Alice Shaw

Love Thy Neighbour

In Uncategorized on May 7, 2011 at 1:01 am

I have been really lucky throughout my adulthood, to have had very good luck with neighbours.  I’ve had the ones I’ve become close friends with, I’ve had friendly and quiet neighbours and I’ve had neighbours who look after the cat and take in the mail whilst I’ve been on holidays.

I currently have a wonderfully supportive neighbour on one side, with kids similar ages to mine, and an obsession with magazines which means my obsession won’t send me broke just yet.  But on the other side I’ve had a succession of fright stories over the years.  I always make an effort to welcome them to the street, introduce myself, and offer the proverbial “cup of sugar” should they ever need it.  I am yet to have a handsome, single man move in but I live in hope! 

First I had the Irish backpackers who’s favourite word was “feck”.  Everything was “feckin'” this and “feckin'” that and “would you feck off” and it got old very quickly.  Especially at 5am.  I once swooned at an Irish accent.  Believe me when I tell you that “Harriet the Horrible” ended all that!  The late night parties, the grass that grew so high it began to climb over the fence, the endless smoking and shouting.  For the life of me I cannot understand why they rented in outer suburbia.  I mean, isn’t that why we have Bondi?

Next I had Ms Social Climber and her boyfriend, then fiance, then husband, Dr Fabulous.  Ms Social Climber became Mrs “my husband’s a doctor” in a clearly goal oriented attack which saw her married and with child within a year of living here.  Dr Fabulous was okay but he seemed to have a faint look of distaste whenever I saw him.  When I invited them over for drinks with some friends of mine, Ms SC swiftly took over the conversation and peppered it with racist remarks about her time living in Redfern.  This did not go down well with me or my other guests.  She was obviously very keen to have children herself and decided that she would practice with mine .  Without my permission.  I quickly put an end to that.  Eventually we barely said hello in the street but she would suddenly become my best friend again if she had something to brag about.  Huge engagement ring, lavish wedding to doctor, buying great big McMansion somewhere posh.   I was relieved one Saturday morning to see a huge moving truck parked in front of their house.

My current neighbour is in a very similar situation to me, except she’s fantastically more glamorous than I am, being South American and gorgeous.  We speak from time to time but it’s clear she isn’t into being friends with neighbours.  And boy is she noisy!  The first night she moved in, her boyfriend stayed over and they were clearly celebrating the move.  Loudly.  And more than once.  This is not something I want to listen to.  The next morning when they were enjoying a post coital breakfast on the balcony I introduced myself and made references to the thinness of the walls – and the fact that we share a bedroom wall….

Alas this has all fallen on deaf ears.. and they aren’t mine unfortunately.  I’ve been woken by screaming fights, door slamming that has actually rattled my windows and of course, the inevitable making up.   I have no voyeuristic intentions but I suppose I can say I am impressed by their stamina.

I’m not perfect I’ll concede that point.  I sometimes don’t mow the lawn for weeks and the children and I have become adept at communicating by shouting from one end of the house to the other.  But I will take your bin in if you want me to and if you need that cup of sugar, you need only come over and knock on my door.


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