#43 Know your neighbours

It’s sad nowadays that we live so close to some people, yet barely know them at all.  Make an effort to get to know your neighbours.  Always. If you move somewhere new, invite your neighbours in for a coffee.  If they’re new, go round and introduce yourself, ask if there’s anything they need to know about the local area.

On many occasions help from various neighbours help has come in handy, and on other occasions I’ve been able to help them.  And how lovely to have a friend you can pop round to.

Neighbours who have been important in my life:

Auntie Jean and Uncle Ivan

Next door to my parents growing up.  One of my earliest memories was telling Auntie Jean how I’d fallen over and hurt my buttercups.  I still remember her hysterical giggles when she realised I had got my buttocks confused with a small yellow flower.  They looked after me on the evening my brother was born. If we were dropping the house keys off before going to stay at my grandparents for a few days, they’d let us choose a chocolate bar from their chocolate drawer for the car journey.

They had a granddaughter who was a couple of years older than me, and Jean used to set us garden challenges, where we had to find things in the garden, and make pictures out of them.  I must have been about three, and I remember picking forget-me-nots and trying to wind them together (with chubby fingers that never could make things look the way I wanted them to) to make a castle.  My reward for such a beautiful picture was a little tub of talcum powder called ‘Freesia’, it had a bright pink flower on the front, and I can still smell it to this very day.

Auntie Sylvia

Lived on the other side of my parents house.  She spurred my love of ghost stories from an early age.  On the occasional time that she babysat, she’d tell me all about the ghost at the local Ice Rink (She used to work in a bar called Suzy-Qs over the ice rink, and had many spine chilling stories from working there.)  I never slept well on the nights that Sylvia babysat, but loved her dearly all the same.

She was also massively spiritual, my brother and I confused the time we went to retrieve our football from her back garden and spotted her through her living room window in a meditative trance.

Jock and Joan

My grandparents neighbours whilst I was growing up.  I was a chatterbox, and would chat over  the fence for hours, they never seemed to mind!  They always bought us the big Easter eggs and selection boxes at Christmas.  Jock made the only video we have of me and my brother as kiddies. I’m grateful to him for this.  It’s on the link below!

Richard and Miriam

Used to be our Forest Hill neighbours, and helped with the catching of mice, plumbing problems and letting electricians in.  They were lovely and Miriam and I could chat for hours!

Ann Downstairs

Has become a friend and is a fellow Buddhist.  I LOVE being able to run down in my slippers to do evening Gongyo with her.  (It’s a Buddhist thing)  She often posts Buddhist guidance through my door, and sometimes I’ll stay for a cuppa once we’ve finished chanting.  It’s lovely being able to bump in to a friend in your own front garden.

Know who you’re sharing your street with, know who’s around and look out for each other.

Christening Pic (neighbours)-page-001Auntie Jean is the lady standing behind me.  She was lovely.  My brother’s christening circa 1990

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