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Bad Neighbours

I don't think I've mentioned our lovely and wonderful neighbours. Well, they're the exact opposite. They could definitely be worse and I still consider ourselves quite lucky compared to what some people have to deal with. But when you live in such close-proximity to your neighbours, any sort of neighbourly feud, no matter how small, makes living next to it quite awkward and difficult.

Our problems with our neighbours started the day we moved in, before we'd even moved in! How that is possible.. I'm not sure. After we'd been given the keys to our new home, I drove down with a car full of stuff on my own (Grant was at work). Before unloading the car, I opened up the house to check out our new home. I had been in the house about 2 minutes before the woman next-door came knocking. Initially I thought they were just a bit over-keen to introduce themselves... Well they weren't. The lady came to request that we keep our back gate unbolted. (we live in a terrace and they have access through our garden) I agreed, but I really had no idea what exactly she meant as I hadn't even been into the garden yet! And away she went. That doesn't sound like the most unrealistic or agreeable request, but it was the fact she practically ran 'round to demand this. Surely you would give it a day for us to settle in, maybe even an hour?! And in honestly her request wasn't too polite either.. But I thought maybe I was over-analysing it and didn't think too much of it in the end.

Further troubles began a few weeks later when we replaced the back door. We'd kept the back gate unbolted as requested, which was actually a bit of a bother because the gate doesn't stay shut without - not ideal for escaping dogs! As we were replacing the back door, the lady climbed up her fence and VERY rudely and sternly told us to clear up our garden as she needed to come through the next day. Well this was a bit dramatic, I mean there was a worktable, bits of wood and an old door - by no means would she be unable to walk through. Again, another demand. We bundled everything up in a pile, as requested and I began bolting the back gate. The bolt is actually on the top of the gate and easily reachable from both sides (we tested, and I'm short) so after her rude manner I wondered why we were doing her any favours when she had been so rude twice now.

Not long after this, I began removing old wallpaper in the spare room, the old-fashioned hard way - scrapper to the wall. It was around 5pm approaching winter but still light outside. I heard loud knocking on the front door, went to open it, and there stood our neighbour. She was very abrupt, loud and aggressive. She claimed I was making a lot of noise, kept waking her child up (who's not actually that young...) and that she would be informing the council of my ill-behaviour. Well I'm sorry, it was 5pm not 9pm... and it was a scraper, not a drill. And what's more - I researched the time-limits on noise and I was well and truly within my rights to be doing DIY at 5pm! Most people wouldn't even have finished work by 5pm!

After this we started getting dog-barking noise complains, we were sent a few of them and were told we would be under 'surveillance' - I welcomed this, and no noise-issues were ever found... Despite the persistent letters. When this came to nothing, dog-fouling letters appeared. Again, nothing ever came of it. After this, she started sweeping her own mess from her garden underneath the gate into our garden. Our garden started to fill with all sorts of rubbish, fag ends, crisp packets, sand from their sand-box, broken pegs.. You name it. We caught her in the act once and Grant asked her kindly to stop. She replied "Your dog shits in your garden so what does it matter?" and then "Where else am I meant to put it?" I suppose she was asking for the sarky reply we gave. And her response "I'm gonna come over there and smack you one!" Yep, we welcomed that too.

Aside from our actual interactions with her, she enjoys standing in the back garden moaning about us very loudly so that we're sure to hear. I've heard all sorts of funny accusations - blaming us for a rat chewing through their shed, how we neglect our dog because she had seen us remove carpets from the house. Hell, she even moaned about our "immature" conversation-topics she had been listening to when we had friends 'round for a BBQ once. In addition to this, we are constantly witnessing them staring into our windows and peering over the fence. We would often find ourselves purposely avoiding them wherever possible...

This is what I call: bored housewife syndrome. Our lives clearly thrill her, and she takes pure enjoyment at watching our every move and analysing it in ways that are only negative. I pity this woman. She needs a life.

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