WE have lived in the same semi-detached house for more than 30 years.
When we first moved in, my wife Maria bumped into an elderly chap whilst walking to the shops and told him we were newcomers. He asked where our house was and she told him.
“Ah,” he said. “The posh end of the poor.” It's a description I've never forgotten. And we've been very happy living at the posh end of the poor ever since, although there were times when we struggled to make ends meet and you can forget about any pretensions about being posh.
In that time, we've had neighbours come and go. All of them have been terrific. Adjoining us are John and Alison and their boys, now grown up. You couldn't wish for better folk.
We have a side door rather than a back door, and our longest serving neighbours were Manuel and Cindy, whose side door faced our side door for more than 20 years. Our families grew up together – they had boys, we had girls.
Manuel was a Leeds United season ticket holder and I, of course, am a Manchester United supporter. When he died of a heart attack, I wore a Leeds United shirt to his funeral as a mark of affection and respect. He was a great bloke.
Now our latest neighbours are moving on after five years, another great couple, Sean and Linda, and their daughter Emma. They are from South Africa, came here from France and their new home will be in San Francisco.
Again we were lucky because they are wonderful people. We will miss them but we wish them all good fortune in their new lives in America where I know they will be happy and successful.
Now we are wondering who will take their place. Good neighbours are gold. They become extended family. So we wait and wonder.
Whoever they are, they can expect a warm welcome at the posh end of the poor.