I’m not often angry but today I heard a story that made my blood boil. I’m originally from a sleepy little backwater and my family still live there. I generally am a little condescending about it but love it really. Anyway, it always disappoints me when my condescending remarks are proven to be justified.
My family have lived in the same house for, ooh, 30 years… almost since the house was built and my sister and I grew up there. There are very few families left from that long ago and we’ve seen the area evolve – not necessarily in a bad way but evolve nevertheless. It is normally quite friendly and until a few years back, everyone knew everyone. Today I hear that one of the residents (identity unknown, probably in more ways than one) called the police on my sister! What was she doing? Drunken debauchery, dealing from the front garden, making excessive noise, threatening to kill people? No (to the best of my knowledge she doesn’t do any of those things) – she parked her car. On the pavement. Yes it’s annoying. No it’s not the end of the world. She currently works shifts and gets in at I don’t know when in the morning. Occasionally she discovers that the antisocial neighbours appear to have randomly discarded their cars all over the allocated parking spaces and there is nowhere left for her. At 3 in the morning, even in a sleepy little backwater, I wouldn’t suggest wandering around on your own, having dumped your car miles away. It’s not even that someone had a gripe that bothered me. It’s that someone had a gripe and took it to the police. What happened to, say, leaving a note under a windscreen wiper, or waiting to see who owned the car and coming and talking to them? Well, I suppose in order to do either of those you need to have at least some semblance of a spine! So the police phoned my sister, she tried to explain *why* it had happened, got told if she does it again she’ll get fined.
What happens to the neighbours? Well, not a lot. They can wallow in their self-righteous, ‘superiour’, cowardly, shallow selfishness. My sister won’t kick up a fuss but is deeply upset at what happened – and understandably so. I’ve threatened to do all sorts of things – the more serious of which includes dropping a note through each letterbox on the street asking people to park considerately. If everyone used their drives (where they have them and are safe), and parked considerately there would be no problems. Or at least considerably less. Another plan is getting in touch with the councillor. Maybe if there are viewed to be enough problems maybe people would agree to paint (or at least somehow mark) parking bays on the road. I doubt it though. If those don’t work, I suggested that she writes to the local press. If that doesn’t work, I will! (And so many of the locals (and for that matter my new locals) wonder why we leave ‘such a beautiful part of the country’ – oh let me count the reason!) It should be admitted that there were a fair few less sensible suggestions like getting my sister and mother to see how much of the road they can legitimately park over. I’m guessing the equivalent of 5 spaces with their two cars. I also think that the situation would not be improved by that.
Anyway, should the stupid neighbours accidentally happen upon my blog (and stranger things have happened), I would like to suggest that next time they have some consideration. Also that talking to my sister generally doesn’t kill anyone 😉 and she’s more than willing to listen to complaints and serious suggestions about ways to improve the situation. She’s lived on that road, and in that house for over 20 years. She’s a considerate soul, which is more than can be said of you!
Disgusted (formerly) of Devon – Ottery St. Mary.