Neighbours (not the TV show)

December 11, 2012 8:00 pm

From nosy neighbours to rude neighbours and finally perfect neighbours.

Neighbours are like species of animals. They come in all shapes and sizes, volumes and guises.
Starting with the closest of the species, the next door neighbour. Dependant on your luck you may have been blessed with one or a couple of these. I have the joy of having two.
To my left is the family whose names I still haven’t learnt even after two years of responding politely to general conversation about the weather or the latest sports results. My last ditch attempt at making an effort to become the neighbour who at least knows your name rests firmly on who will send a Christmas card first. I secretly hope they will make the first move in our strategic game and sign the card with their names and not just the aloof ‘From No.6’.
The neighbours to my right consist of a young couple whose life very closely resembles my own- even to point of our names being the same. I still haven’t managed to place a face to the name although after only knowing of their existence for a week since they moved in I have already committed their names to memory. Is that because they have the same names as my own family or could it be merely down to my own suspicious and nosy nature. I wonder what else we have in common?
The next species on my list resides at the end of my garden behind a fence covered in the one thing worse than barbed wire…ivy. When we first moved into this home I was greeted by a back garden coated in greenery. With conifers lining all three sides I was content with the lovely sight of birds nesting in the trees and rose bushes blooming from between the woody columns in summer. However my green dream came to an abrupt end when patches of brown starting to creep amongst the leaves and whispers of an intruder whistled through the branches. I traced the source to a particular voracious sub species of Ivy that was systematically conquering everything in my garden. Some of my conifers lost the war but they did not die in vain. Armed with my snippers and a bin bag I tore through the army of green and discovered it had now genetically bonded itself with the boundary fence adding to it’s structure. I vowed to get to the ‘brains’ of this adversary and sure enough I found it to be the neighbours at the rear. A quiet family with a happy blind spot for anything that may agitate their fellow street dwellers. Be it a nasty case of killer Ivy or the great tree that so conveniently hangs entirely into my air space. In summer it provides a useful amount of shade however come Autumn it sheds itself onto my lovely lawn giving me the job of cleaning up. I am faced with a dilemma. Do I cut the offending tree branches without warning or do I introduce myself after two years and follow introductions with a plan on how I am going to methodically butcher their tree?
Spreading out into more distant areas reveals neighbours of a different sort. The insomniac who likes to hammer away in their garage throughout the night, the boy racer who revs the balls off his car first thing in a morning, the cat owner who is blissfully unaware that their cat craps in everybody else’s garden. The list goes on.
My particular favourite is the elderly neighbour who has a sixth sense about when to chat and when not to chat. The type of neighbour who I will gladly do the shopping for without it feeling like a chore. The type of neighbour who I will look out for when the door to door salesmen come knocking. The type of neighbour I will say goodbye to when the time has come and forever mark in my book as a ‘top neighbour’.

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