Late Sunday afternoon and I am at my desk, working peacefully on a cosmetic dentistry feature (due in tomorrow), when the doorbell rings. It is my Portuguese neighbour.
On Wednesday evening, he appeared at my window blowing kisses - I'm not sure whether it was to Biff or me - while I was watching Location, Location, Location on satellite.
On Friday, he was barbecuing sardines at midnight, when I returned from dinner in the local restaurant. He put down his tongs and came over to pat Biff on the head.
'Ecoute!' he said. 'In a short while I will take a shower and then knock very quietly on your door.' He mimes an action of knocking on the door.
'That's very amusing,' I said. 'But I don't think so.'
When the doorbell rang at 1.00am, I ignored it.
Saturday provided a reprieve, with no sightings of my neighbours. And today, apart from a brief interlude of U2's 'Sunday Bloody Sunday,' all has been quiet in the house next door.
But now my neighbour is standing on the doorstep. Biff, annoying, sits suppliantly in front of him - he likes any company - not even bothering to bark. My neighbour has come to claim the aperitif that I managed to escape last week with the vague promise of 'another time.'
'I'm working,' I say.
I can give you a coup de main, he says. [I look at his muscley arms and fleetingly it occurs to me that he I could do with someone to help clear out my garage.]
'It's not that sort of work,' I say. 'I'm working at my computer.'
'Then I will come back in an hour,' he says, looking at his watch. 'At 7.30pm and you can take a break.'
Aagaggah......As my friend Tom would say, I have failed to land the plane (ie make him go away for good) but how to do it in a friendly, neighbourly way?