Just last week we heard the sad news that our former neighbour from the Scottish Highlands had died very suddenly. DM was a widower who lived with his dog Murphy. His Brother NM and Sister-in-law lived next door to him. Our manse faced both their houses.
They together with the rest in the village made excellent neighbours. We didn’t have burglar alarms or any other security feature. One day in my excitement to go to the supermarket, I left the keys in the keyhole after locking the door. As you might have guessed, thankfully nothing happened.
Our neighbours knew what time our bedroom lights went off each night and who our visitors were! Yes, it did feel like being in a goldfish bowl and yes there were times when I wished that we didn’t have neighbours! But it was these same neighbours who kept a close eye on our house and helped with our bins etc when we went away on holidays. They were the ones who shared their meat with us after they have been to the abbatoir with their animals and whenever they had fresh eggs and vegetables in abundance. Never expecting anything in return.
Here in No 130, we are surrounded by houses but are struggling to get to know our neighbours. The Minister and I have made conscious effort to speak to then neighbours and to get to know them but they seem to prefer to keep to themselves. It is probably a city thing. Having come from close knit communities I am struggling to be without neighbours whom I can wave/chat to. Back in the highlands, I used to wave goodnight to one of my neighbours Mrs M every single night from my kitchen window!
I have learnt the painful lesson that it is better to have nosy neighbours than no neighbours.