During the 12 years I’ve had the same over-the-road neighbours, I’ve had to put up with the most amazing crap from them.
They’ve run various businesses out of their garage, with concomitant vehicle traffic and people noise, but that hasn’t been their only ‘fuck-you-neighbours’ move – not by a long way.
Some years ago, the wife started a crèche in her front garden, literally metres from my study window, resulting in my having to put up with not only the maddening noise of mobs of screaming children, but also the exhaust and noise pollution of mothers arriving in their cars to drop off their little darlings, and returning a few hours later to pick them up.
And they’ve gone through several batches of dogs – when the dogs became too problematic (and some drove not only me but everyone in the immediate surrounds plus all passersby completely crazy, by continuously escaping from the garden, often getting into my garden and several times into my house, attacking other dogs – and my cats and chickens – and barking incessantly from early in the morning to late at night) they simply disappeared, but always to be replaced, in very short order, by another dog or batch or dogs.
They have three children, all under 10, and a couple of years ago put a swimming pool in their front garden (again, metres from my study, where I work every day) – so during the school holidays, the screaming of children is a constant disturbance. They’re not a peaceful family generally, so early mornings are also often a screaming match, usually with the mother leading the pack.
The father – who’s a plain-clothes policeman, and often struts around with a highly visible weapon strapped to his hip – makes no secret of how much he hates me. Once, when one of the problematic dogs had got into my house for the gazillionth time and terrorised my animals, I took the dog back over to him and begged him to please please PLEASE find a way to ensure that his dogs stayed in his property. He simply reverted to the same tactics as his wife and offspring, and screamed at me in Afrikaans while his kids looked on. And he ignored the issue of the dogs, choosing instead to pass scathing comment on my physical appearance.
After years – literally, years – of problems with their dogs, these horrendous neighbours finally came up with a solution. They built a vibracrete wall around their property. It’s so hideous I would almost – almost – prefer the dog problems.
This, now, is their latest foray into ‘fuck-you-neighbours’ territory. The policeman has, it seems invested in two massive cabs and one double trailer, which frequently park on the pavement overnight – so this is the current view from my kitchen…
… and this is the view from my study.
(Usually, although I have no option but to stare at a grey vibracrete wall as well, the view encompasses the upper slopes of the Kasteelberg and some trees, plus the lovely leafy properties on either side of the central eyesore.)
Often, a cab and trailer will come back late at night and leave early in the morning, so all the houses around this one have to put up with the very loud noise – during what should be the quiet hours – of a huge truck trying to park on a narrow suburban pavement; and, occasionally, when both cabs are at the house at the same time, the din of one of them going backwards and forwards numerous times in order to ease its gigantic self into the policeman’s driveway.
(The policeman often siphons petrol out of the cabs’ giant petrol tanks and decants it into his and his wife’s cars. This may very well be completely legitimate but it seems dodgy to me.)
If these aren’t the worst neighbours in the world, they’re pretty close.