Friday, 5 August 2016

Neighbours

So this is about 1/3 of the tree left this morning.

I am a little afraid of being too friendly with the neighbours. I mean it's a bit like sparking up a conversation with the stranger on a plane when you have just settled your arse into a the seat for a 14 hour flight. I don't do that either. And it's not cos I am up myself, it's because I am too polite to just tell 'em to fuck off if they are giving me the shits, so then I have to spend 14 hours of head nodding and fake smiling, when what I want to do is snuggle up and pop my eye mask on and slink into the Phenergan world of strange dreams and spittle.

And with neighbours it's even more fraught, cos it's so much longer than 14 hours.

As a bit of a gypsy, I've had lots of neighbours, some have been cool and others you'd walk a very long way out of your way, even with sore legs and a hangover, to avoid.

Our neighbour here is a very pleasant woman and we smile and wave and keep a little eye out for each other's houses when either of us is away. We don't pop over for a cuppa or a bit of a weekend BBQ, but if she needs something fixed, Stevie might pop in and have a tinker or if Zig's ball flies over the fence, she's happy for him to scale the fence to get it back. We are cordial and smiley and I like that.

My Girl and I lived next to an old Italian woman for many years. She was deaf as a post and more than a little mean. She would sit in her garage which was metres from our lounge room and have the tellie on full wack. Very often I could not hear myself think, let alone hear my own TV. There was no point in playing the turn mine up louder cos she couldn't hear it anyway and that would have just pissed off my neighbours on the other side who were lovely boys - coppers who often worked nights and needed their sleep. So for many years we just trundled along with Amelia giving us the shits.

Until one day her mail was delivered to my letter box and so I learned her surname and finally I had a little weapon.

I looked up her phone number and kept it close to hand.

When the tellie rang out, I called her. She would finally hear the phone over the din, turn the tellie off,  trudge up the few stairs into her house - yeh I could hear all this cos we were close, so close that I could spit out my dining window into her bedroom - I said I COULD, not that I did. I would wait til she was almost at the phone and then I'd hang up.

Then I'd hear her head back to the garage and the tellie would blare again. I'd call again. It became sport. The most I ever needed to ring was 3 times and after that I guess she either forgot she was watching a programme or she figured she had done quite enough aerobic work for the day. Then  we were able to settle into a peaceful co-existence. AHH.

The Boys on the other side were a different kettle of fish. We got on very well and they were young enough to be matey with my Girl and old enough to have cold beers in the fridge. We pulled down the dividing fence and created one big back yard that we took turns mowing and using it and when it came time to paint the houses we co-ordinated the colours. They were LOUD and these 2 cute cottages one blue and one green sat side by side amid the usual, the boring, the ordinary.

But since then I have lived next to lots of people, most of whom I barely nodded to.

We have 2 new sets of neighbours across the road. One couple who I have not even seen, who seem to come and go by stealth, and the other is a fella with a truck with problems.

His fucking great truck which seems to not want to work is parked in the front yard or on the front footpath or over the driveway hanging way out into the street and his mate's Ute is thrown around somewhere nearby with such gay abandon, that I sometimes almost feel sorry for it.

He and his mate work on the truck at all hours of the day and night.

It's pretty loud, like Amelia's tellie.

But it's not as loud as the Main Roads' contractors who were charged with chopping down the 200 year old fig tree to make way for the new road. Yeh, they rolled into the village car park last night with maybe 10 huge trucks or it could have been 100. They parked up and double parked up and stopped the usual local traffic through the delivery road and made a great big fucking noise.

They did about fuck all until maybe 10 PM and then they started screeching away with all manner of shitting equipment. And then this noise droned on most of the night.

Now it would be better if they could have left the tree there, but progress and all meant it had to go, but I wondered why it had to go AT NIGHT. I reckoned that it was cos there a small ground swell of greenie complaints and they wanted to avoid any protests, so they swanned in, in the dark and swept it away without having to get the police in to unchain any hairy arm pitted, crystal waving, yoga pants wearing chanters.

The fucking Road Works Department does not make for a  good neighbour.