That’s our trampoline. Yes, it needs a bit of maintenance. Yes, we will do it one day. But the kids aren’t using it right now. BECAUSE THAT’S NOT OUR HOUSE AND THAT’S NOT OUR GARDEN. (OK, I’ll calm down a bit and explain that the bit in the foreground IS our garden, but the bit behind the trampoline isn’t.)
What you are looking at is our ‘sort of’ neighbour’s house and garden. I don’t know a lot about our sort of neighbour. I doubt I would even recognise her if I saw her in the street. I believe she is a middle-aged lady who lives alone with a teenage son. What I do know about her though is SHE TOOK THE FENCE DOWN WITHOUT WARNING OR DISCUSSION. In October.
It was a shock when we got home one day and could see right down into her garden to the closed curtains of her house. Because she keeps her curtains closed so we can’t look in. EVEN THOUGH WE WEREN’T THE ONES WHO REMOVED THE FENCE.
We keep ours open because we want light in the house. Luckily it’s ‘only’ the dining room she could look into. Where we don’t tend to be naked.
It was bad enough in winter, but it’s nearly summer now. Our kids would like to play out in the garden. They’d like to use the trampoline. But I know nothing about those people. How do I know the teenage son won’t be perving over my 7 year old daughter’s knickers flashing as she jumps or my 9 year old boy’s muscular body?
And even if they’re not perving, I don’t feel entirely comfortable with them being able to see and hear everything we do in our own garden.
We live in a bungalow one a funny-shaped plot. We have two conventional next door neighbours – one joined to us – and two people who live in a different road and whose gardens back onto ours. It takes a good two or three minutes to walk round to their houses.
One of them seemed OK, but took offence when we had the cheek to replace a crap fence with a good one, with her consent and at our expense. Seriously. There’s no pleasing some people.
And the other one? Well, after inconclusive discussions approximately once every two years (interspersed with sarcastic ‘Oh, YOU’RE IN!’ like she comes round to talk about this stuff all the time when actually, there’s always one of us here after 6pm and often a lot earlier than that) she just removed the fence. No warning.
And in those seven months since she removed the fence there have been no discussions and precisely no action to replace the fence.