WHEN I first moved into my new house in the mountains I received three Christmas cards from various people welcoming me and my girls to the street.  Since then, I’ve come to be on “drop in for a cuppa” terms with my immediate neighbour on the left and speaking term with several others.  I know that my neighbours on the right have a baby who refuses to sleep, and a very nasty tom cat who unfortunately is still in possession of all of his manly parts which means he likes to beat the living daylights out of my much older cat.  I know that a few doors down Walt lives with his wife Bett and their dog Bella.  Walt and Bett’s eldest daughter is going to uni this year to study midwifery.  I’ve met Chris who is Walt’s partner in business.  They drive tow trucks around the area and when I had a flat tyre they both came to the rescue and gave me the name of an independent tyre repair place in the area saying “…just tell ‘em you know Walt and Chris”.  I did just that and got a very reasonable price on a new tyre.

I’ve met Pam from across the road and I’m on waving terms with her husband Barry.  Pam saw me struggling to saw through the tangled branches of overgrown trees in my front yard today and she hot footed it across the street to loan me a sturdy, slightly vicious looking hand saw that went through those branches like a hot knife through butter.  I found out that she has several grandchildren at the same schools that my girls attend and that a couple of years ago a large gum tree dropped its branches in the middle of the night wiping out their back room.

I love this about my newly adopted home town.  I haven’t found the neighbours to be intrusive at all but when they chat, they give out plenty of information.  My children and I have been so welcomed since we arrived here and it makes a nice change.  Not to say that I didn’t have a wonderful neighbour back in the inner west but she was only one I was truly friendly with.  There were smiles and nods from the others from time to time but nothing more than that.

I’ve been slowly doing bits and pieces to my house. I am also in the final stretch of my post graduate studies so my renovations and re-decorations are coming along at something of a snail’s pace.  Over the past couple of weekends I have had a burst of energy hence my crazed cutting back today.  Last weekend I bought some solar lights for the garden and dotted them about the place.  At night they twinkle like fairy lights and this has not gone unnoticed by the neighbours.  I’ve had a couple of appreciative comments and this makes me feel like I am actually getting somewhere with putting my stamp on the place. 

I’ve no doubt that if I had a wild party (ha ha) or painted front of the house hot pink the neighbours may not be too thrilled and I’m sure the shine may wear off a bit as time goes by but for now, I’m basking in the warmth and pleasantness of my new mountains neighbours.

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