My neighbours to the right

I gave in and made the trip to Toronto with Jo and daughter and the grand kids. The kids were so excited to go on the plane, when the plane took off Buddy was so excited he stared to laugh. I was totally surprised by his reaction. All was good until the last 45 minutes when Buddy decided that he had enough and started to whine. Baby from hell, my god, if I could I would have left the plane. I felt for the other passengers.

All bad things do come to an end, eventually.

I must tell you, I always say St Kitts is where I tethered my DNA, but now I know for sure that my heart is in two places, St Kitts and Toronto. I have been visiting Toronto a couple times a year since I have been living in Calgary but this is the first trip since last summer.  God I miss this place.

When we got off the plane, the first thing you notice is people everywhere, didn’t mind the crowd; on the highway, so many cars, didn’t mind the organized chaos; people makes left hand turns on red light; who cares I am home.

That was Friday.

On Saturday we sat around at my daughter’s house trying to figure out what to do. So many choices, finally we settled on Centreville on the island. I had not been there in 20 years. The kids were totally excited by all those peoples plus we got to go on a big boat. What a fun day, rides, food and animals. Man I love this place.

On Sunday, its open house, my daughter just moved into her new home and the family came over. We are a nutty family, siblings, children and grandchildren, oh and Bernie, my friend from Calgary. He escaped and moved to Toronto two weeks ago.  Lucky guy, he really likes it here.

My family laughed and laughed while having a beer or two. We reminisce for what seemed like hours, jumbie talk and all. It is amazing how four people grew up in the same house can have such different recollection. It’s all good. Did I mention how much I missed this place?

Today is Monday and we are going to take a breather, so I have time to put my thoughts together. My sons are back home in Calgary, they are not responding to my text messages. I won’t forget.  

So what to write about.

My son in law is building a fence, yesterday he was telling me that the neighbour is not cooperating which got me thinking about my neighbour in Calgary.

 It may not be wise to complain about your neighbours on the internet but I just cannot help myself when it comes to my neighbours ‘to the right’. A couple days after we moved in we met that neighbours ‘to the right’. They were quite friendly.  G and J had been living in their house for a few months before we got here, G the male, was quick to point out to Jo and I that he had a choice of his and our house as they were both for sale at the same time and he choose his because it was nicer and added that if we wanted he would give us a tour of his house.

 OK they are off my list and I remembered thinking, I wish the phone would ring.

He then added that he and his common law wife had been together for 6 years and they had a ‘blended family’.

 Who cares!   The damn phoneeeeeeeeeeeeee, please.

Then J, the female, complained that the previous owners of our house was loud and did not look after their dog.

Uh huh. Had enough of them for one day.

They were very aggressive and pompous.  My son said he thinks G is a bully.

That happened in July of 2005, the rest of the summer was ok but I remember saying to Jo; ‘now that is a couple we would not want to conflict with, we are going to lose’, it was just my instincts. We avoided them, although we were always polite.

G and J had a dog, a very nice docile dog. I believe she was a show dog. Sometimes in the afternoon they would take the dog beyond their fence to community green space for exercise and run free. Two simple rules, dogs had to be on a leash and you have to remove the poop, the community provide poop bags and disposal containers. J would always take a bag for the dog’s poop. After her dog would do its thing she would pretend to look for the poop, of course she never found it. This was a big dog. I would be sitting some 30 feet away and could see it. I have reminded other neighbours of the rule.

I took my advice, would not confront J and hated myself for it.

Then the following summer, they installed a hot tub on their back porch, I’d say 20 feet from my bedroom. I don’t know much about hot tubs but I suspect that this was not a very expensive one, it is awfully noisy. I lost a lot of sleep because of it, have had to change room occasionally to sleep.  I am sure it met city guideline for noise.

I took my advice, did would not confront them and hated myself for it.

In the third summer they installed a water fountain in their garden. Ever listened to water run all night when you can’t sleep? Can be quite annoying, makes you want to pee.

I took my advice, would not confront them and hated myself for it.

Besides what can I do? When you are dealing with unreasonable people you can’t reason with them.

Living next to them is not all bad for me. On the third Christmas Jo burnt the turkey she was cooking. Hahahaha, I hate turkey. I am a chicken man, can eat it every day. To get the smoke out of the house I opened the front door and stood there so no wild animals could enter. Well shortly after J the common law wife of six years comes around the corner of the house in a house coat and slippers:

She asked ‘have you seen my cat?”

Ok I am from Trafalgar, strange images entered my head.  I didn’t know she had a feline pet. As you know there is a great calypso for every occasion.  I can recall a song at will when the situation presents itself.

You may recall from my previous blog that I live a parallel life in my head as a comic. This was one of those times when the comic in me comes alive. I simply could not help myself, at that precise moment I started humming the following song, well not the whole song, didn’t have time.

just a song

I was distracted in that moment, she is standing on my porch in her wardrobe and is looking past me right into my kitchen.  

I replied ‘no, what does it look like?’

It then occurred to me that she might be looking in my kitchen to determine what I was cooking.

She: ‘she is white and a little heavy, she is getting old’.

That did it, more humour.

On cue I changed the tune in my head:

This time I won’t post the song, just a reminder that I am a chicken man.

Me:  ‘not I have not seen your cat’ and slowly closed the door.

I doubt she could tell how much fun I was having.

That was the last time I saw J. I had not seen G either for some time until one nice spring day in April. G was wearing a back brace and a cast on his arm and walking with a limp, quite a scene. Before I could ask about his health, he said all in one sentence:

‘I fell down the stairs, broke my back, J has left me and I am now the principal of my school’

J is the superintendent of the school district. I bet she beat him up. You see how I think? 

At the end of the summer he introduced us to D his new fiancé. They got married shortly after and she brought her two dogs with her and my problems stared.

As you know I am home during the day. The dogs are housed in the garage with a door to a fenced in area outside. Last school year, when the family would leave for school, I think they work together, the male dog sits on a log, about 20 feet from ‘da couch’ and bark sometimes for 2 hours non-stop. He sits on the log because he does not want to sit in his poop. Oftentimes I have to go out for a while. I thought about contacting the bylaw people, but as soon as you play that card it is a crap shoot, he is not a reasonable person.

Anyway, one day several weeks ago I approached G and mention that the dogs bark constantly when he is not home. I figured a different wife, maybe he has mellowed. He took offence and cussed me like he was from The Village. I had not been tongue lashed like that since I asked a neighbour if she was having twins. I was about 10 at the time.

People I walked away with my tail between my legs. I was traumatized for a week. I wanted to apologise for upsetting him.

I did not take my advice; I confronted them and hated myself for it.

I have decided to do some self therapy. I am not a passive person, I know how to stand up for my rights, I also know what happens when you report noisy dogs, mostly nothing. Sometimes they force the owner to remove the dog’s vocal cords, if the dog barks at night.

Oh I was talking about a fence. In the last two weeks he started to build a new fence in front of the old fence. This fence is a few inches above the legal height a fence should be. Normally I would not care. What to do.

 Jo says I have too much time on my hands.

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