A year ago today we moved into our new house. We got the keys 5 minutes before our removal men were threatening to leave taking all of our worldly possessions with them such was the delay in finally completing. Despite a very stressful day as soon as we walked through the door of our new house it instantly felt like our home. No getting used, it just felt like this is where we were meant to be. Not next door, which had been up for sale and where I had made and cancelled an appointment to view. Thank goodness we didn’t buy their house and thank goodness they decided to take their house often market! Within half an hour there was a knock at the door and our new next door neighbour introduced himself as Phil and came armed with a bottle of prosecco. He looked so familiar but I couldn’t figure out why. Over the next few days I racked my brains and realised that Phil was the crazy dancer at Ruth and Adam’s wedding that I had shot the year before. It then dawned on me that Phil was married to Helenor, who I had many a case against when I was still a solicitor. I nervously sent her an e-mail from work declaring us to to the their new next door neighbours and the rest is history!
The sheer relief of moving in next to a family who are almost as noisy as us (“the scream” produced by Evie just gives us the edge!) was overwhelming and after a week our children were firm friends with daily meetings taking place over the fence. There have been too many playdates to mention, trampoline extravaganzas, Harry Potter fights, inventions made and cinema and museum trips had. There have been lunches, dinners, barbecues (burnt!) and babysitting. We have had theatre trips, attended a yoga class (singular due to fits of laughter!) and a book club (low brow) formed. Guinea pigs and frequently locked out children have been embraced as have small children who referred to their new neighbours as “our new next door neighbours” 6 months in coupled with rugby tackle hugs and never ending questions. The first annual crimbothon was formed to watch Christmas films that don’t get watched as there is simply too much playing and gabbing to be done but a tradition has been started nonetheless!
Thanks to Helenor I managed to kick my diet coke habit that I’d had for years. She told me in September to just stop drinking it. So I did as she is wise and speaks sense!
When we all became Facebook friends, the true test of neighbour friendship, it became clear that the Watsons are literally known and loved by pretty much everyone in south Liverpool and beyond. It isn’t hard to see why. They are kind, generous, funny, warm and have welcomed us and so many with open arms. Their children are smart, compassionate and care and love each other and our children like family. Whenever we have needed help, back up, advice and support they have been there without question. They are so much more than neighbours to us. Everyone needs neighbours like the Watsons but I’m very glad they’re ours!