An article I have written…

We all live in a community. No matter how rural and how far away one’s neighbours are. Often far-flung farms are closely knit whilst urban dwellers may often not know the name of the person next door.
Whether we live in detached houses with wrap around gardens, or dense terraces, or multiple flats, our choices and decisions about what we attach to our walls or install in our gardens affects others around us. My Dad always consulted our neighbours about a new fence going up, a low brick wall, and hedge cutting. Thus the hedge cutting often became a joint effort, with cups of tea. My Dad is my plumbline for neighbour relations.
Where I live now, no respect was given to the boundary which is mine. Instead of erecting a fence on their slide, the neighbours put the fence on the boundary line. On the other side, great respect was shown after my arrival, and the fence was placed inside their boundary.
It seems the etiquette around boundaries is dying out, and I am not old.
So earlier this year, my neighbours hung high pitched windchimes eight feet from our mutual fence. There are other places they could have been hung. I have great problems with high pitched sound, as I have a rare disease in my nervous system. It is so rare that it is not researched. The windchimes cause me pain and muscle tension.
My neighbours, who are tenants claim I harassed them, but in fact I knocked at their door at two different times of day before resorting to posting a note, with my mobile number. They ignored this and then trespassed in my garden. Meanwhile, they were causing nuisance by hooking their back gates open, preventing ease of access for me and my friends, and work men.
Quay Living, their letting agent, doesn’t care about any of this and will not ask my neighbours to move the windchimes. The council has exhausted it’s powers in asking them to move them, and my neighbours refuse mediation.
In the summer, I could hear the chimes all over my house as I had many windows open due to the heat. It’s got so bad that I scream with pain when I step into my garden. I can no longer enjoy my garden.
I have started a petition asking the Secretary of State for the Environment to introduce a law requiring householders to consult their neighbours about noise-making installations,or visual disturbance. Someone I care about has had a flag hung beside her bay window, and it disturbs her constantly and obscures her view.
Please take a couple of minutes to sign this petition. One day it may be you with an intolerable noise or visual disress, or your elderly relative.

Sign the PetitionMake Neighbours consult on what they put in their garden that makes noise/visual distress

Chrissie Morris Brady


Today is World Kindness Day…

There have been several days that I’ve meant to write about, but life has taken over in various ways.

Did you enjoy the full moon last night? It is so beautiful. I love it every time.

I went to a poetry event yesterday evening. It was about 20 miles away. I went because an old friend was headlining the evening. There were also a number of people who are always glad to see me, and I was able to put a few names to faces. Poetry is very much alive in my part of the world. It also helped me to feel ‘normal’ after the horrible bruising of my pelvis and the effects of the adrenalin that so overwhelmed my body. The symptoms continue to subside.

You may not realise that if you are kind to someone, you get a benefit too. A smile at someone realises endorphins. These are the ‘happy chemicals’ that we associate with kissing, or laughing, or a good movie.

In studies, it has been shown that people who are lonely or depressed feel better after small conversations with other people. It could be a simple hello in the street, a comment or two about the weather, a phone call to someone.

Helping someone pick up what they’ve dropped, holding dog’s lead while it’s poop is bagged, all this actions make us feel better.

We are social creatures and need interaction. I was grateful last night to a man the bus who seemed ready to get off. I asked him if this was the best stop for me to get off. He told me yes. When I alighted, he was waiting for me and asked I minded as he didn’t want to be a pest. I was touched, and assured him his consideration was appreciated. We walked to a crossing, and everything became familiar. I thanked him and crossed over.

During a break in the evening, I went and reminded myself to Connie, the DJ. He is so lovely, so warm and so kind. At the end of the evening he took me the shortest, uncrowded route out of the bar. He almost kept my handbag. I’m truly fond of him.

My friend, Abby, bought me a drink – I must buy her one, it’s over due. All these acts of kindness make the doers feel good. As well as me.

So when you feel low, smile at someone. You will feel better. Try to say hello to someone, do an act of kindness and try to talk to people.