Neighbours - everybody needs good neighbours

>>  Sunday, August 16, 2009

I live in a cul-de-sac. All of us know the names of everybody that lives in all houses around us.

One family will always care for my cats, one neighbour built my new computer and fixed my network hic-cups, the nurse over the road calms my parental panics with ill children and often bandages for me, the plumber next door does odd jobs, the lady in the corner is my gardening advisor.

We don't live in each others pockets, but we do take the time to say "hello" and "how's it going". I know if there is something odd happening they will watch over my house, as I will watch over theirs. In fact this is where this is headed, I am finding more and more these days that I seem to take but have less to offer in return.

So I try to take the time to ask them how they are, pick up any rubbish in the street, offer them some veg from my miniature plot, occasionally make a cake and holiday cover feed rabbits * but beyond that I wonder: is it ok to just accept neighbourly help (and offer beer and friendship for services given).

*isn't blogging therapeutic sometimes! I just realised I do useful things for my neighbours too.

I sometimes hear in the news of reports of people not knowing their neighbours, not knowing who lives in the street, of isolation within close proximity. This all seems very strange to me, I have always known who my neighbours were, easy in a cul-de-sac but it was the same even when I lived in a busy street. You've just got to be prepared to keep on smiling and keep on saying hello ...someone will respond in the end.

5 comments :

PippaD 8:50 am  

You do a lot and if you were my neighbour then I would accept what you offer in return and worry I wasn't offering enough in return!

I bet some of your Neighbours feel the same way too.

Coding Mamma (Tasha) 10:37 am  

When I was a child, we lived in a (council) cul-de-sac. I think we knew most people. The children played together in the street and hopped from house to house. The old people would watch the children for an hour or so, and the older children would do things for them, like weed their gardens.

When Chris and I lived in Southampton for a year, we lived in a cul-de-sac. He was teaching and I was working from home and felt horribly isolated. I did not get to know any of my neighbours. I smiled at them and said hello. I took in their post, when they weren't in. No-one ever told me their name or asked me in for a cup of tea. No-one ever offered to do anything for me. The only people who talked to me were the children - who played out on the grass patch in front of our house.

These days, we know some of our neighbours to nod to, or to discuss our barky dog (many of them have barky dogs, too). Our neighbours on one side are very friendly and say hello to us all the time and will stop to chat about the children, the gardens, or whatever. They tell us when they're going on holiday and when they're having a party (yet to invite us to one) and we do know their neighbours. The neighbours on the other side we only know from all three of our basements getting flooded at the same time and having strategy meetings. They'll manage a hello and occasionally stop for a chat, but not often. They don't tell us when they're going on holiday or having a party. Then, neither do we, now I think about it.

It's my theory that the most friendly cul-de-sacs and streets tend to be the council ones. But that's just from my limited experience.

You are very lucky to have such good neighbours. Make sure you keep them - cookies all round at Christmas or something like that!

Working Mum 3:10 pm  

I think it depends how much you are out and about. In our last house we went to work and home again so didn't know many neighbours, but here we are out with daughter cycling in the road, welly wanging on the green or walking to various parks when people are out cleaning cars or gardening so we've got to know many more. Makes a difference.

jennifer 10:43 pm  

We are blessed to have good neighbors too. Not too close but close enough.

notSupermum 9:20 am  

Sounds perfect!

I have some very good neighbours, but unfortunately the family next door are a bunch of scallies (apologies to scallies everywhere!). Not nice people, but we live in hope that they will move :-)

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