lane that our lane is off and then on either side of our unmade lane there is a farm. Either you think that this setting is idyllic or you don’t. You are probably wondering what have we done to upset the neighbours? Nothing, we have just been minding our own business. We do not have pets, play loud music, have wild parties or wander around in the nude. The cottage is well maintained and we keep the garden tidy. I would like to think that we are the ideal neighbours. As we see things the present neighbours are the architects of their own downfall.
The first house is owned by a couple and the wife’s very active seventy something mother. When I first met them I thought that the husband must be a saint to have his mother-in-law living with him. A few years ago the halo slipped and he had an affair. Now he has gone, the couple are divorced and the house has been for sale for nearly two years. They are on their third estate agent, the price has been drastically reduced and they have, to our knowledge, had one very low offer that they refused. We shall be sad to see them go as they have been good neighbours.
The house on the other side is a totally different story. When we first moved to the cottage the couple that owned the other house both worked away from home and were hardly ever there. Then quite suddenly they disappeared and the house was for sale. It took over 18 months for a buyer to turn up. In that time we got used to the peace and quiet of an empty house next door. I was working in our back garden when our new neighbour-to-be took his architect round to discuss an extension on the back of the house. My sixth sense told me that they were going to be trouble and it was correct, they have been. From picking a fight with the dairy farmer to leaving their dog 'home alone' to bark until the early hours of the morning. They do not fit here and have been trying to sell their house on and off for some time. More off than on actually and I do not think that they have had even one viewing. We are desperate for them to move. The sooner they go the better.
I do not envy either neighbour the stress of moving. However, if they are to go we are looking forward to some nice new neighbours. On one side at least. Who knows what we shall get. The devil that you know is often better than the devil you don't.