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)