Neighbours from hell: why can’t they get a life?
I’m toying between choosing my words very carefully when I write this post and just blurting out what I really think. As this is anonymous, I’m going to let rip, because I’ve been bottling up all sorts of feelings over the last few weeks. And it’s all because of the people we have no choice in living next door to: our neighbours.
Sadly I cannot look at old people in the same light that I used to. I’m not ageist; heck, I’m knocking on for my mid-40s myself, but I have to just put it out there and announce that our elderly neighbours are selfish, despicable shits.
It all started about five years ago. The little old lady who lived in the house over the back of our garden either passed away or was moved to a care home.
Her house was empty for weeks and then one day we saw lights on after dark in the house’s side window. It appeared that someone had moved in.
Months passed and we didn’t hear a peep. Then we found a note through our letterbox asking for my husband and I to call them; our new neighbours at the bottom of our garden!
We obliged, happy to put faces to names and say hello. But when we called, we were met with a barrage of questions: why had we moved our kids’ trampoline to the bottom of our garden? We were blocking the light to their house, didn’t we know?! How inconsiderate of us!
Nice to meet you too!
We were a bit taken aback; the trampoline had see-through netting; how could it possibly prevent light from reaching their house? But being nice, considerate neighbours, we moved it without questioning their reasons – even though we were under no obligation whatsoever to do so.
But apparently that wasn’t enough. They insisted that we come over to their side of the fence to look at their view. We declined, saying that we didn’t need any more explanation and that we wouldn’t put the trampoline there again.
We had moved the trampoline well away and they accepted its new position in OUR garden, but we were still in their bad books for not making the effort to show our faces at their front door.
So they kept on insisting, so we though to ‘shut them up’ we’ll go round there. We stood there for a good 20 minutes listening to them rant on about how much better it was now that we had moved the trampoline. We made the right noises and this seemed to appease them – for a while anyway.
When we came away from their house – and from meeting them – we knew they were the eccentric type. Well, she most certainly was – and her browbeaten husband did exactly what she told him to without question. We hoped that it would be our first and last encounter with them. But it wasn’t to be.
The next time we had to face them was when we wanted to put in a new fence at the bottom of our garden. We braced ourselves as we walked round there to put the suggestion forward. We returned being talked out of it; oh well, it would save us money I thought – always trying to look on the bright side of life.
Since we moved into our home nearly ten years ago, my husband and I have been saving like mad to buy something very special for the kids – a summerhouse for the garden. It had been one of our long-term goals and we’d finally managed to be able to afford one.
The day came when it was time to be installed and we watched excitedly at the summerhouse being built at the end of our garden, oblivious to the fact that in just a matter of minutes our emotions would take a huge turn for the worst.
We were in good spirits until we opened the front door to them.
“Erm…I take it you have planning permission to erect the building?” they asked.
My husband and I looked at each other.
We had researched online before buying our summerhouse and it told us that we needed to be a minimum of two metres away from our neighbour’s boundary. So, to be on the safe side (and knowing full well what this strange, eccentric elderly couple were like), my husband and I opted to lose an extra metre of our garden and situate the summerhouse THREE metres away from their fence.
But apparently this wasn’t good enough for them. They wanted to moan, to tell us we were wrong for being close to our neighbour’s fences and that we should have sought planning permission.
To say we utterly depressed on a day, which should have been a memorable and happy one for my family, is an understatement. What bastards they were to come and piss all over us; that’s metaphorically what it felt like anyway. They had well and truly dampened out spirits.
We called both sets of neighbours (the ones who might possibly have been justified in having an issue with our new building). And guess what? Neither of them cared; it wasn’t impacting them and they were happy with it, saying what a beautiful building it actually was.
A matter of hours later and the neighbours from hell were back; this time delivering a print-out with the rules and regulations of putting up buildings in your garden.
It really was the straw that broke the camel’s back. What saddens me the most about all of this is that we had saved and saved and saved for years, both of us working full time to give our children the summerhouse they so desperately craved. And on the very day we were all delighted and excited to see it being constructed, along they came to piss on our happy parade.
These people are retired and they have absolutely nothing better to do with their free time than try to cause upset for other people and moan about the little things in life; things that don’t actually impact them. Things had changed in OUR garden and they didn’t like it because they could see the back of our roof. Get over it already!
Sadly some people who have way too much time on their hands often create something out of nothing to give them purpose in their boring lives; something to chat to the neighbours about; something to moan about. Because without the moaning, what purpose do they have?
Our neighbours don’t have dependable children to think about; they don’t have jobs to go to; and they don’t seem to do anything with their lives other than trying to create misery for other people. Maybe it’s because they themselves are totally miserable?
But they don’t think about the consequences of their actions. My nine-year old has been in tears because she thinks they will take the summerhouse away from her. And who’s left to pick up the pieces? Who wipes away tears and tries their best to console and reassure a little girl that she WILL get to play inside it? It’s me. And every single time I have to do so my hatred towards them deepens.
My only regret is that if they’re going to moan about it – and complain to their neighbours – and no doubt eventually report us to the council (on behalf of our neighbours – who are both absolutely fine about it I hasten to add!!), then I wish I hadn’t relinquished an extra metre of my garden. I wish I hadn’t been generous to them.
I’m not one to get petty; anything for an easy life. But when you upset my kids and try to destroy everything that we’ve worked so hard for over the last ten years, I can’t help but feel this way.
My one and only consolation? I have an extra metre of the garden behind the summerhouse to play with; I’m saving like crazy to buy some of those trees – the ones that grow extra tall and bushy so you get all the privacy you need. And that’s all I’m really asking of them: to leave me and my family alone. Please.
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