When I was a kid, we knew our neighbours and knew them well. We knew them well enough that we called the ones on the left of us Aunty Val and Uncle Barry and were given pretty much free reign to roam around in the semi-widerness owned by (slightly mad) Mary to the right of us. We knew the names of the neighbours for a few doors down and across the road and would have been able to go to any of them in a crisis or to ask for a cup of sugar or to twist their arms to buy school raffle tickets.
It seems like that’s something that we’re losing. In our last two homes, we’ve known our neighbours by sight and would greet each other on the leterbox run or whatever, but I couldn’t tell you any of there names. It’s really sad. We’re doing better in our current house and know our neighbours here by name, at least, but there’s only one that I’ve actually visited and I’d make a run to the shop rather than bother any of them for a spare egg or borrow of the lawn mower.
I’m not sure why we haven’t built proper connections with out neighbours. I know we’re all busy and in and out at different times but it seems like there’s more too it than that. Maybe we’re all hanging back in case we bother each other. Maybe we’re used to living in our distinct wee worlds and it’s safer just to keep our distance. I don’t know. But I do think it’s really sad.
Anyway, I have a mission to have a neighbourhood get-together at some stage. Perhaps all we need is for someone to open the gates and invite everyone in. Light the BBQ, chill the beers and get the neighbours over – sounds like a plan to me.