Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Good neighbours

When we first moved, we made a decision to work on the street frontage. The neighbours had put up with ugly overgrown broom and gorse hanging over onto the grass roadside verge. The grass had only been cut where the council cut it for fire safety. The rest of the grass was long and scaggly. It was an eyesore.
We wanted to have good relationships with our neighbours so we set to work with scrub cutter and a pruning saw.
The good news was even before we had made much of a difference in improving the street frontage our neighbours were already offering assistance and useful advice.
Nothing beats the value of good neighbours. We share homebrewed craft beer, they share their years of farming and local knowledge.
They are always willing to help, even with the palm that took out the fence.
The palm was dying and behind the fence on the street frontage. Its brown dead fronds were heading towards the power lines. It was time for chainsaw action.
Big palms are very unpleasant. They have sharp spines that pierce your gumboot or your skin. The spines break off and are impossible to remove the small pieces they leave behind, irritating and inflaming the skin. Dealing with the palm did leave swollen arms for a few days and almost a trip to the doctor but the inflammation subsided.
Although dropping the palm was thought about quite carefully. It was early days in chainsaw education and it didn't quite go as planned. The fat palm drunk hit the fence and the section of fence was lying on the ground underneath the weighty palm trunk. Now the street frontage looked even worse.
Time to call the neighbours.
She laughed and said it was no bother, "We're always getting ourselves into these scrapes."
The four wheel drive soon had it off the fence. A couple of waratahs (y posts or those metal fence posts you see with the holes in them) and cable ties later, from the outside the fence looked the same as pre palm flattening.
We did lose the hammer. It was finally located after the palm trunk was removed, again with the neighbour's help. There was the hammer lying underneath.
While we have much to do on our property, I have never regretted prioritising the street frontage over other perhaps more useful self sustainable work. The building of relationships is worth the effort.
There really is nothing like good neighbours. There is nothing like standing in the middle of a flooded road with them either.

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5 Favourite Sights Seen

  • 1996 Watching tropical lightning turn night to day, outside a little wooden church in a small village in Sabah.
  • 2004 Flying down the Rainbow Valley at 8000ft in a cessna on a clear blue day.
  • 2003 Seeing and hearing Michael Schmacher rolling out of the pit garage in his Ferrari in Hungary.
  • 2009 Chancing upon 100 or more dolphins just off the Kaikoura Coast swimming around, jumping out of the water, doing somersaults and generally having fun.
  • 2006 Finding a pool at the bottom of a waterfall in the bush at Kaikoura that was full of playing baby seals.