You can't choose your neighbours...I remember now! The reason I felt the need to write again, in a space much less limiting than my 2cm area in my daily diary, was because of recent happenings. Actually happenings combined with reading a couple of friends' blogs and feeling inspired. Not that I expect anyone to find time to or even want to read mine. I'm keeping it to myself for now.
Last March, HG and I took out a mortgage on a maisonette. We have 2 floors & the flat below us has one, with one bedroom. For the past 18 months, the flat has been empty. The previous owner (a lady who was unwell) died and her brother gradually cleared it out, did it up and sold it. To the lovely French lady round the corner - who set up a street gathering during the summer (Canada Day to be exact).
Recently, a young couple have moved in. They carried a sofa down the road between them, stopping to rest, snuggle and giggle together as they transported it. It was nice to see; they were both obviously very excited over the moving-in days (we introduced ourselves & HG offered the resource of his manly strength!). She (H) seems to be about 19 yrs old. A few weeks ago she was outside on the phone, wearing skimpy shorts as it was warm and playing Christmas songs! Their front door appears to require slamming, which shakes our level so I've seen her leaving (in my nosy neighbour curtain-twitching stylie) but haven't seen him (L) much. However, I hear him each morning as he coughs air into his tar-coated lungs. They both smoke. L appears quite alternative and when we did speak to him (last night), he said he'd heard us playing Bob Marley, which made him happy.
HG's observation: Washing has been hanging on the line for at least 2-3 days.
HG and I walked to the shop yesterday evening (for onions and unplanned naughty puds!). I steered us back toward L, who was standing in his doorway smoking. He looked nervous as we headed toward him but I carried on and asked whether he had heard our kittens running around upstairs (our lounge). L looked confused and said he doesn't hear anything (besides the aforementioned BM). He was very fidgety and chain smoking. He then asked if we'd seen/heard the police last night. He said the 'girl who lives here' and her Mum 'tried' to get him arrested. We weren't sure what to say (L aimed a 'women' related comment at Tom, who said he wouldn't know as he had a good 'un :-P) and soon carried on our way to the Co-Op.
An hour or so later, it became really noisy downstairs - lots of banging. Then I heard screaming and was worried about the girl. We listened (their windows were open!?) and she appeared to be the one screaming at him. Tom heard him shout 'you've been f***ing other men in my house!' which shows we don't know half the story. I was shaking and ready to dial 999 but HG said that as long as we know she is ok/safe then we shouldn't interfere. It shook me up and I realised how un-resilient I really am these days! I spend my working days advising parents on how to manage conflict and anger but I am actually still very freaked out by it myself!
It's horrible to watch people communicating by screaming, swearing and banging/slamming/punching(?). Tom thinks he could've been getting angry and hitting things/walls - doors seemed to be slamming...I thought I heard her shout (mid-scream) that she needed some help. She left at around 10pm and walked down the road (direction they came from with sofa).
Phone Rage...This evening, outside KFC (HG purchasing, not me) we saw a guy lose it and smash the phone down in a phone box shouting. I thought I heard him say about meeting a guy to get a 'bag' = drugs? I was reminded of a friend's blog when she wrote about wanting to stop one boy from hurting another. I can't help, in all my naivety wanting all the bad to stop. HG wondered out loud: what that phonebox guy's life had been like to make him think that behaviour was acceptable.
This morning I watched Educating Essex on 4OnDemand (online). The Deputy Head (and legend) Mr Drew states that young people these days aren't taught to accept that 'no' is a possibility. He says that not to teach them this is to fail them because the real world won't always present a 'yes'. Young People seem to struggle with their boundaries (HG says it's too easy to 'blame society' but the convenience, thru technology & availability means there is little we can't have as and when we want it). Parents appear to believe it's their job to give their child everything and keep them happy. This (as I observe regularly) often backfires, with teenagers becoming more and more demanding - pushing boundaries which they NEED to make them feel safe - but which are difficult to implement if the years prior have been leading to this situation. Children/YP NEED to feel, understand, trust (and push against) these boundaries as the biggest need of all that they will be seeking is Belonging. Too much power makes them feel unsafe.
I love this pic, which demonstrates the confusion of Inconsistent Parenting....
There is a massive risk that this blog thingie, however long I keep it up, my thoughts will overlap into work stuff, But knowing what I do through work has only helped me to better understand (despite my disappointment) and the workings of society in general. It's in a sorry state!