Notwithstanding The Competition

So at the end of yesterdays post on the book Notwithstanding by Louis de Bernieres I promised you that I would have a little competition and I do, one of you could have a lovely copy of the hardback if you fancy it. Now some bloggers will just ask you to pop some comments below the post to enter this, I however am much nosier and so I wondered just how on earth I could use this competition to get to know you all better and then I came upon a question that will hopefully be fun to answer and also fun for others to read the comments of.

As Notwithstanding is all about community and quirky characters I thought I would ask you who the most quirky neighbour you have ever had? Now this doesn’t just mean in villages this can be in cities too. Now in case you are sat there thinking what on earth is Simon on about I will give you some examples, you can also get to know me a bit better.

When I lived in Marlborough, Wiltshire when I was younger we used to have a neighbour at the end of out garden who was a little too protective (some might say just downright nosey and interfering, we were politer) she knew everything about us before she had met us but she also used to peer through the letter box and even the cat flap to check if we were in and make sure ‘no one was burgling you’. In London I have just moved into my old weird neighbours much bigger flat (I am so glad they have gone) they used to describe what bodily functions they were going to do once indoors at the top of their voices, open your post because they thought it was theirs and frequently on Saturday nights regale us all with song at 3am for half an hour or so.

If you have had the luck, and I would be amazed, never to have had quirky or bizarre neighbours have your relatives or friends? One utterly delightful neighbour my Gran had until she sadly passed away three weeks ago could often be seen first thing in the morning dancing through the garden and doing yoga… aged 96!!! So now over to you, what’s the quirkiest neighbour you have had? You have until 7pm on Wednesday!

7 Comments

Filed under Book Thoughts, Give Away

7 responses to “Notwithstanding The Competition

  1. Fabio

    When I was living in Italy with my family at the age of 8 or 9, we lived in an apatment on the fifth floor. The balcony opened over a huge inside courtyard overlooking the flats in the buildings opposite us. We could see what happened in the neighbours’ living rooms and kitchens and i guess they could see us. My most vivid memory of that time spent at that flat is when, on hot summer days, in the quiet lull of a hot afternoon, this particular neighbour (a man in his mid-thirties) wanted to play red indians and cowboys with whoever was outside on the balconies. I rememebr my mother pretending to shoot, I could hear going: Bang! Bang! while putting the washing on the line.
    He used to hide behind a chair and fake being shot in the chest , in the head, in the arms. Sometimes, I could hear screams late at night, and now, I know that he was having a fit or something. Sometimes my mother would let me play with him, possibly out of pity for this guy whose life had been marked by pain and disability. He was always delighted to when he could play and waved from behind the window when he saw us. His parents were quite elderly and they moved out when i was 12 years old, and the flat was empty for many years.

    • Blimey Fabio I cant decide if that is a quirky or quite harrowing and daunting tale. It sounds in some parts surreal, some parts comical and some parts very disturbing. Thank you for sharing though.

  2. Come to Sri Lanka where everyone knows everyone else’s business. They also know your second cousin twice removed, who married whom, who eloped or ran away in the local parlance, who disgraced the family and who is earning millions in the States or Germany or wherever!!!! Its not a bother at all to anyone – you just sail through it! there is no sense of wanting your space. People may not have heard of the term at all…

    • Wow are you saying I have a reader in Sri Lanka, thats amazing!!! Hello and welcome to the site. I guess it could be very comforting for people to know all of your business in some ways.

  3. The people who lived next door to me growing up were a bit of a trial. The mother was crazy and was always wandering up to us and telling us stories about her recent brain surgery (full head of hair intact), her advanced Parkinson’s disease, and how she had joined a nunnery part-time. The youngest son was diabetic and was always winding up in comas in other parts of the city. We have rescued at least a dozen pets from next door as they were being abused. Oh yeah, and when I was twelve, they burned down their garage by accident. They meant to just burn some garbage & it got out of hand. Oops.

  4. Kim

    I live in one of the old Chinese villages in the country in Hong Kong and most of my neigbours have a story. One of my earliest encounters with a long time village resident here was when I came across a hairdresser from Essex who had moved to Hong Kong 20 years ago and who used to be one of the team of colourist’s to the Queen.
    The first time we spoke he was drinking chinese rice wine flavoured with grapefruit juice (“to take away the horrible taste, darling”) and it was only 8.30 in the morning. He was sitting outside of his single story house in which he now squats.
    He used to rent the place but he lost his super glamorous job as chief colourist in one of the most famous Hong Kong hair salons because he turned up drunk for work one time too many. He soon got through his savings by continuing his lavish lifestyle with his fabulous friends who immediately dropped him as soon as his bank balance turned red. After that he could no longer afford to pay rent to the landlord or for his utilities and so he decided to stay in his house until he got kicked out.
    So far, six years on, he hasn’t been disturbed (except by someone who only a few months ago decided to relieve him of his one and only valuable possession whilst he was asleep in a drunken stuper and stole his Gucci watch from him).
    Of course, inspite of the inconvenience of having no gas, electricity or running water, he keeps living there, sitting outside during dry days, drinking Chinese rice wine and chatting to people who pass by; people like me. He confided in me not so long ago that the reason he stands and chats to everyone is because sitting in his dark, damp and mercilessly hot house all day drives him mad.
    People bring him lunch and take him out for dinner, drop off warm clothes in the winter, leave red packets of money for him at Chinese New Year and food hampers for him at Christmas. Every time he gets some cash he spends it on drink. On days when I do not see him sitting on the wall I worry in case something has happened to him and the next thing I know he is there in the queue at the Supermarket with a bottle of rice wine in his hand.
    He is a lovely, harmless, outrageously funny, lonely, sad man who has only the villagers to care for him because he cannot take care of himself.

  5. Pingback: The Man in the Picture – Susan Hill « Savidge Reads

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