Friday, 19 May 2006

Rose Coloured Spectacles Smashed

All is not lovely in the garden.

Yesterday morning life seemed pretty perfect but it does not take much to smash the illusion.

I live in a borrowed landscape. I have an averaged sized garden, that I cannot do much with and it does not have many features. Yet I sit in it and feel like a queen, gazing over the fields to trees and woods and wildlife. I sit under a neighbouring ancient tree that gracefully provides shade in a corner of my bit. The neighbouring field will never be built on, as it is outside the 'village envelope' for development and also because we do not have mains drainage (where does it go ? - another time) and the chalk valley is a water source protection area, for the acquifers; planning permission will always be refused, unless the government decide to shift the south-east west a bit due to drought.

For fifteen years the neighbours adjoining my garden have been Norman's cattle, just a few, three to maximum six, as it is only a little field. The field belongs to my neighbour's sister who lives a little further along, and it is let to Norman for grazing. The cattle are black Aberdeen Angus, with some character, unlike docile milking cows, particularly if Norman's castration technique has left quite a lot to be desired and the young bulls remain frisky until they become beef. Good mature beef; Norman had a permit to rear them longer as they were grass fed and not a BSE risk. They even attempted to join my birthday tea in the garden party one year. Occasionally the owner's grandchildren played there when the field was vacant. All in the garden was rosy.

The grandchildren grew up; the boy took to wearing battle fatigues complete with toy radio backpack, helmet and binoculars, pretending to be a signalling scout, or scouting for the enemy, but I nipped that in the bud when I waited for him to pop his head up from behind a hillock, to find the lady in the wheelchair, not just looking at him, through her binoculars, looking at him looking at her, but also waving at him when he saw me in his sights, over the top of my binoculars. He had the good sense to be embarrased and loose interest after that. The grandfather, like many retired men with no brain, plays golf, and he tried in vain to get the granddaughter to be interested; thankfully she grew impatient with the swing technique.

All has now changed. Grandfather has given the grandchildren, now young teenagers, a quad bike. A noisy quad bike. Grandfather has spent two days sat on his little sit-on mower, cutting the tall grass, buttercups, food nettles, down to golf course height. Six hours yesterday, four hours today before rain stopped play. Teenagers noisy in the field for two hours yesterday after school. A large low branch broken off the ancient tree. Swallows and house martins put to flight, buzzards disappeared, along with the mice, voles, and other food on legs. I have been cursing loudly behind closed doors.

Today I pray for lashings of after school rain.

I came to this place when I was healthy and active and only had tinnitus to contend with. I bought it because it is quiet, peaceful, not overlooked. I needed quiet. Now with Meniere's and Lupus cogdysfunc, noise wipes my brain. I cannot think straight and when external noise stops, it takes ages for my tinnitus levels to subside. They, those people who own that field, are impinging on my life and my ability to cope. I have phoned the council, both planning and environmental health, and taken advice. There are forms I can fill in, a complaint can be lodged anonymously and if the noise is excessive they will monitor it discreetly. I must now take action to get a 'Tree Protection Order' before it is too late, for the tree.

This too will pass.


Blogger Charlesdawson said...

I am cursing for you, Sally. Some people have the souls of municipal gardeners, and ther's nothing you can do about it.

They won't be teenagers for many years, I hope. Perhaps if they acquire girlfriends, the quad bike will be put out to pasture? Hopefully they will get bored with their new craze as adolescents do, particularly with the World Cup and Big Brother to engage their attention.

Friday, 19 May 2006 at 19:58:00 BST  
Blogger BloggingMone said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Saturday, 20 May 2006 at 13:15:00 BST  
Blogger BloggingMone said...

Sorra, I posted the wrong comment in confusion. I agree to Charles. They will probably loose interest sooner than anyone in whatever office will have paid any attention to you complaints form. I was once driven crazy by kids on miniature motorbikes. Their enthusiasm lasted for about four weeks and then that was it!
I just hope for you that teenagers are the same everywhere.

Saturday, 20 May 2006 at 13:17:00 BST  
Blogger Sally's Life said...

Thanks Charles and Bloggingmone for your sympathy and curses. The prayed-for lashings of rain have worked today; its all quiet, and I apologise if the whipped up tempest has hit your shores too.

Without wishing to give the impression that I am not impressed by any males of the species(certainly the esteemed Charles excepted, and Mr BloggingMone of course), boys will always be boys - playing with their toys.

One friend, a responsible company-owning grown-up, gets out his acid oil seed rape coloured low slung kit car at every opportunity and takes that vile colour noisily (literally, not synaesthesially) along quiet country lanes frightening the bunnies.

His girlfriend hates it too, and the time he spends with it.

Saturday, 20 May 2006 at 16:18:00 BST  

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