If you want short, stilted conversations which stop with an awkward silence, I'm your perfect neighbour.
Our noisy neighbour left a few months ago. Whether it was under a cloud, I don't know, but I'm more than happy he didn't make good on his promise to let me try out his rusty old Mini which he was going to soup up. The Mini disappeared then he did.
So in move a nice quiet couple - the woman keeps herself to herself which is how I like it. The man, however, is more sociable and attempts to bond with me.
So here I am, performing the annual vacuum of the inside of the car, and he appears from behind me and says would I mind if he puts in a flower border between our two miniature lawns. Of course I don't mind.
We ask each other how we're getting on. I ask him whether he hears much noise from us. He says "no". He asks me if we hear much noise from them. I say "no".
He says, "Because I like my music."
I spot a chance to make more than idle chit chat. Music is an interest we have in common. Experience tells me I shouldn't ask the next question but I jump in with both feet.
"What sort of music do you like, then?"
I HATE it when people ask me that question. Because I always know we'll have nothing in common. So why am I being a prick and asking him the same question?
"I like all sorts. I like Pink Floyd."
He is a young looking sixty, or "I'm sixty but I don't look it, do I?" as he told us the first time we met him. And if he's sixty, he must like the Floyd from way back.
"Do you like the stuff with Syd Barrett?"
Shit. The name doesn't register. I don't think he's ever heard of Syd Barrett.
"I bought one of Pink Floyd's CDs the other day. What was it called? Had a cow on the front."
Shit, I don't remember either. I've got the CD myself. Which one is it?
"Animals?" I say.
"No, that's the one I wanted. This one's disappointing. It's really miserable....I like newer stuff as well. I like Stone Roses."
Well at least he's trying to connect. But I can't tell him I think Stone Roses are the most overrated band of all time. Why the fuck doesn't he just say "THE QUO" and get it over and done with?
"I like Coldplay too."
Bollocks, this is desperate. I can't tell him I think Coldplay are the biggest load of wank-masquerading-as-deep going. If he thinks the Floyd album with the cow on it is miserable then what the fuck are Coldplay?
"I've just bought an album they're on. It's called Festival."
This draws a complete blank with me. I presume it's an album of bands who play festivals. Oh Jesus, I'm lost. I should be the sixty year old. He should be the forty-four year old.
We're on my favourite subject, popular music, and once again I have nothing in common with anybody in the whole world.
Oh. Thank Christ. Here come a couple of lads giving out leaflets. 'CAR VALETING SERVICE'. Quick, change the subject.
"Typical. Here I am cleaning out the car, and what do I get?"
So this week I am listening to Atom Heart Mother, the Pink Floyd album with the cow.