What type of a neighbour are you?
WHETHER WE'RE SNOBBY, NOSY OR NOISY, IT SEEMS WE NO LONGER TREAT THE FOLKS NEXT DOOR AS FRIENDS
Everyone needs good neighbours, yet when it comes to popping next door more of us would rather stop by to borrow a cup of sugar than for a friendly chat, it seems.
New research has found that most neighbours are fond of functional acquaintances rather than real friendship, with the under-35s the main culprits.
The survey, coinciding with Neighbourhood Watch week found that while 92pc of people claim to know their neighbours, only 55pc know their names, and just 12pc would actually consider them real friends.
So don't feel bad if you're still waiting for your welcome basket after moving into a new neighbourhood. Or if you bump into your nearest neighbour in the supermarket and they don't know you from Adam.
Yet what kind of neighbour are you? Surely the onus is on all of us to make the effort to be the perfect neighbour. So which category of neighbour do you fall into?
The Noisy Neighbour
Kate Moss reportedly infuriated neighbours in the upmarket area of St John's Wood in London with her constant partying, while Madonna was branded a nightmare neighbour after allegedly turning her €4m New York apartment into a rehearsal space with blaring music, stomping and shaking walls for up to three hours each day. It could be your dog barking, shouting, DIY, your car or house alarm, or noise from parties, but there are many ways in which you could be annoying your neighbour. It's not the way to go if you want to avoid your neighbour standing in front of you with throbbing veins from fury. It's inadvisable unless, of course, you really don't like your neighbour -- in which case it's called revenge.
The Nosy Neighbour
Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator Pauline Palmer (71) certainly kept an eagle eye on what her neighbour Brian Collins (51) was up to. For three years, she kept a detailed diary on his activities -- including when he had sex in his bedroom, when women stayed overnight, and took down car registration numbers.
Chelmsford Crown Court heard that she had persuaded Colchester Council to serve a noise abatement order on Mr Collins, even though his neighbour on the other side said she had never heard any noise.
In reply Collins said of Palmer, "She's nosy, interfering, been on her own for at least 30 years. Her attitude is obsessive, it's almost damned near frightening."
Of course, this is an extreme case of a nosy neighbour. However, if you find yourself watching your neighbours' comings and goings for no good reason at all, maybe it's time to get out more often.
The Eyesore Neighbour
Washing hanging out to dry on an apartment balcony, an old car left to rust in a driveway, or half-finished building work, one resident's lack of interest in how their property appears from the outside can have the effect of dragging a whole neighbourhood down.
Chelsea star Ashley Cole and his friends reportedly collected so much rubbish during a recent stay in a plush €7m Beverly Hills mansion that the property's wheelie bins were left spilling out onto the street.
A resident in the upmarket area was reported to have said: "It's awful, it stinks. It's like they've turned this nice, quiet, clean and respected street into a pig sty."
The Aspirational Neighbour
Hyacinth Bucket, who insisted her last name was pronounced Bouquet, was the main character in the BBC sitcom Keeping Up Appearances, and was played by Patricia Routledge.
A total snob, she devoted most of her energies to maintaining 'standards' and trying to impress 'influential' people.
So are you a Hyacinth Bucket? Here are clues you may be a snob; you avoid people with tattoos, you pronounce foreign words in a foreign accent, you prefer movies with subtitles, you go to museums on sunny days, plus you have taken to calling Kate Middleton, Princess Catherine, because you think it sounds more regal.
The Perfect Neighbour
George Clooney for women, and Jennifer Aniston for men.