Our Guest blogger Iona is worried her sons have chased her new neighbours away:
Neighbours come and neighbours go…. rather more frequently for the military family than a civilian one. We are in a rather small quarter, and with three growing boys – the eldest of whom is now taller than me, when even in the highest of heels [me not him, I should point out] – we are all rather on top of one another at half-terms and holidays.
New neighbours arrived this half term. As they have moved from overseas they have had a long and slow move in, with the usual hiccups from the various departments that deal with military housing, compounded with their stuff arriving from overseas, and furniture being released from storage.
My sympathies are with them; I have been in that position twice and it is an emotional affair, especially arriving at a small quarter and realising nothing will fit. Most wives I know in this patch have burst into tears, at some point, within 24 hours of arriving. For me, it was when the removal man brought another box into my tiny kitchen and asked where he could put it. I couldn’t answer him, because every space was full and so I sobbed ‘I don’t know’. At this point he made me a cup of milky sweet tea and reassured me it would be alright, everyone did this!
Back to my new neighbours: they have been friendly and don’t seem to have been overwhelmed by the move; even when their heating didn’t work, they seemed to take it in their stride. Apart from today…I arrived back to see them leaving to return to their hotel. They didn’t look happy at all, nor did they look me in the eye, or even acknowledge me… it must have gone badly today I thought.
It was then that I heard the bagpiping, emanating at top volume from my house. No 1 son had been practising whilst I had nipped to the shops. Could this explain their bad day? I wanted to run after them and say ‘sorry’ or something to that effect, but I was too late, they were driving off around the corner.
If it is any consolation to them, my boys go to boarding school; they can take some comfort that the bagpipers only return on half-terms and holidays and most of the time can’t be bothered to practise. I can just imagine how novice bagpipers at full volume must have been the icing on the cake during the chaos of an overseas house move…but at least when you get your next quarter allocation, you know the house next door to me is occupied…. for now!