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My next-door neighbour thinks her neighbour at the back and to the right set her garden on fire.

He didn’t.

It was her neighbour at the the back and to the left. It’s his holiday home and he was cutting the grass and decided to burn it – as you do – to get at the weeds. It got out of hand, he set my neighbour’s grass on fire, and then promptly packed up his car and legged it back to Brittany with his wife.

The neighbour at the back and to the right didn’t burn her grass.

What he did do was cut a hole in her fence in order to cut down a plant on her land that he said was toxic.

My next-door-neighbour is not happy with the neighbours at the back.

I know all this because for the last three days it’s been like world war 3 in the gardens around us with accusations flying left and right.

There was an attempt to bring me into this as the neighbour at the back – the fence-cutter – alleged that I had had enough of my neighbour too. ‘The Englishman is going to explode at you as well’ was the exact phrase used.

I was quick to assure my neighbour that I wanted no part in this, was not on the verge of exploding, and would prefer to remain ‘Switzerland’ if I could help it.

It’s been great for my French – I know so many more gros mots than I did.

We have now reached the point where the neighbour at the back and to the right is erecting a much higher fence, in order to avoid talking to my neighbour.

And she is now selling off a large number of her chickens as she fears they will be killed by the neighbour at the back (and to the right).

As for the neighbours that fled to Brittany? They have yet to return.

Hey, it’s not all sunshine and roses here in France.