Thursday 28 October 2010

Everybody needs good neighbours

I may have posted about our neighbours and 'The Hedge' issue in the past. Here's the abriged version (even though it still seems long, believe me it's the short version):

We have a hedge. It is cut back regularly. It cannot be cut back too far or else it will die (it's a stupid Leylandii hedge). It does not overgrow the public bridleway which gives access to 3 other houses. The old farts elderly people who live in these houses feel that the hedge makes it impossible for them to drive up and down the path. They have asked us to fix the situation. We have had tree officers and god knows what out to look at 'the hedge'. And bottom line is: It's fine. They CAN'T drive. Both my husband and I have driven our cars up and down, forwards and backwards along this path. IT IS FINE!

Over the summer holidays, after a particularly long, arduous 5 hour drive in the rain back from a 3 day rain-filled camping trip with two hideously annoying children, the Witch neighbour chose that exact moment to launch into another complaint about 'the hedge'. She went on and on as I stood in the rain with icy water running down my neck holding heavy bags. And eventually I said: "Look, could we have this discussion another time please, now isn't a good time." At which point she stomped off saying: "There's never a good time. You don't live in South Africa anymore you know!"

Racist or xenophobic? Either way, definitely a Daily Mail reader.

Now had I not been holding two heavy bags, I think I might have run after her, rugby tackled her, planted her face into the mud and shown her exactly what South Africans are famous for (rather than overgrown hedges).

I didn't. I used every fibre of my self control to turn away and breathe deeply. I decided however, that I dislike her more than almost any other person on the planet.

Today, I was sitting at my desk and I see a car pull up outside our house. The Witch  neighbour gets out and puts something on my car windscreen.

I go get it. It's another cheerful note saying how she's nearly had a second accident (with several of these !!!!!! for effect) as a result of our trees (this is new, normally it's the hedge) and my car being parked on the road. It isn't normally parked there, it just is today as I'm about to go out again and husband's car is blocking the driveway. But that's besides the point. Countless other people park in the same spot every day.

After searching my navel for the deep meaning in this, I've come to a profound conclusion.

a) She can't drive
b) She is a cow

I'm thinking about starting a counter-offensive. Possibly slipping funeral home flyers into her letterbox....


nappy valley girl said...

Ah the trials of living in the country - I remember my parents having a similar dispute over a hedge when they olived in Suffolk....

Sounds as if it's best to ignore her - and hotfoot it to Seattle!

nappy valley girl said...

I meant lived, obviously. Not olived. I wonder if that is a verb for olive picking?

Expat mum said...

Oooh, notes. How very passive aggressive.
Having lived outside of the UK for 20 years, I now see that Brits care far too much about what their usually awful neighbours think. Clearly this couple are in the worng (or at least not capable of driving). There's not a lot you can do frankly. If you ever solve this problem, there will be another the next day.
Just smile. My motto is - "If they don't have the balls to say it your my face, I don't have the energy to address it."

Julie Sardinetin said...

Ah, don't get me started on neighbours! All I can say is that I sympathise.

Iota said...

NVG - I'm sure you can't grow olives in Suffolk. Great verb, though.

Don't know what to suggest, except what you are doing already, ie try to ignore it. I have a friend here who spends her life in a feud with her neighbours. It is such a waste of time and emotional energy, and it really dominates her life. So I'm with Expat Mum - just smile if you can, or walk away if you can't (though I know I'd be hopeless at following my own advice in that situation).

Seriously? This is it? said...

Sadly, the issue with your hedge/trees/parking etc are probably the highlight of her (clearly suburban) life. No doubt she is in agony awaiting your return move.
Probably best to ignore it which demonstrates how little weight you place on her issues. And if she actually dares to SPEAK to you (which seems unlikely if its got to the 'note on windscreen' stage) - an overbearing concern about her lack of driving ability and the consequential validity of her driving licence and therefore insurance would probably shut her up.

But then voodoo has a nice air to it too..

Home Office Mum said...

just an update for you all: This morning while on a run, my husband bumped into her husband. He filled him in on his wife's antics. I think the husband might having words with his wife as he agreed wih my husband, that yes, he doesn't have an issue driving his car up the path. My husband apparently said that if she makes comments like that again to me, he'll be taking it further. How, I have no idea. But got to love his gallantry, rushing to defend his wife against the wicked witch of the west.

Iota said...

What happened to your post on Hallowe'en? I liked it. I saw it on my Reader, but when I clicked over here, it isn't on your blog.

I agree with you. The Brits have much to learn from the Americans in the area of cheerfulness.

Home Office Mum said...

Iota - I was trying to update a widget on the blog and somehow managed to delete the stupid thing. Bad day all round really!

katyboo1 said...

I sympathise totally. In our last but one house we had neighbours like that, also elderly, and with nothing better to do thank complain about things like the fact that our hosepipe was 2mm to the left etc.

I can write them a letter if you like? It is one of my skills!