Not Neighbourly

“Be patient with a bad neighbour: he may move or face misfortune!” – Egyptian Proverb

The midweek word prompt on Weekly Prompts the site I share with my partner GC is Considerateness.

GC tells us about his inconsiderate neighbours and having seen the evidence I have to agree with his actions. I also have inconsiderate neighbours, the type that causes considerable damage and grief.

A few short years ago, a pretty stream ran between two of my fields. To the east, adjoining the lower end my land was the neighbour’s farm, and somehow he managed to gain approval for a landfill site on his bottom field. The landfill changed the lie of the land, leaving the stream with nowhere to run and resulting in a new pond between the two fields.

The New Lake

Today I have a lake!

A couple of years ago I complained on here about these same neighbours.  First, they informed us of plans to turn their farm into industrial storage, and then changed their minds and applied to build housing instead.

fighting neighboursNext, the same neighbours removed the hedgerow at the other side of the farm track that runs between our  land and another neighbour, which in effect, has removed the privacy of a second neighbour; this led to a dispute of ownership of the hedgerow.

When my daughter Victoria and her family moved in with me, we extended the house in two directions,  and in a quest to give the extension at their side of the house more privacy, they paid for a substantial number of trees and bushes to be professionally planted along the eastern edge of the garden, and the edge of the fields that adjoin the farm track that leads to the neighbour’s farm.

Not in dispute was our side of the farm track, however, with the new trees growing well, but not yet tall enough to offer privacy from the expected onslaught of large trucks, we decided to give ourselves additional security by erecting a solid fence around the part of the garden where the children played.

A few weeks ago, our farming neighbour took it upon himself to trim the new trees. Ruthlessly, he hacked off the top of several of the Leylandii trees and gave the excuse that they were overhanging his track. My son-in-law Simon spotted the farmer’s illegal actions a little too late but managed to halt the butchering of further trees.

Simon demanded to know why he hadn’t spoken to us first. The neighbour’s answer was, “What are you worrying about? they’ll grow again.”

Unfortunately, if you hack off the top of a tree, it will continue to spread outwards, but will no longer grow upwards; I suggested we issue a bill for the damage. That has still to be decided.

I find it difficult to understand people who behave in such a selfish manner and who plough through life not caring upon whom they trample.

© 2019 Word Prompt Considerateness from Weekly Prompts.
The lake photograph was taken a couple of days ago by Victoria during Woody’s evening walk.   

Clipart courtesy of Free





41 thoughts on “Not Neighbourly

  1. Sue your story seems to far too familiar everywhere in our world….. Sometimes I wonder at how inconsiderate and selfish some people can be……. I live in a set of 4 villa type units, and our front driveways are common land for the for 4 units….. Attached is my photo of my next neighbours use of the shared driveway….. none of the cars are registered, nor going … you’d say they were wrecks and an eyesore …….
    But I’ll write an article with a different tact for the prompt…………………..!Asumt4cZ9A65hLRb6uNVmNOYg-mtaw?e=WjY0pw

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I saw your photo and I sympathise.
      We don’t see this man too often but when we do there is usually some problem he has caused. Thank you Ivor, I look forward to seeing your post. I’m on another Reader catchup so no doubt I’ll be chin wagging again with you shortly! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My sympathies, Sue. We had a dreadful neighbour back in the city. It had got to the point where I was seriously thinking of something which was totally out of character for me. We were fortunate and moved and also found a little bit of heaven. Strange how some people just go about antagonising others all day long. Who knows why? I hope you find a resolve and peace with your neighbour.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My husband always disliked him, he saw something in him that I didn’t spot. The incident with the new trees really upsets me, we didn’t realise that the lower branches were hanging over the track and if he’d mentioned it we would have gladly trimmed the overhang, to take the top off was unnecessary and shameful.
      I’m glad you’ve found peace Trev, your little piece of heaven sounds delightful.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry about your neighbour, I wonder what shapes this type of person?
      There’s a lot going on down on his farm that the council would be interested in, but we leave him to it, mainly because the other neighbour has a better view of this Steptoe and son farmyard and we know he plans to get even, but right now he is just biding his time! Thanks Andrew.


  3. Murphy's Law

    I would be spitting nickels, as my grandma used to say! I think this man knew full well what he was doing when he started lopping off tree tops…..that the trees growth would be stunted. What a mean, spiteful man. I hope Karma visits him soon!

    We also have inconsiderate neighbors. Those who park on the street directly across from our driveway making it difficult to pull out or back in. The ones who blow their snow all over everyone else’s property. The pet owners who let their cats and dogs run free….and no, they never clean up after them.

    Selfish, inconsiderate people are everywhere it seems. They are void of good manners and plain common sense. “Me, myself and I” apparently is their motto! I don’t know where they come from either Sue, but too bad there isn’t a vaccine that would protect us from them! 🤗🤗
    🐾Ginger 🐾


    1. I always give people the benefit of the doubt, I am too trusting; it used to annoy my husband no end when I would insist that people don’t do bad deeds deliberately. These days I think differently and I think you’re right, Ginger, this man is mean spirited. The width of the track is all that stands between him and his final planning permission for the houses and this is why he is being so ruthless.

      I am sorry about your neighbours and their disregard for others. Perhaps we should introduce a coming of age licence that allows us to rent or own property but only when we can show good neighbourly behaviour towards others, a licence that needs to be regularly reviewed. Well, something like that! 😀 Thank you, Ginger.


  4. Sorry to hear how common this is, Sue. My new neighbor (who spent a small fortune to entirely redo her house both inside and out) complained to my husband about some trees of ours that hung over on her side lawn. She never even goes out on her side lawn! I trimmed them just inches so nothing would hang in her precious yard. Some people!!!


    1. I think you’re probably correct Derrick. One of my girls lives in a semi and when her first baby was born the neighbour knocked on the wall everytime the baby cried! Another of my girls once had a neighbour who knocked on their door to ask if he could share their Internet because he’d been cut off for not paying his bill! Nowt so strange as folk! Thank you Derrick.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. gc

    In a word Susan your neighbors truly suck. While they may legally have the “right” to trim any branches that impinge on their property they are obligated to inform you of their displeasure so that you and you alone can remedy the situation. To do this on their own is downright criminal and you should pursue legal action to have them foot the bill for any and all damages their actions may have caused.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have a flashlight that is also a taser. So I could join you and we could “attack” at night. My flashlight/taser is necessary because I live rural and it’s to protect me and my little doggie, on our late night/early morning walks, against wild animals and reptiles. But, it might work on inconsiderate neighbors. 😉 😀 😛

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Do you live in a jungle?
        Group holiday in Yorkshire, tasers welcome!
        I have a photo of a book for you, contains something very interesting, I was going to leave it in your comments section but I think I should resize it first. I’ll do it in the morning. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. HA! Not in the jungle…rural, mountain area, with a few ranches close by. 🙂 On walks we’ve seen some scary animals and reptiles and there are scarier ones that fortunately we haven’t seen. 😮
        Ha! on the “group holiday, tasers welcome!” I snorted! 😀
        Okie doke! I look forward to that! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Peter,
        My WordPress site in on “private”, but if you would like to read my writing just click on my username and it should take you to a place to request access. I’d be happy to grant that so you can visit and read. 🙂
        HUGS to you and your family,
        Carolyn 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Wow. 😦 I’m so sorry you’ve had to endure all of this, Sue. And so sorry for those precious trees. 😦
    We all want to feel safe in our home (be it a house, apartment, motor-home, etc.). We want it to be THE place we can relax, feel good, rest, etc. So to have a bad neighbor adds stress, worry, sadness, madness, fear, etc., that no one needs. 😦
    I would think everyone would feel this way and would work hard to be a good, considerate, helpful neighbor. But, even when we model good-neighbor-ness, there are still those people who don’t get it. 😦
    We’ve had bad neighbors before…I won’t go into the stories here.
    Right now we are so fortunate to have all good neighbors! I hope it stays that way. The lady next door is thinking of moving to be closer to her son. I don’t want her to move! I will miss her so much!
    HUGS and I hope you get some resolution!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I dislike feeling angry inside and then I feel helpless and upset that the deed is done and money wasted.

      I’m so sorry your lovely neighbour is moving, it’s hard when friends move away.
      Thank you so much Carolyn 🙂

      Liked by 5 people

      1. I hate those feelings, too. AND I hate that you are having to feel those feelings. 😦

        Do what you can, what might help…but please take some deep breaths, and keep your wonderful sense-of-humor intact! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  7. That’s shocking, Sue. I fear people like this need to be stopped, or they will just keep doing it. They don’t care – and if they get away with causing problems they will just keep causing them. I fear there is a certain breed of farmer, too, that thinks they are some kind of special case. I hope you sort it out without too much distress. Life is too short to have unsettling disputes with neighbours.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We cannot understand his behaviour either. We have done nothing to offend him and have not raised objections about the small housing development that will replace his farm buildings. We don’t use the track, and don’t see the back of the trees. All he had to do was pick up the phone or knock on the door and ask us to trim the branches and my son-in-law would have done it, and with an apology for not noticing the overhang.
      Thank you, Mike.

      Liked by 1 person

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