Friday, July 31, 2009

Twitching The Nets

There’s been a double departure from out street this week.

Two sets of neighbours have vanished in the night leaving an assortment of detritus in their wake (an old mattress, a swivel chair and an assortment of mildewed shelving).

The first was the Polish family that lived in the counterpart to our semi and used to impinge upon our back garden privacy by staging volcanic barbecues every weekend and walk around in bollock revealing shorts whenever there was the slightest hint of sunshine.

I shall miss their loud arguments in Polish – the wife was particularly vocal – and their pigeon English as they tried to make small talk with us with the small change of their English vocab. But what I won’t miss is the door slamming, the stomping up the stairs, the late night hoovering or their eldest son who played the guitar so loud late one night that I was forced to go round and knock on his front door.

I didn’t get very far. His parents were out and with typical teenage nerve he tried to tell me that he didn’t even own a guitar and that the music was coming from a house about 20 yards away on the other side of the street... totally overlooking the fact that while he was stood at the door talking to me Mr Hendrix had mysteriously downed tools mid-lick. I wasn’t happy: after being on this planet for nearly 40 years, I’ve pretty much worked out how my hearing works and can divine where sounds are coming from and know when someone is trying to take the proverbial.

The damned temerity! I came away wishing I’d clipped him around the ear but the guitar playing didn’t start up again so I guess it was a victory of sorts. Young whippersnapper!

The other departure is even more welcome. The people whose Rottweiler has terrorized half the street for the last 2 years have finally gone taking with them Cujo (or whatever the dog’s name is), sundry ill fed rabbits and a particularly pernicious black and white cat that couldn’t deem a day done until it had shat on our lawn.

Our youngest, Tom, has (alas) inherited his father’s ability to wonder across an open field and step straight into the only instance of animal excrement for miles around and then carry it into the house in a compact little pat on the heel of his shoes. Suffice it to say, I shall not miss the cat at all.

The biggest relief though is the removal of the dog. Some of you will be aware of the worry and trouble that it has caused us and other neighbours by frequently escaping from its own garden and rampaging through ours and everybody else’s.

I am an animal lover but this dog was terrifying. Huge, bad tempered and slightly unhinged. Not what you want snarling around when you have young children who love nothing better than pottering about outside.

We last saw the dog last week. Again on the loose. Eyes wide with agitation. Bounding up and down the street and biting chunks out of the bumpers of passing vehicles.

The Poles (at a push) we shall miss. But as for the doggers...

Good riddance to ‘em.


20 comments:

Marie said...

Glad to hear things are looking up on the dog front. We had the same problem at our old house. Next door but one's butch little Staffy used to find his way into our garden and leave presents for us on our lawn. Fortunately we didn't have small children then, but it was still one of the reasons we moved!
Here's hoping your new neighbours are nicer and more thoughtful folk!

Steve said...

Marie: the unknown is a slight worry - who will we end up with next...? The house on our direct left is rented out and it's quite possible we could have 4 or 5 rowdy students in September (as has happened in the past). However, the dog was a real danger so we're glad that particular problem has been removed. We're still going to pay out for a big fence to be put up though.

The Dotterel said...

Couldn't come round here could you? I've got a couple of anti-social neighbours (and their animals) I'd quite llike to see the back of!

Steve said...

Dotterel: I'm not sure I can take credit for driving my neighbours away but, for a small fee, I'm quite prepared to come round to your house and make a real nuisance of myself to try and get rid of yours if you think it'll help...! ;-)

KayDee said...

I love your English sense of humour. My favourite part ~~ a particularly pernicious black and white cat that couldn’t deem a day done until it had shat on our lawn. ~~ you just tickle me to death....lol.


Thanks for making me appreciate the fact that I live on a couple of acres and neighbour problems are thankfully a thing of the past.

Steve said...

KayDee: what I wouldn't do for a couple of acres between me and the rest of society. Or a moat. With sharks in it and a drawbridge for the postman. Or an electric fence... with machine gun turrets... or a wall of lazer beams...

Er... excuse me, I think I need to rewrite my christmas present wish list...! ;-)

Lakeland Jo said...

good to hear the dog has gone. I will never think that big dogs and small children mix well. You just never know, and that one sounds pretty wild.
I hope whoever you get next is a good neighbour to you.
Our neighbours are very quiet- mostly elderley or private holiday homes. Before my mum moved from her previous flat she started to have a lot of bother from folk upstairs... it made her really unhappy and me damned worried.

Steve said...

Lakeland Jo: thanks for stopping by. Good neighbours make all the difference to how anybody feels about their home - bad neighbours can ruin your entire my life. We've been relatively lucky so far, I guess, the marauding dog has been the worst of it. We're just hoping the landlord who owns the house next door puts somebody sensbible and quiet in rather than some partying students.

Brother Tobias said...

There's a lot in that old saw, 'good hedges make good neighbours'. Perfect time to get the fence up without offending anyone.

Great that the dog's gone.

Steve said...

Brother T: I'd certainly concur and intend to make my hedges and fence as spiky as possible... all to engender an enjoyable sense of détente between the people boxed on either side of us...!

Steve said...

Gina: you are a most welcome visitor - hope you're well! A bit of sun does everyone good and Lord knows I love to be out in it... but I have to be doing things. I've never been very good at sitting / lying still and soaking up the rays. I'd much rather be up and about!

French Fancy said...

It sounds like the two departures are going to make your life that much better. Fingers crossed you get two families in consisting of deaf mutes in one and little old crotcheting ladies in the other

French Fancy said...

p.s. You are finally in my blog list although it seems to be there naming a post of yours from five weeks ago - how weird, because when I click on it I arrive at this latest one

KAZ said...

We don't have dogs or Polish bollocks. But living in flats one is so susceptible to a neighbour's taste in music.
Fingers crossed - all the gangsta rap and Oirish folk fans moved out last year.

The Sagittarian said...

Great news re the neighbours! I like your idea of moats and stuff - my dad once remarked that he would prefer to live on a boat in an obscure part of the Marlborough Sounds (google them, they're beautiful) with mines scattered liberally....

The Sagittarian said...

Oh and BTW, our neighbours are mostly fine but we do have a dog next door called Tyson who likes to whinge all morning...

Owen said...

Sounds like a case of : Good riddance !

I'm surprised to hear that dog is still an animate being however, after all the suggestions you had received on how to surreptitiously transform it into an inanimate being... ;-D

Steve said...

FF: I'd quite happily have 2 little old crocheting ladies both sides - I could do with some new jumpers.

Kaz: I'm just hoping the Gangsta rappers and Oirish folk fans aren't about to move in here... though the latter I could just about put up with.

Amanda: a few years ago I did consider buying and living on a barge but I like technology too much and space. Must have lots of space...!

Owen: in the end I just couldn't bring myself to do the deed on the dog. The owners were a different matter. We now have a nice new homemade patio...

A Write Blog said...

See, good things do happen t those who wait.

Very happy that the dog thing is resolved. Tht did cause you some grief.

Steve said...

AWB: it's a huge relief. We've also just learnt that the day the dog was in the street (and we reported it to the dog warden) some other neighbours 3 doors up from up us also had to call the warden as the dog effectively trapped them and their kids in their car and wouldn't let them out! I don't think anyone is too upset that the dog has gone in this street!