Southerly by David Haywood

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Southerly: Everybody Needs Good Neighbours

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  • recordari,

    Good point Cecelia. Our current neighbours are top notch. One, well into her 70s, yelled at a would be burglar, after she heard breaking glass, causing them to run off, and the other couple remember our children's birthdays and invite us to parties. We feed their cat fairly often too.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Perfectly nice guy, seemed normal enough,
    but quiet. Too quiet.

    Vampire?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 4688 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    Ah David, I live vicariously through you. Fantastic. I've never had particular problems with neighbours, really. Very lucky I guess. For the last 20 years, I've lived in the same place, with only a couple of changes of neighbours, of whom there are 4. Young couple next door, very lovely. Older couple out the back with teenaged girls - they like to party, and I once rang up noise control at 12am thinking it was 2am, bit embarrassing; Samoan neighbours on the other side who have umu but never too late; and the flats next door, where the lady who lives in the end unit hacks away with a very nasty smokers' cough at night. The only bugbear I have is that the man who owns the units chopped down all his trees on the boundary of our property, and consequently there's no more nudie romping in the backyard for me.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3123 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    I forgot to mention that we are friendly with all the people down our very short cul de sac. Lovely peeps they all are. And I feel guilty because our lovely Nan - her name, not her relationship to us - across the road, who is 84 and going strong, had to go into a rest home, and do you think I've visited her more than twice in the last couple of months? Have I bollocks.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3123 posts Report Reply

  • Joanna,

    My mother maintains that I never believed in Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny, but I did believe in Frau Kroiter, our next door neighbour in Germany who was a rich widow who'd give me and my sisters HUGE treat baskets every Christmas and Easter, including one year a stuffed toy bunny that was as tall as the three-year-old me.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 726 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    Now, that's someone to believe in.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3123 posts Report Reply

  • Cecelia,

    chopped down all his trees on the boundary

    "Good fences make good neighbours"?

    And for you recordari and other avid readers ... Have you read The Elegance of the Hedgehog?

    Story of a concierge in a big Parisian apartment block - has a sort of neighbour theme ... in a way

    Hibiscus Coast • Since Apr 2008 • 508 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    Have you read The Elegance of the Hedgehog?

    Thanks. Not yet. On my 4th Murakami, so will continue following your advice on books. And Bookiemonsters of course ;-)

    ETA. It's not on your Trademe list Ngaire, so will have to look further afield.

    ETA2. It's a movie now too.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Tony Parker,

    It was like she thought they were voice-controlled toys. The classic was when she yelled "Jaaaydin .... JAAY-DIN ... STOP STANDING STILL!".

    I'm not surprised she yelled at them with a name like that. In my teaching experience certain names crop up as always presenting challenges in the classroom. Jaydin/Jayden/Jaydan is one of them.
    Worst neighbours we had played AC/DC at 2 in the morning while they played darts in the room next to our house. They didn't really fit the Taradale mould and weren't there long, mainly cos they weren't supposed to be there having inherited the lease.

    Napier • Since Nov 2008 • 232 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    I have developed a feud with an elderly neighbour, quite by accident. There has been received angry notes and many dark looks on her part. However she also appears to have more important and longer lasting feuds with other neighbours so mine rather Palestine by comparison. I feel rather inadequate compared to the author's experiences

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 881 posts Report Reply

  • webweaver,

    Back when I was temporarily living in Nelson in order to organise The Gathering, we found what we thought was a nice little house. It was a villa divided into 3 flats, all on the ground floor.

    Things went swimmingly until some new tenants (a bunch of young blokes) moved into one of the other flats, which was separated from our abode by a distressingly thin internal wall.

    They played heavy metal INSANELY loud every night - so loud it was impossible to even have a conversation in the bedroom next to their flat, let alone sleep - and they responded to angry bangs on the wall from our side by turning the music up even louder.

    One night they had a massive party which ended with one of them roaring up and down our shared driveway in a clapped out old banger while being exceedingly drunk. I went out and confronted them and tried to talk the driver out of continuing to drive, but I couldn't get the keys off him, so I called the police instead. They lay in wait for him down the road and arrested him for drunk driving, driving without a licence and driving an unregistered and unwarranted car. Ooops.

    When we finally went up the hill to do TheG itself, I was completely terrified that they'd break into our flat while we were away and steal all our stuff, but thankfully they didn't. Yay!

    The landlord eventually decided to turf them out, but they wouldn't go, so she ended up having their power disconnected (which I don't think is legal). It still took them weeks to move out, during which time they lit their humble abode with candles, resulting in many more sleepless nights for us as we worried about them setting the whole place on fire.

    Good times, good times.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 329 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    some ducks that had chanced to land in my back yard... They shit everywhere.

    Ben, I could have warned you. You need to especially avoid Muscovy Ducks, which start out as yellow fluffy darlings and turn into white monsters, who see their role in life is to spray great fans of shit wherever they can (preferably indoors). They are completely deceitful as they are not actually ducks but a vile form of geese!

    But I fear I am turning into one of those neighbours who make you uneasy. For months, I have been feeding two rabbits who live next door as they are not well cared for. Even went at the weekend and bought them a bale of pea straw!

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2288 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    The Elegance of the Hedgehog...
    ...It's a movie now too.

    The Gall of the French!
    sounds like Harold and Maude thru the looking glass...

    On a roll...
    speaking of movies, (also by a French production house) Kristen Stewart in On the Road - Kerouac in the Twilight Zone?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 4688 posts Report Reply

  • Anna I,

    Love your stories David - so much so I've bought both your books. BUT... I just wish they were more often :)

    London • Since Jul 2008 • 5 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    @Tony

    I'm not surprised she yelled at them with a name like that. In my teaching experience certain names crop up as always presenting challenges in the classroom. Jaydin/Jayden/Jaydan is one of them.

    Well, you'll be pleased to know that there were 248 Jayden's born in NZ in 2007, 250 in 2008, and 208 in 2009. It's hovering between the 14th and 20th most popular name for boys.

    And that's just the conventional spelling.

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    Kerouac in the Twilight Zone?

    De Gaulle of de French!

    They'll be casting Scott Baio in Nausea next.

    Charlies.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Cecelia,

    I can't keep up with your puns but I looked at the ref to the film version of Hedgehog - somehow they've managed to Hollywoodise or Peter Jacksonise it.

    Book has soppy parts but the philosophy bits are good to go. At one stage the main narrator muses on the nature of reality and perception. Is her cat "an obese quadruped with quivering whiskers" as she perceives him or a blob of green jelly?

    My cat is now called "obese quadruped" - what would a tui be? A friend offered the following:

    a two pronged tantalising trickster with a frivolous breast and an airborne aria

    Hibiscus Coast • Since Apr 2008 • 508 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    a two pronged tantalising trickster with a frivolous breast and an airborne aria

    Classic.

    Incidentally, you know that book, umm, Hedgehog, cough, it's on the bookcase next to our bed, and has been for two months.

    My mum liked both the book (she read it in French first - show-off) and the movie. So much so she bought the English version for us. Who knew?

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Cecelia,

    Mums tend to like the Hedgehog book - I was recommended it by the mother-in-law of a friend's daughter.

    It HAS got me wanting to read Proust.

    And your mum sounds very edumacated:)

    Hibiscus Coast • Since Apr 2008 • 508 posts Report Reply

  • JoJo,

    forgot to turn off their alarm clock before going on holiday ...

    One night, a security alarm in our neighbourhood went off at around midnight - it turned out that the tenants were away for two weeks. The alarm company weren't interested, noise control couldn't enter the property without permission and the police had better things to do with their time.

    After a few hours, it stopped. But of course, it happened again a few nights later.

    This house was over the road on a back section - so quite a distance from our place. I can't imagine how loud it would have been for the houses on either side of it.

    The third time, a kindly neighbour disconnected the alarm somehow. I don't care if it involved a 2x4, breaking and entering, or a small bomb. They were the best neighbour EVER.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 95 posts Report Reply

  • Amy Gale,

    Mums tend to like the Hedgehog book - I was recommended it by the mother-in-law of a friend's daughter.

    Yes! I was given it by my mum too!

    I'm inclined to suspect a conspiracy. I bet they all know each other. Because, honestly, doesn't it seem like every time you mention someone your mum is all "oh yes my friend went to kindy with her mother" or whatever?

    tha Ith • Since May 2007 • 452 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    matriarchipelago-go...

    I'm inclined to suspect a conspiracy.

    That's why mum's the word...

    WOW
    OXO
    MOM

    yrs
    a mummers boy

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 4688 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    so mine rather Palestine by comparison

    LOL, best autocorrection I've seen in ages. Who says computers have no sense of humour?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8319 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I read in the paper some time ago of a guy somewhere in NZ who got so furious with an absent neighbor's alarm that he went around and shot it with a rifle. It killed it, and he took the illegal use of a firearm rap calmly, saying it was worth it for a decent night's sleep.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8319 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    All credit should go to my new phone's predictive text system and a crowded commuter train that went into a tunnel immediately after that post.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 881 posts Report Reply

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