Saturday, 24 August 2013

Good Neighbours

I am going back to bed in a few hours...as this is the weekend that I am working both nights. My neighbour, who is also called John , caught me this morning and offered his services with the setting up of the open day later next week. We are blessed with good neighbours in this little corner  of Trelawnyd. The Open Day is a case in point.  I now have on tap helpers with the setting up, home made ice cream made by another in our freezer and the promise from another couple to open up their lovely garden to the public next Sunday.
It was not always the case.
When we lived in Sheffield we really only knew one set of neighbours. They indeed became life long friends but they were the only people in the street that we knew really well. The other set of neighbours were a bit of a rough family that kept themselves to themselves. They argued a great deal, had a knackered old sofa in their back garden which the teenage lads sprawled on for much of the time and seemed to drink cheap beer by the barrel load.
I remember being in our beautifully tended walled garden one Sunday morning ( I probably was wandering around with a pair of secateurs and a trug)I could hear  but not see the " rough family" bickering with each other as they sat on their garden sofa . They all seemed to be suffering from a hangover.
The mother as I recall was yelling at her sons.
It was one of those " You treat this place like a hotel" type of lecture which went on and on and on
Her final , exasperated plea kind of gave me a back handed complement
" all I am asking for is a little bit of help with the housework!" She rasped
" why oh why can't you all be like that OLD POOF NEXT DOOR AND KEEP THE BLEEDING PLACE TIDY?"


54 comments:

  1. Lovely......and you have teased out those friendships in the village you now have by being so
    friendly and caring.....and if you are old I'm bloody ancient!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think I blogged this story a while ago
    Bloody hell I am repeating myself

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, you did John....it must still rankle with you.

      Delete
    2. But on the other hand it's novel to new arrivals like myself.

      Delete
    3. New to me, too. I came in about the time you were discovered by Google earth, standing in your allotment. Not to worry; I cannot manage Google earth and never checked up on your age.

      Delete
    4. New to me to and I laughed. Never heard the word poof used to describe anyone before and I'm at a loss as to how it could possibly relate. Maybe she meant you would make all the beer cans and such go poof!

      Delete
    5. That's OK, John. I don't remember seeing it, and I was just thinking that my comment yesterday may have been a repeat of something I wrote on another occasion!

      Nancy in Iowa

      Delete
  3. That did make me giggle!
    I wonder if neighbourliness is something to do with people's busy lifestyles. Our neighbours at our last house were all smashing and we all knew each others names (and the names of the cats and dogs!) but never seemed to get together. One set were always saying " we must have you round for a BBQ with the other neighbours" but it never happened. Everyone seemed genuinely sorry we we moved to Somerset and invited us in for a glass of wine.
    Here, most of my neighbours are retired, or working from home. We seem to have much more time for impromptu tea and chat and regularly have "get togethers" as well as our fortnightly craft group which I started up 20 months back. I regularly stop to chat with neighbours while dog walking or in the town, everyone seems to have more time for each other.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Same here kath......frenetic lives cost socialising me thinks

      Delete
  4. On a cold and wet Saturday morning this story sure warmed the cockles of my heart. 'Our beautifully tended walled garden' made me smile. In Sheffield I have visions of walled yards not gardens. Shows you how much I know.

    Sleep well.

    LLX

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LETTICE Our Sheffield garden is fifty metres long. The old yards you are thinking about only exist in "Coronation Street".

      Delete
    2. To be fair our garden in wynyard road hillsborough was as big as a yard

      Delete
  5. I would not have been able to resist calling out, 'Oi! Less of the old!'

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tom.....that's EXACTLY WHAT I DID CALL OUT,!
      Although I was laughing ........the family in question just went very quiet

      Delete
    2. Yes, it would have been the "old" that would rankle with me! I'm glad you called that out!

      Delete
  6. We have lived in our Maisonette since 1965 and have seen the changes in neighbours. When we came here, within a short time we knew most of the neighbours and always stopped to chat. Of course we had lots of little shops where we got to know each other, that helped.
    Now the shops are gone and younger families have moved in and apart from the odd person nobody even wants to say good morning.
    It's sad but a sign of the times I'm afraid.
    Briony
    x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you should wear a sign around your neck saying
      SAY HELLO TO ME

      Delete
  7. I bought a coffee and walnut cake today for the Open Day. Will pop it round sometime this week if you're in!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So kind Hannah....I have the promise of at least 50 cakes so far xxx

      Delete
  8. She called you 'old'?!!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. That is a great overheard line - did you laugh? When visiting H.I.'s mother in a rough part of Sheffield, I went to a modern pub down the road, despite being warned of how rough, unfriendly and violent it was. I have never been welcomed so warmly by a bunch of strangers in a pub before or since.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did chortle tom....
      I do miss the general friendliness of South Yorkshire

      Delete
  10. How bloody rude! Back then you would have been a young "poof"! Sounds like you should have used those secateurs to perform intimate surgery on the lazy sons next door.

    ReplyDelete
  11. hey, a compliment is a compliment! i would be a tad pissed about the 'old' part though!

    ReplyDelete
  12. She could have said ugly

    ReplyDelete
  13. I enjoy your blog - most of all your animal family.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you liz.......I have just fed sorrel and her chick nettle..they are going well

      Delete
  14. I also can't believe she called you old!

    I love that photo. You look great in a turban!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was 39 at the time too

      Delete
  15. OLD POOF? bloody hell! bitch!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I fail to see anything back handed in that compliment you old poof.....
    The terrace I grew up in, back in Stoke in the sixties, looked *exactly* like your picture above - even down to the cross-over pinny....

    ReplyDelete
  17. Now you'd throw crap over their fence in reply.
    Jane x

    ReplyDelete
  18. We have both WONDERFUL and GHASTLY neighbours. Luckily the good outweigh the bad by about 99 to 1. Old indeed!

    ReplyDelete
  19. So after that you felt under pressure to maintain your sparkling reputation and keep the place in perfect order at all times....

    There does seem to be a lot more neighbourliness in villages. Here in East Belfast we're on "hallo" terms with our two immediate neighbours but nothing more than that. There's one other neighbour we know quite well and that's it.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Man, I have not heard the word 'poof' used for millions of years mate and what a thing to say? Well, I guess it was from a 'rough' family so what do you expect, and I'm sure they meant it in a respectful way at the time because they were using you to make a valid point of not cleaning the house.

    I loved looking at that picture, look how the little boy is looking up to the woman, and the way the woman fondly looks back at him, so sweet.

    Now, don't get me started on neighbours and name calling. Living in the heart of the East End of London says it all. Enjoy your weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Oh Dear, your not old my friend but I guess you could consider her comment a compliment.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I got a backhanded compliment recently...
    "Wow, your house doesn't stink like dogs at all! I thought it would!"

    ReplyDelete
  23. Makes you smile at the voices when they think no one is listening....you are an adorable "oldie".

    ReplyDelete
  24. I'm glad you spoke up - judging by the silence that ensued, that must have been a shock! The old biddy!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Haha.... absolutely brilliant (you're not old really ...)!!

    ReplyDelete
  26. The thought of having more than one messy son still at home makes me shudder. Obviously the couch outside was to keep the slobs out of the house.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Good neighbours are a treasure. This kind are a different thing altogether :)

    ReplyDelete
  28. I have lovely neighbours all the way down both sides of my lane.
    Picture the scene - the fences between houses are 6' high and we live in an extremely quiet rural area. Any conversations in back gardens are overheard. I keep six chickens. Yesterday I bought a new car. Neighbour was overheard saying, very much tongue-in-cheek, and knowing full well I could hear - 'I see next door's got a new car. We'll have to learn the new engine sound so that we know when she's driving up the lane. That way, we can still nick the eggs!
    Cue peals of laughter from four or five houses, including mine!!!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Enjoyed reading your blog, John. I've got a print of that picture you put up, on my kitchen wall. I bought mine in Barmouth. Often wondered who they are. That little lad would be nearing 65 - 70 now

    ReplyDelete
  30. I don't think of you as old, and I haven't heard someone called a poof in years. At least she knew that you kept up your place nicely. I feel like a slob living next to Hot Young Anthony and Sweet Young Allison.

    Love,
    Janie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hot. Young Antony
      Take. A photo!

      Delete
    2. I'd like to, but he'd wonder what in the hell I was up to. I love it when he takes off his shirt while working in the yard. It's great entertainment.

      Delete
  31. Truly lucky with your neighbours. All I can say is I have been to gay pride in Manchester today with my daughter, mum and sister and the "old,poofs", all had the best legs I have ever seen.Good legs and neat gardens, cant be bad !!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for that Michelle
      X

      Delete
  32. They referred to you as old John? How rude.

    ReplyDelete
  33. The photograph above is on the cover of a book I bought recently. By sheer co-incidence, the woman on the right is the auntie of the cook at my work here in sunny Hull. Amazing
    x

    ReplyDelete
  34. The part about Open Day is new, though. Glad to hear you have some helpers for the big event!

    ReplyDelete

I love comments and will now try very hard to reply to all of them
Please dont be abusive x