Comments for en-gb 30 Sat 31 Jan 2015 20:10:38 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at bfactor This is my first email to ipm, although I join Eddie whenever I can. Last Monday on 18th of May I heard Eddie discussing how well we know our neighbours. I am heavily involved in our local community. So when I heard the topic I couldnt resist getting involved and writing to you about my neighbourhood.I am originally from India and have been living in Britain for the last 30 years. I've lived in my current house for the last 15 years with my husband and our two daughters.I have three immediate neighbours (2 of English origin and 1 of jamican decent). I believe that is important to have a close knit community and for people to know their neighbourhoods. When I moved into my current house 15 years ago, at first, I found my neighbours nice but very reserved. I didnt feel comfortable so I made the first move; I invited them to our house for food and exchanged our phone numbers despite being very shy myself. Now we not only celebrate them with sepcial occasions but take a genuine interest in their welfare. As do they and I do not feel that there are any barriers now.Over the last 15 years our children have practically grown up with our neighbours children. We are always asking about their childrens well being, and careers etc. We appreciate each other, take interest in each others families and are always ready to help each other. We know about each others work, health and we even discussed how we plan to redecorate our kitchens.We leave a spare key with our neighbour in case of emergencies and when we go on holiday our neighbours keep an eye on our house as we do when they go away. In my opinion the key to a good neighbourhood is making an effort to know each other, be friendly but not overly invasive. Thu 21 May 2009 17:22:01 GMT+1 Patrick Too Tried to be friendly with the neighbours but have just ended up on nodding terms. More chatty with a couple further down the road who at least act as if they're interested (as opposed of just paying attention to be nice). S'funny, my Mother has a strange ability for befriending anyone (who'll let her) within weeks of moving into a place she'll be having dinner parties with the neighbours - she goes away on holiday and returns after making lifelong friends! Within minutes of meeting my neighbours she was getting a guided tour of their house! I don't understand how some folk just have the knack! Perhaps its'a hidden pheromone or something!? Tue 19 May 2009 11:11:00 GMT+1 annasee Forgot to say, my lovely neighbour hands on her cast-off clothes to me. As she has more expensive tastes than me, this is an excellent deal. What doesn't fit me will usually fit one of my friends, and the neighbour is pleased because she has de-cluttered her wardrobe and now has room to go shopping again. Success all round.I usually give them home-made jam or chutney when I have made some. They fed our cat for 2 months when we were away, and we brought them back 2 large bottles of spirits. We were all pleased with that arrangement! Tue 19 May 2009 09:22:53 GMT+1 Olderbedan Most of my neighbours are younger and have children at home. There are one or two who are older. They are all a pleasure to know, concerned, friendly and helpful. I give thanks for them every day. Mon 18 May 2009 22:24:47 GMT+1 petratalks My neighbour has a connecting door through to my house. The key was lost long ago and when I book a locksmith he cancels the appointment. When my neighbour's paper is late he pops into my kitchen to see if I've "accidentally" taken it. I don't "accidentally" do this. Sometimes I will have something cooking on the stove and walk into my kitchen to find my neighbour burning his mouth on my food. My neighbour lets his dogs into my house when he goes out so they don't get lonely. I like cats. Once my neighbour lost his false teeth at the bottom of his swimming pool and came through, dripping wet and toothless, to ask me to dive in and retrieve them. I did. My neighbour does not always close his curtains and I am sometimes greeted with his naked form as I come out my bedroom in the morning. I live next door to my father-in-law. I long to live in isolation. Mon 18 May 2009 21:58:57 GMT+1 zofski As a UK citizen having lived in Canada for 10 yrs I returned to a small community in the NEast of England. Through always saying hello to anyone who passes by and delivering the community newsletter I have met many people who live in the 2 rows of miners pit bungalows that I have settled into. We help and support each other and I am part of that community because I have chosen to put in the work to make it so. I believe that lonliness and isolation are endemic within UK suburban society. It takes interest in other human beings and a realisation that your island in your little box is not enough for satisfactory social well-being. I have a Senegalise friend whose partner is from the UK who was appalled that after 10 yrs of living in her house she did not know a soul that lived in the street - in Senegal you will never be lonely. It is an open social society - does poverty or the climate breed this? Is it only due to the UK weather that we hide in our little boxes or is it an inherent neccessity to hide what riches we have or do not have? Look at Mediterranean countries where they promenade/meet and greet each other every evening. How does UK society have interact - the expensive, outdated and most often seedy pub !!! I rest my case - Zof Mon 18 May 2009 20:27:39 GMT+1 LocalLevel Readers might be interesteed in a summary of non-scientific surveys that I did last year, which suggests tentatively that -- about 90% of us enjoy good relationships with our neighbours and speak to them often - about 5% of us have no contact with our neighbours - there's no consensus on whether neighbourliness is in decline.Source: Mon 18 May 2009 18:59:03 GMT+1 Bina Cossar Good Evening. I live in a road with only 4 houses. I know all about them and invite them to dine with me. There is aout another 34 houses on the same road but are 400 to 500 yrds away from my house. I have met most of them and have found them friendly and very neighbourly. I know a number of others living in differen areas and usually meet them in the Theatre or when out shopping. All - in - All. I have some lovely friendly neighbours. The thing I like most is that some of them are retired and keep me up with the gossip. How good is that.Bina Mon 18 May 2009 18:46:12 GMT+1 returningerstwhile I know my heighbour has a very nice ox, and an ass I wouldn't mind having...... Mon 18 May 2009 18:36:49 GMT+1 Lady_Sue Big Sis: I think it's a good question too - for lots of different reasons. It seems to be churning up thoughts/ideas about neighbours and might even result in people walking across the road to introduce themselves to their neighbours. Wouldn't that be a good thing? Mon 18 May 2009 18:18:28 GMT+1 Big Sister meldrewsrevenge: You're quite correct their - it is, in fact, a survey question.I used to work for Sir Bob's lot on the other side of the questionnaire, as well as designing questionnaires (for a different lot). I guess when Eddie asked us to submit our questions, I took him literally. Ann clearly didn't.I think it's a good question for a social survey, however. Mon 18 May 2009 17:23:02 GMT+1 meldrewsrevenge *Opinion* Poll?? Why is 'do you know your neighbours?' an *opinion* question? It's a matter of fact: you do or you don't. Why ask for an Opinion Poll question and then choose a non-opinion question?Mair just gets worse!!!! Mon 18 May 2009 17:05:29 GMT+1 Chris Ghoti This opinion poll is so clear an example of selection bias that I can't help wondering what the point actually is. To find out whether anyone who doesn't know about or care about their neighbours cares enough about it to write and tell iPM so, perhaps? Mon 18 May 2009 17:04:11 GMT+1 Sarah I know the couple opposite who both work all day have 2 very bored Jack Russell dogs who bark at the least noise.And we are too polite to tell them(as are the rest of the street). Mon 18 May 2009 16:58:35 GMT+1 lbeagle Maetron (20) - a policeman? In a Norfolk village?? In my part of Norfolk, if one sees a copper, one assumes he is lost. Mon 18 May 2009 16:33:57 GMT+1 David_McNickle When I was going into town the other day a young man across the street talking on his mobile said, '...and I'll come around to your flat and chop you into little pieces!' I don't know him very well... Mon 18 May 2009 16:28:56 GMT+1 Dr Bee It's a great question - and one that I should answer with a definite yes. What that yes hides however is the variation - I have neighbours who are incredibly thoughtful and generous people and who care about living as part of a community, ranging through to those who couldn't care less and are only interested in their own lives, to the point of downright rudeness. I live in a flat in a city - and so have a lot of neighbours - my observation would be that 'knowing' a neighbour depends on both parties being open and friendly and having a sense of the increased quality of life that being part of a community brings. Sadly, there are some people who might not appreciate that until they become isolated. Quite a good analogy for the way our society does or doesn't operate really. Mon 18 May 2009 16:20:54 GMT+1 danensis There was some distinctly dodgy theory coming from the "expert" on Saturday's programme. Results are only statistically significant if the sample is randomly selected. To only select people with a telephone, and then start "adjustments" because you have no young people (or for any other reason) disqualifies the research. Mon 18 May 2009 15:31:45 GMT+1 meganscout Yup, I know both my neighbors (i live with my mum and dad at different houses) very well. I enjoy their company so much and i am so happy that I know them both so well. Mon 18 May 2009 15:26:15 GMT+1 Fifi Stewart (12) : As RAF Unmentionable is [pauses to count...] 4 fields away, I don't consider any squaddies who might be barracked there as 'immediate neighbours'. A fair question, nonetheless. And as Robert Robinson used to say: 'Would that it were... would that it were...!' Mon 18 May 2009 15:26:06 GMT+1 Gillianian GM (14) You're right about the car - when I moved here, I found it was only by walking down into the town or the local shops that I got to meet any of my neighbours. I had to make an effort to get past the stage of just saying Hello - most of the folk around me have been here since their houses were built in the sixties, and for all sorts of reasons we're a different sort of household to most of them, so it was up to me to show we wanted to be part of the community and not keep ourselves to ourselves.The easiest ones to get to know were the ''nosey'' neighbours, whose questions were answered patiently and with good grace. This encouraged them to talk about themselves too, so yes - we do really know each other, rather than just being able to put names to faces. Mon 18 May 2009 15:22:44 GMT+1 Gillianian Stewart M (9)"We live in a cul de sac, in fact a small cul de sac off the cul de sac"Yikes! So do we!! Are you my neighbour??? Mon 18 May 2009 15:12:18 GMT+1 DI_Wyman Just like MaeTron, in our part of Norfolk we also know all of our neighbours.Some we really like and some we try to keep at a distance!But in general they are all a good lot and will turn a hand at anything to help a neighbour out.Recently, as mentioned on iPM, we (me and Mrs DiY) saved the life of an old lady neighbour who attempted suicide by gassing herself during a very dark period in her life. Happily she has now got over it and is full of beans! Mon 18 May 2009 14:42:58 GMT+1 The Stainless Steel Cat The neighbours either side, yes. One neighbour beyond to the left, yes. The corresponding neighbours on the other side give us foul looks if we say "good morning" to them.I know loads of local cats and dogs to speak to, but not so much their owners. Mon 18 May 2009 14:07:05 GMT+1 MaeTron If you all wish to know your neighbours move to Norfolk. I know rather more than I should about most of the village as everyone dicusses everyone's lives! You could not make it up. The Archers has nothing on us. Wives leaving husbands for each other, the new village shop, the state of the pub, the headteacher and her wind turbine, the new local Bobby (yes - we still have one - he's called Richard) and and obviously all hatch, match and despatch. When I had surgery last year people walked the dog for me, cooked me meals, and generally came to entertain me - even those I did not know well. It is wonderful. But not what you could call private....... Mon 18 May 2009 13:50:46 GMT+1 UptheTrossachs Although we were on nodding acquaintance with all of our neighbours for months, if not years, after we moved in, it wasn't until our Wee Man was born that we got to know many of our neighbours well. Our son is close in age to many of our neighbours' children and we have become much closer as neighbours and now friends through the children. One of the great benefits is an informal rota for keeping an eye on all the kids as they play outside and most of the kids seem to have developed confidence in conversing with adults who are not part of their immediate family.One of the disadvantages - you can end up being left supervising a crowd of tired and fractious children long after your own has given up and gone home! Mon 18 May 2009 13:37:28 GMT+1 jopott We didn't know our neighbours until their rotweillers kept swimming across the river and landing in our garden. Paul has them to control their dogs and they threatened to put him in hospital or kill him. Later, their dogs killed 6 of our sheep and were later, after attacking an elderly gent, sent for 'counselling'...the dogs that is not the neighbours. Both are still there. Mon 18 May 2009 13:26:03 GMT+1 Liz Verran I live in suburbia and commute to North London daily, so only know immediate neighbours. My husband came form a village and is much better than me at chatting in the street. Mon 18 May 2009 13:14:22 GMT+1 patmartin I chat to most of my imediate neighbours but don't know much about them and they don't know a great deal about me but I do try to avoid the couple who only want to complain about the wheelie bins and the buses. Mon 18 May 2009 13:12:36 GMT+1 funnyJoedunn My nearest neighbour is in her eighties. Latterly, she hasn't been too well. Nevertheless, she insists on hobling the half mile or so each morning to her son's home where, she does his cleaning and tidying. She then hobbles back (I stop and give her a lift if I see her when driving) around lunchtime. She moves slowly these days. Its a bit painful to see knowing where she has been and what she does when she gets there. She says, "it keeps mi goo-in". I no reason to doubt her.Although not a pensioner myself, I happen to live in community that has many elderly folk. I find a number of them grumpy, racist, backstabbers who would willingly let everything be done for them. I feel that for some, the biggest problem would be if someone actually solved their woes. They wouldn't have anything to moan about and this would be a disaster!. Although, some of my neighbours are very nice. Mon 18 May 2009 12:57:06 GMT+1 gossipmistress I grew up in a village where I knew almost everyone. I now live in a city and know only about 5 households in a small cluster around my house. Somehow it just doesn't lend itself to meeting people like a village where we walked almost everywhere and meet in the shop/post office/pub/church.Arriving home quite late from work and using a car for many journeys means that I only meet people by chance in the street if out in the street watering plants or washing the car for example. Mon 18 May 2009 12:42:44 GMT+1 jonnie Well I have to say I have always known all of our immediate neighbours in all the places I have ever lived. Ilford, Brentwood, Plymouth, Southbourne and now Bournemouth.It's posssibly because my parents were very sociable and that trait has rubbed off on me.Interestingly, I know everyone who lives on the small cul-de-sac behind us, which is largely houses, however don't know anyone in the block of flats opposite us. Mon 18 May 2009 12:35:41 GMT+1 Stewart_M Is there not a barracks full of neighvbours at RAF Unmentionable? Mon 18 May 2009 12:22:02 GMT+1 sacrebleu1 I have brilliant neighbours in my street apart from the nutter next door who takes it upon himself to throw things into my garden, including dead birds, litter, slugs and the latest - a pile of cat poo. Can't prove it of course... Mon 18 May 2009 12:21:12 GMT+1 Fifi I cat-sit for my semi-detached neighbours when they're on holiday, with the result that their cat is now a semi-detached member of my household as well!On the other side, I know my nearest neighbour and her daughter who looks in every day pretty well. My neighbour has in the past cat-sat for me, and I sometimes take her to medical appointments etc. In between the latter neighbour and me is a formerly empty plot, where someone else is building a new house (whose architect is my SO, as it happens). We know him and his wife less well as yet, but get along with them brilliantly and can't wait for the house to be finished and them moving in.Across the road is open countryside, looking towards RAF Unmentionable, so there aren't any neighbours there! Mon 18 May 2009 12:03:26 GMT+1 Stewart_M We live in a cul de sac, in fact a small cul de sac off the cul de sac. So we know the folk in the three surrounding houses well. Daughter at one Baby Sits, Neighbours grand kids play with ours when they visit. Old gentleman opposite who is carer for his wife is often outside with his dog so we chat quite often. But when we go up the road its "hello's" only. In my previous abode I knew the next door neighbour quite well but no one else.Suppose a-lot of us have friends that live over a far more extended area than once was the case. Mon 18 May 2009 12:01:19 GMT+1 Big Sister Annasee: How is it that you are now getting chickens? I thought you were emigrating imminently? (I suppose it is more a case of repatriating than emigrating)I think I've missed a chapter of the story somewhere ... Mon 18 May 2009 11:16:58 GMT+1 David_McNickle I know quite a few of our neighbors (not in the Biblical way...although...) The one I knew the best and helped him make wine (Italian) died a few years ago. One across the street and another around the corner water our garden and feed our cats when we are away. Or is it the other way around....We used to have chickens, but an eagle owl flew off with last one. So they don't need fed or watered. But they would be if we still had them....and the rabbits. Oh yes, forgot, the wild birds need fed: robins, sparrows, dunnocks, pigeons, thrushes, tits, blackbirds, doves, emus (just seeing if you are paying attention). Mon 18 May 2009 11:13:17 GMT+1 annasee We know most of the ones on our side of the road really well. They're very nice, and we water plants, feed animals etc for each other. But oddly we don't know any of the ones over the road, not sure why. Although the one opposite whose burglar alarm keeps going off almost every day nearly got a little note in their letter box from me recently... But I've managed to restrain myself so far.Lets see how pleased they all are when we get our chickens. (The wire mesh arrived today!) Mon 18 May 2009 10:22:06 GMT+1 Big Sister Let's put it this way, Eddie, we know them so well that we have to disguise ourselves to get out of the house unchallenged. Mon 18 May 2009 10:15:17 GMT+1 U12915933 Chris_Ghoti (1) - We are. Mon 18 May 2009 10:06:20 GMT+1 Lady_Sue Chris, his name's not 'Mad Patrick' by any chance?Living in Ireland, not sure if I am allowed to play but yes, I know all of them for at least five miles around: their children, dogs, what car they drive, most of their phone numbers by heart and what they are most likely to be up to at any given time of day. They know me for at least three counties around but that's because I'm a "stranger"/ "newcomer"/ "blow in" who has lived in their midst for only 30 years - still an object of curiosity.One of the advantages of living in a rural community is we do all know each other and keep a look out for each other too. Mon 18 May 2009 10:04:40 GMT+1 Sid Careful, Chris - that's my mum you're talking about! Mon 18 May 2009 09:56:07 GMT+1 Chris Ghoti Well, there's the one who goes into the local police station and tells them that the CIA, Mafia, CID and IRA are bugging her telephone... Mon 18 May 2009 09:52:49 GMT+1