Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Tiny Protest Art Installation ... and a Very Looooooooong Protest

This is what we now see from our kitchen ...














and from our sea-facing livingroom window ...














We still see the sea from our front windows (which face the mountainside opposite) - yes, we still have lovely views which millions of others do not have. I guess I shouldn't complain. So what is that little round black object in the bottom right-hand corner then?

That is my Tiny Protest Art Installation - facing Mr Neighbour's new house.
  • I am protesting the fact that (since I last wrote about it) he extended his house another metre forward. 
  • I am protesting the fact that (after we asked him nicely to please be very careful) he dug right under our entrance hall foundation, causing subsidence which led to the cracking of tiles in our entrance hall. He came to have a look and then said that our house had a bad foundation to start with, and denied all responsibility.
  • I am protesting the fact that he dug up the sewage pipes which our property shares with his existing house, introduced two acute bends to facilitate the installation of a set of steps next to his new house, against the advice of his plumber, and has, up to now, stubbornly refused to install the inspection hole which another plumber advised him to do. We would gladly have installed a separate sewage pipe on our side of the wall, but this would require us to dig up our back patio, break down our entrance hall and the stairway leading down to street level, dig up the bricked front yard, install a new pipe, and then rebuild it all - an expense which we certainly cannot afford. In addition the city council official whom we consulted advised us against this. He said that houses sometimes have shared sewage pipes in this area because the developer may have found underground rocks on a specific property.
  • I am protesting the fact that when excavations started, our telephone and Internet cable was ripped off - he then bought a new conduit and sent us the bill (yes, I also couldn't believe it, but we were so shocked that we just paid!), he had his builder install it, which was done in a slap-dash fashion, so that four months after the fact, water started leaking into the conduit, our Internet/phone connection was disrupted for weeks on end, until we had the whole job redone at our own expense. Properly.
  •  I am protesting the fact that we have no privacy now - his existing house, all three storeys of it - looms over ours, so that our two bedrooms and bathrooms are overlooked. And now his second house looks straight into the south-east side of our house. We will have to permanently decamp to our garden. No wait, we can be seen there as well ...
But most of all I am protesting the fact that he smiles and smiles at everyone, charming as always. Not at us, of course. We had the audacity to complain when we saw that he was building without approved plans, because it was directly affecting us. The city council then interrupted the building, until he had submitted the proper plans. I think that really annoyed him. He is quite a bit younger than us, with lots & lots of family money (he doesn't have to work) and he once referred to the fact that he has friends in high places. I guess to then have one's actions questioned by newcomers to the area, ordinary old people who are not influential, well, that must be simply galling ...

If you have read this far, I thank you. Nothing could be more boring than another person's neighbour problems. I had to let off steam,  but I realize that I have to put this thing to rest now. How would you put something out of your mind when the physical presence is always there to remind you? Meditate? Let me know!














Home Sweet Home - an installation by Anairam (paper doll by Jezze, plastic construction vehicles, vintage toffee tin with the inscription: Take The Home Sweet Home)

12 comments:

Sarah said...

I sympathize so much over this. What an unpleasant person your neighbour is. All I can suggest is a belief in Karma because he certainly isn't building good stuff for himself. I like you installation. Art will save the day! Ish.

nathalie et cetera said...

i think i finally found someone who's neighbor is meaner than mine. so sorry for you. a sea view is priceless and i can just imagine how frustrated you are. sorry, i have no advice for you...

love the installation.

frayedattheedge said...

Hi Ana
You can rant all you want!! This man is obviously a very selfish, ignorant person ..... but remember, what goes round,comes round, so one day he will get his comeuppance. We will have to put our heads together to think of (legal) ways for you to get your revenge!!!!! Perhaps you should try to visit him and when he's not looking hide a dead fish somewhere ..... just a thought!
Love, Anne

aimee said...

i think you need to make an entire row of these little protesters, or make a huge face to cover the entire window! make it a super sour face with a tongue sticking out!

Linda Sue said...

Install day light lights in your windows and block them entirely with something joyful to gaze upon- or put in sky lights and block out your windows facing him, paint the outside walls, the ones visible to him, bright day-glow green turning his house into a pallor from the reflection.At least you will get the sky into your home- the sea, well, it's on hold until karma takes this guy out...which could take a very very long time. There are very strict permits in place here that would have made that sort of building impossible. Also damage to your foundation and tiles...small claims court would sort it. So, ...move here- we could play, and art, you would be homesick and I would give you pills for that.We also have death of a fragile eco system that is sure to effect the whole of mother earth for ions to come...Humans may not be long here,anyway- going the way of the DoDo, so while we are still here, do what you can to be happy- block out that which you can not change...be creative, as always.
Your installation is superb- LOVE the paper girl!

oneartistjournal said...

Oooh bad neighbor, bad!!!
How about getting rid of that "physical presence" physically????Just kidding...With humor may be???
Poor MA..
XOXOrly

Blahdiblah said...

Dearest A, I'm glad you put it on the page... So sorry to hear... what a stressful and horrible thing. Sending you lots of love and hope that somehow you do find peace over this matter x L

Jesse said...

I'm glad my doll can help a bit. It's hard to understand how people can be like that; I always wonder how on earth they can sleep at night.

Leenie said...

Rant and Vent. It is good for the system! Especially when your hands are so figuratively tied. So sorry you have to deal with such selfishness and stupidity. Linda Sue's idea of painting your facing wall an awful color sounds like a great one.

Kat said...

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Sorry to hear.

hanna-happenings said...

I´m so sorry for You, oh my.
I have no clue what to do, report him to the police? Has he a building license for this? Such a jerk!
Make a calm place for Yourself to meditate and pray, the answer will come to You.
Take care!

Aris said...

I agree with Linda Sue, Karma will take care of him but in the meantime just keep smiling and being the wonderful person you are. Spend your time looking out the windows without him, focus and delight in those and if you ever see his window open fill it with roaches!!!!!
SO sorry that you are dealing with this. I love your instillation!