Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Everybody Needs Good Neighbours

I think that my boyfriend and I are good neighbours. We are polite to others on the street, keep our property neat and tidy, repaint outside masonry and woodwork, always bring the bin in after collection, rarely play loud music late at night and keep an eye out for unusual activity (OK, OK, I am an inveterate curtain twitcher!).

I did worry before we moved in that we may get some hassle as a gay couple, but we have had no trouble at all. We have been for dinner at one neighbour's house, drinks at another's and are on nodding/speaking terms with many others.

There are only two things on our street that cause me stress:

1) Parking – if everyone parked as considerately as me there would be no problem. But no, some people need to own two huge Volvo estates and ensure they leave a gap just too small for another car to get in. Then there are the number of families with two or more cars, when we manage with one. Then there is the lovely neighbour who cannot park unless there is a ten foot space, which usually means parking outside our house 2 minutes before I get home. Then….well, you get the picture.

2) The teenage 'honey-pot' who appears all demure, but has about a dozen of the local boys hanging around her every evening. Nothing rowdy, just loitering and bouncing their balls (footballs!!). They have recently been joined by some more chaver type kids. At their age we were either at the park, exploring woodland or sneaking into local pubs for a 'pint of beer'. They seem happy to do nothing but hang outside honey-pot's house. This is sometimes encouraged by her parents, who come outside to smoke and chat to the kids. I am sure this is commendable really, and the parents would rather have the kids outside their house so they know where they are. All well and good, except they live next door!!!

The last two weeks, however, have been a different story. No trouble parking, in fact lots of space and no kids, no noise and no trouble. What has been the cause of this bliss? Honey-pot and her family have been on holiday. So you can imagine my horror when at 12.30 am this morning when I was awoken from a dream to hear car doors slamming and children shouting to their parents – yes they are back! Unfortunately here is no severe weather in the Dominican Republic to keep them there, they are home and my two weeks of peace and quiet and stress free parking have come to an end.

Thank God we go away in 14 days time and we will have another two weeks without them.