In June of this year we moved into our new house. It's a three-bedroom Victorian terrace. I really like it though we've had a few issues with is. It's a family-neighbourhood with local schools, shops and parks and not very far from town at all. To be fair, you have to pass through a 'less-nice' area to get to town but it's a quiet street that is a nice place to bring up a family. This isn't it for us, we hope to be able to save to buy in our preferred part of town (alright, you can stop laughing now), failing that, we're hoping to move to that area within five years one way or another.
Our next door neighbours one one side are nice, quiet, but nice. They have a little dog (I hate dogs) that Moo loves to look at and it seems harmless. They keep their garden nice and their house well-maintained which I like. They're polite and we always greet one-another.
The other side...is a different story. I'm sure we've all had trouble neighbours in our pasts, these aren't my worst but they're up there. It's a late-middle-aged man and a woman we presume to be his mother. The day we moved in I looked at the front of their house and said to my husband 'next door are smokers'. I could tell because their net curtains were that horrible, sickly mustard-brown shade of nicotine stain. The man seems to have an issue controlling the level of his voice, indicating hearing problems, and I'd genuinely feel for him...if he wasn't shouting abuse every time he opens his mouth. He appears to be drunk the vast majority of the time when at home and shouting down the phone, at his mother, at a woman I presume to be his sister and the dog. He's constantly swearing and we can hear it very clearly. Luckily he tends to be his most vocal between 6 and 8pm which is the time that Moo is already upstairs and so she never hears it.
I have concerns for the whole household and a huge part of me wants to contact someone. They too have a small dog. I have never known it to be walked and the thing is constantly howling and crying. All day. Now, I hate dogs, I said that already....but that doesn't mean I'm happy to sit back and let an innocent creature suffer. Both are constantly shouting threats at it and if it never gets walked...well, it's very clear to me that this dog does not have a good quality of life, not to mention the abuse he's constantly shouting to his mother...? There also appears to be damp in their home. I say this because the only problems I'm having with damp (and slugs, yuck) are coming in at their side of my house...and interior side connected to their lounge. Not my exterior walls, not the other side of my house, their side. It's gross.
The whole point of this post is not to complain about my neighbours...it's the realisation that I've made; I'm at war with myself. The old me would've shopped him to the RSPCA/local council already...so why haven't I?
It's because I'm a parent now and I have so much more to think about than two adults. I have one, almost two, under-threes to take care of. To protect.
Because we're new residents, it will be clear to the neighbours who it was that reported them and that could potentially bring a lot of attention down onto us. That's fine by me, I can handle an 'ol' drunk', I have years of practice (another story), and I can handle little men shouting the odds. What I'm not prepared to handle is throwing innocent children into the mix. Am I concerned for this dog and elderly lady? Yes, incredibly so. Do I value them over my own children....?
This is truly a case of me as a person versus me as a parent.
What would you do in my situation?
Labels: home, life, Neighbours