Thursday, 24 May 2012

Good neighbours and boundaries (I'm not just talking fences)...

We moved to our new house 2 weeks before Holly's due date (cutting it fine I know).  We were extremely lucky to get our tiny flat sold and find and buy the house of our dreams in time for our baby's arrival.  As it turns out the little madam ended up being 2 weeks late, which was quite handy as it gave me time to do the only decorating we needed to - the nursery!  One of the main selling points of the house was the garden though.  I wanted a lovely garden for Holly to play in.  As soon as I saw this garden I knew it was perfect.  Railway sleepers.  Decorative slabbing. Beautiful patio.  Lovely lush plants.  The whole things had been beautifully landscaped by the previous owner (thanks Jacqui).  Even better is the fact that it isn't particularly overlooked.  There is one house behind us, a bungalow.  If anything, we overlook it.

Now here is the problem.  Our neighbours, either side and over the back.  The problem? They are lovely!

I should be pleased really.  Our neighbours have so far:

  • showered us with gifts when Holly was born
  • Invited us to summer barbecues and parties
  • Baked for us
  • Offered to babysit Holly any time
  • Offered to cook for us and get our shopping when Holly was a newborn
  • Brought our bins in when we've been out
  • Put our bins out when we were away from home
  • Taken in our washing when it started raining
  • Given us gardening advice
  • Given us energy saving lightbulbs
I could go on...

Here's the thing though.  I find it overwhelming.   I'm a friendly chatty person, but I'm quite a private person too.   I really don't mind having a chat, or going to parties or accepting parcels for them when they are out, or feeding their cat when they are on holiday.  It's just constant.  They see you pulling into the driveway, they are out to say hello and ask about your day.  You go to hang out the washing, it takes 30 mins because they are straight out to talk, and won't let you go.  Now its good weather and I have Holly out in the garden, they come straight out, and I'm expected to talk to them the whole time I'm out there.  I don't mind a quick chat, but that wasn't why I went outside.  If it isn't one neighbour its another.  It's never ending.  I just want to enjoy my garden in peace and quiet, just me and my family.  Is that too much to ask?  Am I being mean?

I understand how lucky I am to have such lovely neighbours, I really do.  In our old flat we really weren't blessed with nice neighbours at all.  No one would speak to anyone.  I used to get glared at if I dared say hello!  There were always arguments about the shared gardens, and it was pretty much left up to us to do all the gardening and maintenance.

At the new house I just want a little peace. Please. Please?  Is it really a lot to ask?  Hopefully the neighbours will settle down when we've been in for longer, maybe it's still the honeymoon "getting to know you" period for them.  What do you think?  I'd love some other opinions or advice.


Want to see my lovely garden? NO?  Well tough, here it is anyway!


Sonya Cisco said...

Lovely garden! We don't have one at all. Hoping to move in the summer and a garden high on my list! I would feel the same- sometimes am sure you just want a game with Holly, or some peace! Are they all retired, or Is it just a problem at weekends? If it was me I would have a chat then say ' right- my plan today is to teach holly ... Plant names, or how to have a tea party or whatever, then wander away to get on with it!

Marilynn said...

The neighbours aren't retired. But one works weird shifts which means he is always about, and the other neighbours husband works but she doesn't. I've wandered away a few times making my excuses, but I'm a kind of "guilt whore" who gets irrational feelings of guilt about even trivial stupid stuff, so I always feel like I must be a bitch doing that (or they'll think I'm a bitch)!

Hopefully you get a nice garden soon. It really is such a change from when we had our flat. Our garden was tiny and a complete tip! Just a place to store the bins really!

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