WHAT YOU'LL FIND ON THIS BLOG

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Reasons why one should live in a detached house if one thinks one might be misunderstood





I bought my husband a CD about birdwatching for Christmas for him to listen to. It has information about different kinds of birds and their individual songs and calls. He plays it very loud.  The neighbours are bound to be able to hear it.

What are they thinking is going on?  It's the middle of winter, for heaven's sake, and thick snow is on the ground.  Basically, there ARE no birds around.  Just, it must seem to them, in the living room of those crazy people next door.

So, our neighbours could be thinking any of the following.

1. We are trying out some unusual romantic games from a book written by an ornithologist/sex therapist entitled 'Whisper Tweet Nothings in His Ears and Spice up your Marriage'.

2. One of us has developed a rare form of Tourette's which means we punctuate our sentences erratically with bird noises ... 'Darling, would you like a cup of CHIRRUPCHIRRUPCHIRRUP - sorry, I can't help it - hot chocolate and a TWEETTWEET - oh, I'm really bad today - biscuit?'

3. We have just bought new mobile phones and, as part of the deal, were offered a range of free ringtones.  This free offer was sponsored by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.  Therefore, each tone is a birdsong.  You can select different ones depending on who's ringing, so mother-in-law can be an old crow,  your therapist a wise owl or your boss an fresh-blooded-beaked eagle.

4. We were bored of the usual Christmas presents we gave each other each year and vowed we would find 'original' one for a change.  Both of us decided, coincidentally, on a free 'Start your Own Aviary' kit.

5. We have an infestation of garden worms in our living room carpet and couldn't think of any other way of dealing with them but to let in the sparrows and thrushes, making sure they set their alarm for dawn so that the early birds could catch the worms.

6. My husband is going slightly deaf but is also going through a mid-life crisis and when someone told him that 'beards' were a sign of virility, he immediately went to the pet shop and bought fourteen canaries, twenty-two pigeons and a couple of parakeets.

Whatever the neighbours are thinking, I wouldn't be surprised if that 'For Sale' sign goes up pretty soon.

33 comments:

  1. The unhelpfulness of my Turner comment on your previous post arises because of my inevitable confusion of two pictures: Fire at Sea and Snowstorm. Both a bit blurry and weird.
    Your neighbours will never sell. You have to fill in a questionnaire these days which obliges you to reveal if you have odd neighbours.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh dear, elizabethm, is that true? This explains why most of the neighbours we've had have been long-term ones. And don't worry about your slightly ambiguous comment. I spent a happy ten minutes browsing Turner pictures. One day I might even write a blog about art in which I display knowledge and not just silliness.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Watch that the neighbours don't slap a nature preservation notice on you - You'll be stuck like that forever then!

    Fabulous and funny, Miss! I'm giving you a gold star! x

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is such a funny post. I can understand being 'the neighbour', cos my neighbour has a fair number of birds and most are parrots. They seem to awake in the evening, singing 'happy birthday to you' in that screechie tone... I could die. Its every evening and its LOUD. It's either I kill those birds or I move out lol.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm just wondering, Fran ... why DOES he play it so loud? Is he just trying to give you something to blog about? Or, like certain husbands I know, is he trying to drive you over the edge?

    ReplyDelete
  6. I think I'd be more worried about the prospect of Bill Oddie turning up on my doorstep than annoying the neighbours.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thank you for the gold star, AWONI. Actually, I think I could do with having a preservation order slapped on me. Things are deteriorating fast.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Gaia - They sing happy birthday EVERY day? Now, that would indeed drive me mad. Is that all they have in their repertoire? Sounds like you'd better move out. Just don't come anywhere near Warwickshire, England .... that's where we are.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Lesley - the last thing he'd do on purpose is give me things to blog about. He's already worried at the number of mentions he gets. Why does he play it loud? Probably because he has to play his CDs while I'm marking, during which I mutter and grumble and say 'Oh, for goodness' sake! Weren't you LISTENING?'

    ReplyDelete
  10. Martin - what you suggest is, indeed, a nightmare scenario. Bill Oddie on the telly is bad enough. On your own doorstep? Aaarrrgggghh! I will get my husband to turn the CD down.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hm, bird sounds might be a bit peaceful while you grade papers. My husband listens to these "How Stuff Works" podcasts while he runs on the treadmill ... and it's TERRIBLE to listen to. Not because of the stuff that's talked about really ... just those dang voices are SOOOO ANNOYING. I can't stand it.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi Little Miss ET - yes, from your description, I now wonder whether I am lucky to get the bird sounds and not the 'How Stuff Works'. I will try to be more grateful as I cope with the woodpecker in my ear while I'm deciphering someone's view of Steinbeck.

    ReplyDelete
  13. My creative friend - Just thought I'd let you know, I nominated you for the 2010 Weblog awards today. (http://2010bloggies.com) My little way of making amends for my riotously funny comments. lol

    ReplyDelete
  14. It's good to keep the neighbors wondering. You might be the most interesting thing in their lives.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I love No. 6. And if the neighbours move away they must be mad - you can't beat living next door to someone who is slightly eccentric. Just ask my neighbours!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Surely your long-term neighbours have stopped being surprised by anything you do, are masters in the art of raising their eyes heavenwards when it comes to commenting on them next door. I suggest you invite them to a birdsong tutorial and ply them with alcohol, that way they'll have to stop telling on you in the neighbourhood.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Lesley - you're a pal. Here's a big kiss. MWAH! I've never been nominated for anything before.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Diane - if we are the most interesting thing in their lives, they need help. Fast.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Friko - I so, so, so, SO want to send an invitation to the whole street saying 'Drop in on Sunday afternoon for a glass of wine and a birdsong tutorial' and see what happens ... 'Right, is everyone sorted for a glass of Merlot and a bit of mushroom slush on a minuscule square of toast? Good. Let's start with Lesson 1. Say after me. SQUARWK! SQUARWK! Lovely, lovely. Let's hear it again. C'mon, LENGTHen that vowel sound.'

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hm, Alan, I'm not sure about your assertion that living next to eccentrics is a good thing. I wouldn't want to live next to myself, no way.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Your Tourette's description cracked me up. Nearly spit out the little red breasted robin I was gnawing on.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Anonymous12/1/10 03:33

    Hi Miss

    Came in from Miss Memoirs

    Great blog made me laff

    Bellinda

    ReplyDelete
  23. Amanda - have you tried them with mayonnaise? Lovely contrast with the red.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hi, Bellinda. Thanks for dropping in and thanks for your comment. Laffter is the best medicine. Do come again.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I've just caught up. You've had me in stitches.

    I prescribe buying hubby headphones for his birthday...he can listen happily and the neighbours will be none the wiser...

    Of course you could just claim you're practicing for Talk Like a Bird day...

    ReplyDelete
  26. Tell me it's true, Rachel - tell me that there really is a 'Talk Like a Bird' day.

    I can't buy him headphones - he's one of those people who makes appreciative (or otherwise) noises while he's listening, or says 'that's interesting' or 'oh, I didn't know that' or 'no, you're joking' and in the end, you might as well listen to the damn thing yourself.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Too funny. I would feel sorry for the neighbours but the list of possibilities for the noises sounds like a fun game.

    Kate xx
    http://secretofficeconfessions.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hi Kate - No, don't feel sorry for the neighbours. They have a new baby and are having plenty of revenge. At least, I think it's a baby ... come to think of it, it does sound rather like a seagull ...

    ReplyDelete
  29. Oh my, thanks for making me laugh out loud in the bus early in the morning! Your posts really are a treat.

    Awaiting to read more (pleeease?)
    Leah.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Gosh, it's difficult on your blog finding the comment box because there are always so many comments in the way... erm, I mean, on the way...

    Our garden birds approve of number five and say could they come round for tea, please?

    This post reminds me of when Bruce and I found a bird site with audio clips and, soon after one of our pied wagtails came to visit us, we played a wagtail soundclip really loudly (despite having been advised by the various bird sites not to play birdsong to birds) and when we next looked, the little wagtail in the garden had gone catatonic on a rock near the pond - just wouldn't move - it was terrified! So I don't know what the one in the audio clip was saying, but we didn't play it again! (It took about half an hour for it to move again, poor little thing).

    ReplyDelete
  31. Val - maybe I don't have one of those 'go straight to comment' things I see on other people's blogs. I will look into it. I loved your story of the terrified wagtail. I hope you felt very, very guilty! Perhaps the tape was playing the birdie equivalent of a Stephen King novel in which little birds die in horrible ways.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Hello! Visiting by way of Val, and happy to be here. I love this post - "whispering tweet nothings" had me laughing out loud. Also, Val's comment evoked the same response, though I do feel bad for the little wagtail. I would have played a track of a cat meowing to snap the wagtail out of its catatonic state.

    ReplyDelete
  33. bighappynothing - hello! And thanks for your comment. It's ages since I've re-read this post and it reminded me about that birdwatching CD. He hasn't played it for ages. Presumably the neighbours now think there have been 'deaths'.

    ReplyDelete