Who are your neighbours?

Andy on the desk

Do Armadillos like Jellybeans? Looks like Andy is willing to try one!

I was listening to a local radio show the other day when the presenter asked the question “Do you know your neighbours?”

A couple of weeks ago we had Neighbours Day here in Wellington and I took that opportunity to get to meet some of my neighbours.

Some of them of course, I had absolutely nothing in common with, some could become more than acquaintances but it seems very important that we at least are on nodding terms with each other.

As I grow older I feel that I might have to call on a neighbour for some assistance some time.  I have already when my neighbour took a friend to rescue my car after I had my fall before Christmas.  Another neighbour has come over to help move garden furniture.  In turn, I have fed a neighbour’s dog and another neighbour and her little girls have taken Lotte for a walk.

According to a recent study  in Britain, a quarter of the population don’t know the names of the people living around them and more than three quarters haven’t a clue as to what they do for a living.  And many have never even seen their nearest neighbour!

The reason appears to be that we move homes more frequently these days and the growth of social media has left us more likely to stay at home, rather than go out and socialise.  Certainly when I was growing up in London my parents knew their neighbours, not as friends but certainly as acquaintances.

So I am going to make an effort to get to know my neighbours, not necessarily as friends but certainly as someone to speak to, to pass the time of day and to offer and receive help as needed.

Do you know your neighbours?

“My neighbour asked if he could use my lawnmower
and I told him of course he could,
so long as he didn’t take it out of my garden.”
Eric Morecambe, 1926-1984, English comedian.

Now Lotte, Andy and I are off to the Hospice to serve lunch.  Wonder what Andy will make of the Hospice and what the people at the Hospice will make of Andy!  More on this tomorrow.

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20 responses to “Who are your neighbours?

  1. A good question Judith. I do know my neighbors since we are all part of a corporation of landowners. It’s good to know we can call on each other, but it’s better to count some of them as good friends. An interesting post – as always. 🙂

  2. Hi Judith,
    I read your blog on a regular basis and thoroughly enjoy it. It comes to my inbox so I usually read it and then go on with my day. Today I just had to come by and leave a comment. I’m living in Thailand right now and we live in a small cul de sac with four villas. Ours is the only one that’s occupied full-time. It makes me a little sad not to have close neighbors. My mom still lives in the house our family moved into in 1967. It’s 5 bedrooms and she lives by herself. Some people think she’s crazy (she’s 87 and I think she’s still pretty sharp). People ask, why doesn’t she sell it and move into an apartment? Wouldn’t it be easier for her…and chepaer? I get it though. On the one side is Marie, the other Shelly and Will, across the street is Lloyd and behind are Sheila and Hughes. Every single one of them are friends and they all look out for her and they all know us (her kids) too. She keeps reminding me that after moving so much in the early years, sometimes as many as three times in one year, she claimed once we moved into this house that they would take her out in a pine box. She’s more commited to that promise than ever and I can’t say I blame her. When I go home to visit I’m reminded what it means to be neighborly!
    Thanks for sharing,
    Anne 🙂

    • I have a friend well into her eighties who still lives in the house she moved into when she was first married. It is a large old villa and far too big for her, but she loves it and says she will move out when they carry her out.
      Because I have moved so many times I have never really considered my neighbours as friends. I propose this to be my final move and so will make the effort here.
      Thanks for commenting and reading my posts. 🙂

  3. I grew up on a farm and knowing your neighbours was crucial to survival. We know most of our neighbours in our apartment building and have become friends with some as well.

    • I lived in an apartment building for a few years and knew my neighbours then. The husband next door was always happy to open the bottle of bubbles for me and mostly he and his wife came in to share. 🙂

  4. We know close-by neighbors. Some houses on our street have had a lot of turnover, (renters and military) those we don’t know. Our next-door-neighbors on one side moved out today, heading to another state. We chatted over the fence often and attended their Christmas open house both years they were here. We share a love of birds. My mom had an open door policy with her neighbors, the coffee pot was always on!

    • Most of the people in our street seem to have lived here for a long time. The exception is the house next door where there is a group of young tenants. These people seem to change regularly but they are generally a cheerful bunch.

  5. I have moved house a lot, too, while my mother has lived in the same house for 74 years (and the neighbours have mostly also been there a long time, so all friends). In my experience, you get to know your neighbours best if you live in a house in a small cul-de-sac. Most difficult is is you live in a flat in a large development, where tenants tend to change frequently. And the quickest way to meet your neighbours is to have some kind of emergency where you need their help!!

    • I love the idea of somebody living in the same house for 74 years. I have a friend who has lived in her house for over 60 years. We have moved many times in our married life and since my husband died I have moved 6 times. But I think I shall stay here now.
      Thanks for the comment. Enjoy your weekend.

  6. With families spread far and wide, it’s good to know one’s neighbors.

  7. We do know three of our neighbors (can’t remember the names of our next-door neighbors, though. Ooops!) We have exchanged numbers with our neighbors across the street and keep an eye out for each other.

    • Hi Janna – I think having each others numbers is very important. I used to live in a cul de sac with only five houses and as we were all about the same age, we too kept an eye out for each other.

  8. I pass the time of day with a couple of my neighbours, but that’s about it, everyone seems to keep themselves to themselves here, shame really.

    • It’s very different now when everyone is so busy. But it’s good to know some of your neighbours in case you need to call upon them for help.

  9. I am grateful for the fact that I do know my neighbors. The path between our house and our neigbor’s house is well worn. We also know our neighbors to our right, and we have helped each other out on several occassions. While I can’t attest to knowing everyone in our large neighborhood, I am pleased with the growing number I do know.

  10. Pingback: I choose how I will spend the rest of my life

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