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Advice needed - not at all related to food!!

Aaaaggh! What to do about this, please???

We have an 'eccentric' neighbour - house hasn't been looked after for thirty years, garden so overgrown its brambles have become ours, single man of about 60. He's a nice enough bloke, never caused us any harm, but is ever so slightly bonkers. Generally speaking, we see him about once a month, have a polite conversation and then forget about him.

Recently, my husband ran into him and had a long conversation, during which Pat(the neighbour) told him he'd been involved in a nasty incident where he was brought down by a bloke while riding his bike, and then basically left unconscious in the park at closing time. Obviously, this is a horrible story, made particlularly sad by the fact that Pat had been laid up in bed for ten days without basics like bread and milk, and unable to get out.

We have often commented on the fact that he could die in his house (nice!) and noone would know (he has no visitors). So, we gave him our number and basically said to call if anything ever happened again and we would get shopping etc.

Yeah? we'd all do the same wouldn't we?

Well, he did phone - the next week. he'd fallen again, re-hurt his back and asked me to get him some medicines. I did this, all fine etc etc.

So what's the problem? The man has no sense of time. In the olden days, when I was a smoker, I'd occasionally find myself outside at silly-o'clock-in-the-morning and his lights would always be on. We think he pretty much sleeps in the day and wakes in the evening.

He's phoned us now three times, all after nine pm. Not a major issue, but we are Mr and Mrs early-to-bed. We have two young children and hard jobs, so we need our sleep. We are almost always in bed by ten.

Last night, my husband stayed up to watch the Peter Kay programme,and was just heading up to bed at 11.20, when the doorbell rang. Pat was there, and stayed on our doorstep for half an hour (too polite hubby!), talking VERY loudly about nothing. The bell had woken me up, so I was getting more and more worked up about him having the cheek to come round at that time. Plus, I was just waiting for one of the kids to wake up. My daughter is sleeping really badly at the mo - waking us up pretty much every night. A nightmare.

In the end, he left at 11.55, and I got myself worked up to such an extent that I was up until 2.30 wittling, and was then woken up at 4 by my daughter. So 3 hours sleep. Great.

How do we tell him to stay away after nine, without being rude. I DO feel sorry for him. I think he must be desperately lonely and don't want to be nasty to him. But he can't do this, can he? My friends don't call later than 9, let alone a virtual stranger.

I think I have a slight fear that he may be nasty to us if we upset him. He's odd enough that I don't want to make an enemy of him.

It is, of course, possible that he'll never call again, but I feel so angry and sad about it that I need a response if he does.

What would you say to him????

Thanks for reading, and please give me your opinion.

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I think you just need to tell him politely that you go to bed early, so please could he keep the phone calls/house visits to anytime before then please. Explain that you're more than happy for him to call round, phone you etc, but you need your sleep so you're able to function etc.

I think a lot of people start to panic in the evenings about things - once it's dark and you're on your own it feels like you're the only one in the world, and it's very lonely, especially if you're worrying about things (even if they're things too silly/irrelevant to mention to your husband or yourself).

I think as long as you tell him it's absolutely fine to phone/call round at ANY TIME in an EMERGENCY, but on a regular basis could he keep it to before 9pm, then at least he'll know he's got that lifeline there after 9 if absolutely necessary, and you know that you'll get a lovely night's sleep :)


Silver Member
I agree with Beki, you need to tell him that you will still be there to help him should he need you too but could he keep social calls (!) to day time and early evening as you have a young family and it's very disruptive if everyone is disturbed. You have every right to make this polite request.
I agree with the ladies above, id fib a little and blame it all on the kids and say something such as the phone or door going after 9:00 wakes the children up and its hard to get them back to sleep, its fine for him to call or knock on in an emergency but that its not really fair on the children to be woken up after 9:00 as they have nursery, school etc and need their sleep I know its not very nice using your children when really it was you who was annoyed but he may take it better if you say its the children as most adults dont want to hurt a kid in anyway, my neighbour (she is a bit batty also) used to hoover up at daft oclock i just said she was waking my niece and nephew up when they stopped over when really it was me she was annoying, I had tried telling her before she was peeing me off it didnt work, i used the kid's excuse and she has stopped!

Gen x
Me personally would go to your local surgery and explain the situation .. or phone social services. This man needs outside help and they will be able to offer him far more than you can. Although it is rewarding to help a neighbour sometimes it can be too much x :D


soon to be skinny minnie
I agree with all of the above replys. First of all the next time he pops round for a chat, just politley ask him if he wouldn't call round so late as you are getting the kids to sleep. If things don't start to get better, i would definatley give social services a call as they have staff that can come round and bring him shopping and some of them even have a befriending team that have sessional workers who just come round for a chat, or take him out for a coffee. They would also put him in contact with people who would sort out his garden. I know that all of these services are available as i used to work for social services for ten years. Hope it all works out for you and hope you get a better sleep


Silver Member
I agree with the previous replies - just say in a nice way that you would be grateful if he called prior to 9pm if he needs you, make a joke of it if you can.
Is there anyone family wise or official that you can contact?
Tricky situation that you are in.
God I hadn't thought about it from a social services point of view. Could I do that anonymously? I really think he'd hate the 'intrusion'.


soon to be skinny minnie
Yes you can do it annonymously, just say that you are concerned and basically tell them everything you told us. Hope it gets better soon. I really feel for the man and he is clearly lonley but at the same time, without sounding too harsh, you have your own life and family to deal with. Social services will make sure he is ok. there is loads of services available to him.


I ate my willpower!
I really feel for you in this situation. I have helped out a neighbour recently and she kept badgering me for ages to give her lifts here and there and could she use the PC etc. I got out of it because she had lied to me, telling me her dad had had a stroke but she told my other friend that her dad had died 3 weeks earlier and could she lend her a fiver!

It wasn't until she saw me and my friend chatting (not about her) that she obviously thought she had been rumbled! She has left me alone since.

In your situation, I would explain to him that your having problems settling your little one at night and you would really appreciate it if he could call before 9pm, or if he has fogotten and it's after 9, then to pop a note through the door that you will look at in the morning.

I think he may come around at night because he is lonely. He might even think that you enjoy his company!!
I know. If I didn't feel so sorry for him I'd have gone down last night and asked him to leave (Ha! I so wouldn't!!! I'm much too much of a chicken!) The thing is, we're probably the first people to show him any kindness for years. Sad eh?

BUT I want to be able to put my pjs on when the kids have gone to bed, or snuggle up with dh and a film, or go to sleep when I want to - all without wondering whether the doorbell's going to go.

I think I will go with the baby excuse. Not so much of a lie either - she's being a bloomin' horror! I don't know about losing weight...the bags under my eyes must weigh a stone each!

Would anyone actually go round there, or wait for him to call here again?

Thanks so much for the help - so much appreciated! x
I'd wait for him to call round again, and just as he's leaving say something along the lines of (as if it's an afterthought) "oh, sorry - i meant to mention this before now, but i only just remembered again - would you mind terribly calling before 8pm in the future?

Don't get me wrong - i don't mind you popping over in the slightest, but when you called/came over the other night, the baby woke up and i couldn't get her back to sleep again for ages and i woke up late for work the next day. She's a very light sleeper, and even the phone wakes her, so once she's asleep we kind of tread on eggshells here (really play it up a bit lol). If there's anything that you need doing the next day or whatever, that's no problem - but could you just pop a note through the door if it's after 8pm please? Then it doesn't disturb DD. Thanks! :) "

Make it sound like it's just something you remembered, not like you've been stewing on it for days lol ;)
Tee hee, I SOOOOO am stewing. Suffering from pre-mestrual, bleedin' knackered, everything out of proportion-itis. poor poor me!

God, I've already forgotten what i used to do with my time before Minimins!
Tee hee, I SOOOOO am stewing. Suffering from pre-mestrual, bleedin' knackered, everything out of proportion-itis. poor poor me!

God, I've already forgotten what i used to do with my time before Minimins!
:rotflmao: :D join the club lol :D :rotflmao:
god this is such a tricky situation, i definitly think the social services advice is very sound and will hopefully get him the support he needs, otherwise you may find yourself having to be firm and saying in the nicest possible way that calling round after 9pm is not appropriate unless there is an emergency


rainbows holiday buddy :)
Me personally would go to your local surgery and explain the situation .. or phone social services. This man needs outside help and they will be able to offer him far more than you can. Although it is rewarding to help a neighbour sometimes it can be too much x :D
i agree - i'd definately contact social services. they may not do anything, but then again they may discover something about him that hasn't been picked up before and give him the appropriate support he needs. i think the situation is a little too close to home for you to take that burden on.

in the meantime - have a friendly chat with him and drop it in to the conversation how the kids are a pain to keep asleep, but try not to offend or upset him.


I ate my willpower!
I used to sit in the living room dreading everytime the doorbell rang in case it was that woman. I used to go out all the time to avoid being home. It's a horrible situation your in. I am not sure about Social Services though. From what I have read and heard, I think he has to ask for the help himself. Like with a Doctor. Worth a try, but I wouldnt hold your breath. They are so short staffed and underfunded that you can guarantee they will say that he will have to ask for help himself.

A little hint in that direction might work though - like, have you though of meals on wheels, that kind of thing.


Is so doing it this time
Hi ya thought I would add my two pence worth in as well....

I wouldn't say anything to him I would just be tooo worried that he might turn nasty. Instead if the phone rung late at night again I would wait for it to stop and then do 1471 or what ever it is to find out who it was and if it was him I would just make a point of popping around before I went to work or took the children to school to see if he was ok. If he came knocking I wouldn't open the door I would just say that you were on your own and didn't like to open the door after dark when you were alone. But I would definitely go around the next day to see him if he did knock. That way its you checking on him rather than him coming to see you. This way you switch the tables and he wont (hopefully) come to you so often. Its prob just company he wants. Maybe every now and again take a cake or something with you and knock on his door after picking up the children and offer to make him a cup of tea that way you are at his and can leave when you are ready rather than trying to get him out of your house. Also he see that you care and are there. I would let the docs know cos they can arrange for someone to pop in just for company for him but tread carefully as he may not like the outside interference. He prob just feels that by having contact with you at least someone would know if something were to happen to him.

Anyway sorry to waffle and I'm sure I could have said the same thing in less words but I hope you see what I mean. And good luck.

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