If you noticed my abscence yesterday, I was struck down by a sotmach bug. I am still wobbly and can't eat anything but at least I can not keep water down.
When I moved into my new house, eighteen months ago, I was aware that there were two trees in the garden which needed attention. One tree was frankly dangerous as it dropped hugh limbs everytime the wind was strong. The second looked okay but I wanted it checked out. Some branches were close to my neighbours properties.
So I did my research and found a good local tree surgeon. Well, actually, a team of them since it was too big a job for one man. Two thousand five hundred pounds late, the trees were trimmed, safe and thinned out. My neighbours said they were happy as the tree surgeons and I had consulted them while the work was being done. This had resulded in work being done on a third, smaller, tree to stop it overhanging the neighbours fence.
So for a year, everyone was happy.
Then on Sunday, my neighbour called to me over the fence to complain about the tree nearest the house. She now demands that I have it taken down completely. And why is this? Not because the tree is dangerous. not even because it is blocking her light. No, she wants it down because it sheds leaves onto her patio and because pigeons sit in it an make a mess on her patio,
Now it may be me, but it seems that by trying to be a good neighbour I have become a bad neighbour. if I had done nothing about the trees, my neighbours would probably have grumbled amonst themselves and never mentioned it to me. Since I had work done, I have become the villain for refusing to finish the job properly in their eyes.
I refuse to cut down a tree that is perfectly health and between fifty and eighty years old just because it is mildly inconvenient to a couple of people who haven't been here half as long.
So then I get accused of attracting mice because I feed the birds and my neighbour saw a mouse in her garden. Now I store my birdseed in mouseproof containers. And I have three cats, who often bring me mice. They tend to discourage mice from nesting in my garden. Also, these are proper little field mice, the tiny brown ones with the long tails. They are not a major threat to health and don't tend to infest houses. However, the field near the river by us has been recently receiving a makeover which has temporarily damaged some of the mice's feeding grounds, hence they are questing further for food than in previous years. Now the work to make the field a protacted habitat is complete, I expect the mice to swiftly return to their normal living area, and, in fact, it has been over a week since my cats last bought me a mouse.
However, I am now being threatened with being reported to the council and environmental health people.
So what makes a good neighbour?