Sunday, 24 July 2016

An Annoyance of Neighbours

Neighbours. We have all had neighbours at one time or another in our lives.

And in her latest books, An Annoyance of Neighbours, Dr Angela Lightburn, writes about all you might need or want to know about neighbours.

A couple of years ago Dr Lightburn was a member of a group of residents who were working hard to develop community cohesiveness among the members of their local community.

One of the methods they decided to employ was to create and devise a Neighbourhood Plan to examine the provision of housing developments within the area.

Dr LIghtburn came up with a novel idea to promote the idea of community cohesiveness, she decided to organise a traditional "Beating the Bounds" ceremony, an ancient method of checking the boundaries of the parish, whilst also helping to bring the community together.

Many local families turned out to participate in the ceremony and it worked so well that it has been re-established as an annual community event.

This successful event caused Dr Lightburn to begin thinking about neighbours in general terms. 

Those neighbours that we love and those neighbours that we loath.

These musings eventually led her to start some serious research which, ultimately, developed inot her book, An Annoyance of Neighbours.

She asks questions about the types of neighbours that everyone might have had at one time or another, or who they might be experiencing, now.

Noisy neighbours, nosy neighbours, irritating neighbours, boring neighbours.

If you have ever had a neighbour like the above, then you will find this book illuminating and interesting.

Although Doctor Lightburn has a degree in Psychology and a PhD in Applied Psychology her book is not a dreary academic tome, it is a highly entertaining and extremely well-written book. Might that be as a result in the Diploma in Insurance that she picked up on the way? Possibly, but she asks us not to think about that, so we won't!

The book contains a great deal of highly valuable information on how to live near to and how to cope with difficult neighbours, but it is also highly humorous and bitingly satirical.

For example, did you know what type of fruit would tell you if your neighbours are sexually libertine swingers? Or the trick to employ in the middle of the night to wrongfoot nosy neighbours?

How to cope with the angry note writing nutters, sorry, neighbours, what to expect when your neighbour exposes themselves as a DIY fiend, what to do if you have hippies for neighbours, and the crazy cat lady neighbour. Dr Lightburn opines: "Once upon a time a little girl was given two kittens and that was the Crazy Cat Lady's starter kit!"

All types of neighbours are carefully and helpfully graded by a colour coded flag warning system, plus a very helpful and amusing list of nicknames for the neighbours we love to hate.

Incidentally we suffered from some neighbours who we find in that list. Are they the same people? Who knows? Perhaps they are!

If you work in a counselling setting and ever have to deal with people bothered by nutty or naughty neighbours, if you work in a Council or Housing Association office and have to deal with complaints about bad neighbours or if you, or someone you know, lives near a Neighbour From Hell, this book is a must have. 

It's published by Matador at the remarkably keen price of £7.99 and it might just about save your sanity.

You can purchase it at the That's Books Shop, which you will find to the right of this review. 

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