17 August 2011

Looking After The Neighbours

A few weeks ago I saw something that positively enraged me. Whilst working at the computer I spotted the folk across the road leaving their house. They’re an elderly couple, a man of 94 and his wife who is 91. They were being picked up by the daughter-in-law so I knew they would be away for several hours.

During their absence a pair of window cleaners arrived. What a shame, I thought, they won’t get their back windows done.


Even as I thought it one of the men walked back to the van and fetched out a pair of stepladders and a long rod. These he positioned in front of the neighbour’s side gate. Grabbing the rod he climbed up, reached over the gate, and started hacking at the inside bolt.

I shot out of my house yelling ‘What on earth do you think you’re doing?’

The second guy asked what was wrong so I told him that people didn’t hack their way into other people’s property. ‘Well if we don’t,’ the second man said, ‘they don’t get their windows cleaned.’

‘What the hell do you think the bolt is for,’ I asked.

‘To protect their house,’ he said.

I asked the question again.

He looked quizzical.


While the discourse was going on the first guy went through the now open gate to get on with the task of cleaning the back windows. I was back home by the time he'd finished. I returned to my desk by the window and noticed that the neighbour's gate was locked by the same method it was opened … hacking at it with the long rod.

Cutting a long story short, after the event the neighbours were informed. They were furious. Apparently it had happened once before although they didn’t know how the men had got in. Consequently they cancelled their business with the cleaners and hired another chap.

As I said, this happened a few weeks ago. Today, while I was out, the old lady phoned and left a message. She said they were going away for three days and if I saw anything amiss at their house I was to ring the police and NOT challenge anyone whom I thought shouldn’t be there. She ended the message with ‘You must be careful, it’s dangerous to intervene.’

She’s right, of course, and I understand her reasoning. Isn’t it a shame that we can no longer stick up for friends and neighbours for fear that something will happen if we do. What sort of world are we living in these days?


  1. yikes that is a little scary...yeah i would call the police as well...dont want to be hacked...

  2. They closed and locked the gate after they had finished!!! - send me the name of that window cleaner.

  3. "Isn’t it a shame that we can no longer stick up for friends and neighbours for fear that something will happen if we do."

    You said, Valerie.

    Years ago, I had a spouse abuse issue going on in the apartment next to mine. The sounds I heard coming out of that apartment we terrifying. So I went to my apartment managers office to make them aware of this situation and do you know what they said? "Oh, you'll have to call the police because we can't get involved in stuff like that for legal reasons."

    OMG....I was enraged....not get involved!?!!?

    Eventually, I finally did call the police because management closed their eyes to the situation. And thank god, they moved.

    Have a great day, dear lady!


  4. They are lucky to have you as a neighbour. It is a shame that we have to be so suspicious of everybody's intentions though, isn't it.
    How are you getting on with my book? Have you started it yet?
    ps I have tweaked something on my settings re comments. Please could you try leaving a comment to see if you are able to now? I know you couldn't before for some reason. Thanks.

  5. Kath, thanks. You can tell to which generation I belong!

    Brian, unfortunately (or fortunately) I was brought up in and age where people helped each other.

    Ron, you did right to report it. It's disheartening though to find that it's become inadvisable to help others even when help is needed.

  6. Val you are a brave lady, I agree with your neighbour - if something happens, call the police. It is a shame how we don't look out for each other as we once did, I'm not sure why the change, but it has not been a good one.....:-)Hugs

  7. You are brave Val and you're right, it is a shame we have to be careful about challenging people these days. :(

  8. Pearl, I really wish it wasn't so.

  9. I'd like to know the answer to that question myself!

  10. I am glad they were real window washers! You were brave, but with the scary things going on now days it's best to call the police.

  11. There are idiots out there and they were two of them for sure.


If you're new to A Mixed Bag you might find something to interest you, a bit of mirth, a story or two, or some pictures. I'm so pleased you popped in, do leave a comment if you have time.