Neighbours yes..those of you that live in suburbia (as I do) and not on some vast acreage swamped either side by rolling green hills adorned with daisies or sunflowers as tall as your good self, but live in streets, courts, places, cull de sacs, roads, avenues, ways, drives (I think you’re getting the drift).
Wouldn’t it be lovely if one could choose who they live next to.
To our left we have the 2 child, 2 parent typically domestic household. Every now & then the good woman of the house raises her voice to tick off one of her boys. Every now & then one of the boys will throw his tennis ball/basket-ball over our fence, then the knock comes on the door.
As soon as I see his face slightly hidden behind the fly-wire screen door, it drops, for I know that I shall have to go & retrieve like some blood-hound on the chase. Albeit now & then we say “Hi” in our adjoining driveways, or pop in to
borrow steal a cup of sugar (well I mean whoever does return sugar) & it’s all pleasant & non committal.
Across the road I know one family again 2 parents, 3 children older and lovely people. In fact we did socialise quite a bit with them, them over for drinks us over there & that continued for some time, unfortunately she is not well so the socialising has petered out, but we still exchange a smile, a wave, or a quick walk to meet in the middle of our court to catch up.
To the right of us, well how do I put this delicately..ok I can’t. The neighbours from hell would aptly describe them.
I have lived here now since 1998 (you do the maths I’m no good at it). For quite some years their 2 children lived at home (now they have moved on) they are of ethnic descent (still really haven’t figured out what) & as we know they can be shall I say a little volatile?
The screaming matches between the two adults (yes they were adults) either by themselves or with their offspring drove us to distraction. Our deck is on the side where rather unfortunately their social area & living room is, so we would hear absolutely every word that was screamed or yelled across their house….it drifted upon the sound waves to our place and on occasion when we were having a BBQ and entertaining people on the deck. Yes they are extremely loud and took no thought about “Keep it down what will the neighbours think”. They clearly didn’t. Now and then we got so angry we would yell back “Keep it down, or do you mind, or for gods sake enough”. We would in turn get “you keep it down, or no, or shut up”. We gave up, they did not want to hear our pleas for mercy and continued their ranting. In fact even when they are not arguing they are LOUD. 😦
On one occasion we had to call the police in…yes it got that bad.
They also owned a beautiful Labrador (who was very old), who spent his life outside on the concrete. In winter no bedding, in summer barely any water (and yes the RSPCA) was also called. They had a ‘token’ small plastic bowl of water and if any one knows how a Labrador drinks, that can be splashed away in 2 laps. He was not walked the entire time I have been here, he didn’t see the outside world (until I offered to walk him) which I did for some time. As the years went past he grew more feeble and I couldn’t bare it any longer that they were neglecting him & again the RSPCA were called. This time they were advised that he be put to sleep as he could not stand on his arthritic legs anymore. Thankfully (at the age of 17- which is very old for a Lab) that is what happened.
I didn’t borrow a cup of sugar from them, in the beginning we would say hi over the fence or if were putting the bins out at the same time. Now we don’t communicate, I think they know it was I who phoned the authorities and I don’t care one bit. I did what was necessary for their poor ‘pet’ to relieve him of his suffering.
There are 14 houses in my court where I live, I speak to 2 of them now and then, the others I do not know about them, who they are, how they live (we are quite a secluded little bunch).
If you have good neighbours that you can rely on to really ‘mind your house when you are on holidays’, or ‘take your mail in’ and who genuinely are helpful, law abiding and friendly then more power to you…they are difficult to find.
If you have like I do, a couple of neighbours that you can smile or wave to & have a brief catch up chat or
borrow steal that cup of sugar more power to me.
I should be happy they aren’t like some neighbours that fossick through your cast offs from your hard rubbish collection….then again that little mission could be tackled under the cover of darkness..
I would like the rolling fields either side…a place where I could keep horses and ride and watch the morning sun rise over the hills, but of course there would have to be a shopping centre close by, because like the words to Bing Crosby’s song…..
Oh, give me land, lots of land under starry skies
Don’t fence me in
Let me ride through the wide open country that I love
Don’t fence me in
Let me be by myself in the evenin’ breeze
And listen to the murmur of the cottonwood trees
Send me off forever but I ask you please
Don’t fence me in
Just turn me loose, let me straddle my old saddle
Underneath the western skies
On my Cayuse, let me wander over yonder
Till I see the mountains rise
Ba boo ba ba boo
I want to ride to the ridge where the west commences
And gaze at the moon till I lose my senses
And I can’t look at hobbles and I can’t stand fences
Don’t fence me in
Poppa, don’t you fence me in
& I can’t live in total isolation now can I…
My 90th blog “Taa-Daaaaaa” 🙂 and courtesys.