Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Neighbourhood Watchout

The arrival of a more agreeable climate – together with a replacement backdoor key – allows a chap to engage in garden activities. Hanging out clothes, doing some weeding, reading a book in the sun; that sort of thing. It also means The Lynne Season recommences in earnest.

Longer term readers will recall my delightful neighbours, and the japes we have together. Alas, colder weather really reduces a man’s opportunity to be collared by nosey pensioners who want to tell you where you can breath and when, but now we are both in our respective gardens we are but a fence away. Joy.

Should my flatmates stray into their nagging sights, they are liable to be conversed with; a most unenviable prospect. Apparently though, I have been branded as “rude” and “bad tempered”, which means I am immune from being spoken to. This is more than fine with me.

You see, relations haven’t thawed with the weather. As you may remember, The Lynnes (for there are two, new reader. Relationship undetermined) and I had a little disagreement last August, after Lynne’s (I will refer to them collectively in the singular, new reader. It plays merry hell with my brain cells to work out the apostrophes otherwise) lawn strimmer broke whilst I was borrowing it. My peace offering of a brand new (and, might I add, rather swish and expensive replacement) was not well received, but ungratefully received nonetheless. I then couldn’t bring myself to write of the saga again, but I got their crappy old strimmer fixed as they insisted upon, regardless of the replacement – with the prognosis of “it’s fixed, but it’s a crappy old strimmer so it’ll break again soon, guaranteed” from the fixer – and returned it to them. The brand new strimmer was not returned until last week (because, I suspect, they were annoyed at how overgrown my lawn is), some 8 months later, and so my hopes of returning it and getting my forty-five quid back had long since ceased. And, just for the record, it is worth pointing out that Lynne doesn’t actually have a lawn to strim anyway.

So, whereas my flatmates must duck in and out of the garden lest a Lynne tries to engage them over the fence in listening to a 15 minute spiel about a bad back, how the cat needs to be taken to the vet and what is to be done about all the teenagers in the area being…. teenaged, I can strut and stroll with impunity what with me being the rude and bad tempered one. I have lived here longer though: I’m sure it won’t be long before the Lynnes find that my flatmates, like so many people before them, mysteriously become rude and bad tempered in their presence too.

Despite this though, I am not above having to undergo scrutiny and surveillance every time I open that back door. Sometimes it is a mere twitch of net-curtains, but more often than not the upper half of a sagging torso will be heaved out of the window so as to afford a better view of me and my private-property business. I ignore it the best I can, but the whole time I can feel bespectacled eyes boring into the back of my skull.
“I am sat reading a newspaper,” I will think to myself. “What could possibly merit you glaring at me like this for this long, you silly old hags?”

Overall, I suppose things are better this way, but a cold war is still a war. I have started to hatch a plan to put an end to the swarming dray of squirrels they attract to their garden with sacks and sacks of nuts which are slowly dismantling my garden fence so as to clean their little yellow teeth with. Cue evil laugh. Not because I care about my fence you understand, but because it’d upset them. And that’s the sort of thing rude and bad tempered people do.


Tim-tambolini said...

I like this post, Huw. There are so many idiot people out in the world I often wonder if they were raised by aliens or something similarly foreign. Because of this reason I choose to live on 2 acres of property where I only have two neighbours that I can actually see. One about 100 feet away, another over 300 feet away. Just how I like it! But, somehow, I still happen to call the cops on one neighbour that only owns property, about 200 feet away, but does not actually have a residence there. He is constantly doing stupid thing with big trucks with large tires and mufflers that make all kinds of racket. Have you heard of the term 'redneck' over there. This guy is definately one!!

lindsay said...

I would just like to say that I think "strimmer" is a much more charming term that its American equivalent, weed whacker.

And please do not listen to your hostile housemate. I like your blog.

OldHorsetailSnake said...

You mean you are so hacked you are going to bring in an alligator? Wow, you must really be steamed!!

Curly said...

So when's the veranda going up for the garden party?

Jona said...

You're rude and bad tempered? You've made me feel so much better! I was rude and bad tempered this week (which is something I hardly ever am, or at least, I try hard not to be on purpose ;o)) But to know others live without guilt or worry has lifted a burden off of me. Thank you :o)