My new neighbours are settling in and “redesigning” the garden. At the moment, this seems to mean burning rubber items that give off noxious clouds.

I leant over the fence yesterday and mentioned to the mother, Poppy, that the council would not be happy with the sight of her burning rubbish in a built-up area. She paused and appeared to be holding back tears.

“Oh that’s a terrible shame,” she commiserated. “I hate the thought of anyone feeling sad.” And she slung a section of polyester carpet on to the flames.

I’ve kept the windows closed to keep the gasses out but John, who is staying with me at the moment, is intrigued and wants to report them. If he’s serious, I won’t hold him back. A 10-year old’s lungs are surely sacrosanct.

The new neighbours are very exercised about Brexit, by the way, but I’m not sure how. They’ve put a poster in their front window simply saying “Brexit”.

“What’s the point?” asks John.

“I dunno. To give an impression they care about something,” I tell him. “But without offending anyone. They probably don’t want to miss out on all the fun.”

Now, talking about neighbours, I realise that I haven’t mentioned the last two podcasts by Tempest. The most recent one is, in fact, called The Neighbour and makes me think that a bit of carpet-burning is not all that bad. The one before is called Under and Peony tells me she doesn’t like to take a bath since listening to it.

(Peony is very contemptuous of the neighbour being called “Poppy”, says it’s a very lame and desperate kind of name, not the kind of flower that would impress anyone.)

You can find the two new podcasts here: