The house next door, where Nice Mr Next Door used to live, has been empty for almost exactly two years. Before that, the family of Nice Mr Next Door lived there for around fifteen years, and were great neighbours. I can't say enough good about them.
I was worried that they would not like us when they first moved in because we had to shut off their water on the first day they were there. I was mortified and took a lot of bottled water around, there was nothing I could do. We had been left high and dry by some bathroom fitters. Fifteen years later I was heartbroken when they moved out, though I really understood why they did.
Now we have new neighbours. They seem very pleasant, they are very quiet and we haven't had to shut off their water. What has happened could be considered worse. Bear, after utterly rejecting all connection with the concept of piano playing and driving me to the utter ends of my resources when it comes to practising, has found a piece he liked. He's had a lot of fun with Donna e Mobile and a song that's apparently to do with canaries, but yesterday his piano teacher (who is an absolute star) brought what I suspect is a simplified version of Hall of the Mountain King, part of the Peer Gynt Suite.
Bear loves it. He is a very happy bear. He can't stop humming it. Since he got the sheet music in his paws yesterday around 9.15am he hasn't stopped practising. I honestly believe that in the last day and a bit he has done more practice than the rest of the year so far. It isn't an electric piano. There isn't a volume control or headphones. Our neighbours at the back are definitely hearing bear attacking Hall of the Mountain King with energy, determination and almost accuracy. I'm hoping that the new neighbours aren't suffering too much. The piano is against the outside wall. The sound of bear's attempts have to cross the study, the living room and their kitchen before it gets to their living room.
I hope that they are the forgiving type.