Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Not Quite Neighbourly

The "Cult Film" mini project for work is happening. It's not for ages yet, but you have to get things nailed-down (spontaneity is for artists, not galleries) in advance so promotion can be booked, and staff can get used to seeing it on the horizon. There's a little hiccup with one of the Councillors having booked one of the nights for some lame event where they hand out certificates to whoever turns up. Might not be able to get out of that .... have to see.

KS and I have been circling mentions in the local paper of "Bookmarks of Excellence" being given to children who do craft at the shopping centres during the school holidays. There's something basically wrong with telling a general population that they're 'excellent' all the time, that their city is the best, that they're 'leading the way'. It's delusional apart from anything else!

Rather than get caught up on the many "quirks" of Trash City, I want to tell you a little about my new stalker. Anna.
Anna is my new neighbour (replacing Merv who Mowed), and has been transplanted from an Eastern Bris suburb - so she's a long way from her friends. She's moved to Trash City because her dutiful daughter is concerned for her safety (and the DD's response time should there be an emergency) now that Anna is in her winter years. So she has some time on her hands. And windows. Time to look out of windows. And a front porch as most of the houses in our suburb do. A front porch (rather than a back one) to add to that sense of 'community' - where everyone can 'watch out for each other'. Literally.

She has had a very interesting life - being raised in China in a Russian school (so although she's Australian, she has a heavy Russian accent). She and her husband started their family overseas and there were a few stories about trains and border crossings with babies and bags going missing, and no food and so on which made for an astonishing 45 minutes listening. She has two cats and a dog just like Riley ("only she is proper breed!") called Poppy. She's kind, friendly and always up for a chat. ALWAYS UP FOR A CHAT.

I realised last night as she sprung upon me out of the dusk as I darted from my car to the front door and started relating the activities of Rumi during the day, and how her two cats responded to this, and how great it was that one of my new shrubs was flowering, and how I had been at work a long time today and how I must be tired and she should be going, except that it would be best for me if I cooked a big meal on sundays and froze it in portions and then i wouldn't have to cook each night, just heat up my meal and it's much better that way, which is how she does it, in an enamel pot, they're the best kind and I nodded and tried to smile and it dawned on me. I am just not made for this suburban life. I am a crap neighbour. I have no interest in who is doing what to who over in number 13, or what number 15 thinks of it, and is trying not to say, nor why number 12 has so many people living there, or what they think they're doing with that great big boat, nor why Mrs Number 18 was in hospital recently, or if the people at number 11 are still the same ones who had the big drug bust or are there new people there now.

I say g'day, I offer to bring bins in if people are going away, I'll swap cuttings or dog-sit. That's kind of it for me. I've expanded that to being the loose-dog-pound-ringer and I'm done. I didn't realise that a yard would come with such a high cost. I also thought that fences would absorb more sound. There you go - wrong again.

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