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Everybody needs good neighbours

The day we arrived at Casa Nova in 1994 it was not long until the doorbell rang. ‘Hello,’ said a smiling face. ‘I live just down the road. I see you’ve just arrived and I called by to see if you need anything.’ My wife and I were bowled over by this welcome that set the pattern for 21 years of life in our friendly street. Our visitor, my wife and several other women in our street went on to form the ‘The Girls’ – an informal network of caring friends. The one drawback is that when The Girls have their monthly meeting, the resident husband needs to abandon ship for his own sanity, sometimes taking solace in the pub with another husband – one of ‘The Boys’.

With a little understanding you can find the perfect blend

Like the so-called British constitution, there are unwritten rules to be observed in order to maintain a harmonious neighbourhood. In our street we reserve the right to vet newcomers, but this procedure does not always work effectively. Somehow our current next-door neighbours slipped under the radar with two noisy teenage daughters, a lively Labrador and a CARAVAN. Aghhh…

Neighbours... should be there for one another

Still in its embryonic state, The Girls leaped into action and very soon our new neighbours morphed into that ‘perfect blend’. Perhaps the turning point was the sale of the caravan? Over the years we’ve enjoyed many social events together such as Christmas drinks and carols, various dinners, parties and street cricket. The girls next-door adopted our son as their ‘brother’ and we enjoy one another’s gardens – like the roses on our dining table picked from our neighbour’s rambler. Unfortunately not everyone in our neighbourhood enjoys my Pavarotti or Radio 4 at full blast, but that’s another story.

That’s when good neighbours become good friends

It’s inevitable in this climate that we see more of our neighbours in the summer than in the winter. This year we’re again hosting street cricket. It’s a good excuse to tidy the garden for the post-match barbeque and to celebrate the joie de vivre of having such good friends.


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