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davidg

My Neighbour Angie

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Everyone used to admire Angie's garden, one of the nicest in the neigbourhood was the general opinion. Everything was neat and tidy, perhaps a bit too much for most people. Not a weed, everything in order. Nico, who lives on the other side and who had a secret thing about Angie, told me that in fact it was the old owner, Gerard, who had done all the hard work.

Apparently Gerard had taken on the garden that had suffered years of neglect. He'd hired some old folk from the local allotment to help him. He got away with paying them 1 quid an hour plus all the Lidl Earl Grey they could drink. But Gerard's wife didn't appreciate all the hard work he'd put in fixing up the joint and as soon as things were done she'd kicked him out and sold the place for a tidy profit.

Now Angie lives there. The first I'd noticed things were going down hill was when she started lighting smouldering bonfires. The acrid smoke would stink out the neighbourhood. Even Mr Brown, who lives in an isolated house across the stream started to complain about them. We noticed Angie wasn't just burning garden waste but all her rubbish, she'd been told by Mr Green it was more environmentally friendly as the council sends all our trash to China to be processed.

Mr Green has a seat on the council. Amongst some of his madcap ideas were getting rid of the neighbourhood watch and making the local swimming pool free as well as the bus service from big town. You can't swim in the pool these days as it is crowded out. There was a huge fight when it was really hot the other day and the police had to be called and they used tasers to break things up. The fight was over whether people wearing Speedos or Shorts could use the waterslide, of all things. Mr Green, who was in the pool, got himself arrested by shouting fascists pigs at the police. We all had a laugh at that.

Back to Angie. She runs the local toy cooperative. Everyone admires the quality of her toys although they seem to have gone a bit downhill recently. Then it turned out that she wasn't so much involved in the manufacture but had employed Rico, a Bulgarian, on a zero hours contract to do some of the work and had subcontracted a lot of the part supply to North Korea of all places.

Angie's garden is barely recognisable these days. It started with just a few daisies in the lawn. Then some parasites started growing in the hedge, ivy and Witchweed. Just a couple of years back she was lecturing me how a gardener had to concentrate on one variety of plant and how it was important to weed to keep the other plants healthy. I wouldn't care but it is a constant battle keeping her weeds to her side of the hedge. The Ivy infected one of my fruit trees and killed it. Now even Angie is complaining about her garden. She even planted Japanese knotweed that she "rescued" from the local tip because the council had planned to flatten the area to build a shopping mall. The knotweed is undermining the foundations of her house. She tells me it would help her out if I could take some of the weeds in my garden as she's got too many! I tell her I've got a zero tolerance policy on weeds but that only gets her bitching about the Sodium Chlorate I've used on the drive to clear it of brambles. The situation isn't helped by the local radio station who did a piece on her creating an "urban wilderness" with a "diversity of plants". They've actually sponsored her 500 quid!

I spoke to the council. They say she's a bit batty. Apparently her dad didn't let her out of the house until she was 21! She hardly had any contact with the rest of the world. Still I can't help but think this is not going to end well, I've just seen her son dragging a barrel of Roundup out of his van and a garden flamethrower!

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I was confused as to whether the underlying story was about globalisation or sexual innuendo. Maybe both? In which case, genius.

I thought it was about immigration.

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I thought it was about immigration.

Me too. I thought Angie's garden was Britain.

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David's.

It is, just got in from removing Ivy from the hedge that has come from Angie's garden. She thinks she's being all "bio" and "green" letting her garden turn into a jungle but she doesn't think about the consequences for her neighbours. Still Ivor down the road is as bad. He lives in what used to be a big house and garden but it fell into ruin in the 1990s. Some bits of the garden were sold off for building and Ivor took over the main house and made some efforts at doing it up. Despite being a bit of an oddball he used to be quite popular at the local garden festival with his prize marrows and seemed to be getting on with people. Then in 2013 one of the new houses was sold and he got into a frightful dispute with the new owner. Something to do with right of access over the neighbours land to Ivor's well. Ivor even claimed that some of the new houses' land belonged to him and it all got a bit nasty with them chucking stuff like plant pots and suchlike over the fence. Finally Ivor drove his landrover through the fence into the new neighbour's garden and it has sat there ever since. Ivor cuts a pretty sorry figure these days as he is shunned by everyone. He used to sell fruit and veg from his garden but on-one will buy it now and in any event since Lidl opened the bottom has dropped out of the fruit and veg market. I've no idea how he's making ends meet.

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I actually quite like this current fad for wildflower meadows, but people think they can just not bother to mow, and it will sow itself naturally, but they don't realise that making it all work is actually just as much if not more effort than a nice orderly one. They're ruining decades or centuries of careful cultivation and what they're forgetting is, in a few years' time the fashion will change again, and it won't be so easy to bring it all back under control.

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Is that the David with the dog? You know, the forlorn puppy that he took in because it's previous owners didn't want it and treated it mean. He took it in and because it had been treated so bad by it's previous masters decided to turn a blind eye to it's bad behaviour. Thinking that it was all in the dogs character and to chastise it for ripping things up, pooing in the house and shagging all the local bitches. Would be unfair to the poor thing, after all that it's suffered.

Have you seen it recently, it weights 200 lbs, has a vicious bark, is violent when approached and has fathered 10,000 puppies (just like it!) that have taken over the front room and have pushed poor old David into the bathroom.

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Well put it this way, Plato's metaphor of the cave is like saying "a cave is like a prostitute's gash" but his allegory is a bit deeper.

Katie Price's?

Besides, that was a simile.

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