Before and after.

Lovely tangle of green

Lovely tangle of green as observed by a wise lizard.

It seems almost impossible to start a day without encountering yet another disaster. If its not a shark attack it is an attack on a garden and our diminishing wildlife or the gloomy news about refugees being stopped in Hungary by a regime which seems to have taken lessons from our own Prime minister in callous disregard for refugees. In an act of rage and desperation I tweeted being prepared to take in a Syrian family. It is the least we could do. H even suggested making a vacant lot next to our compound ready for several refugee families. What a stir that would cause amongst the burgers of the tut tut uttering Bowralnites!

We had the unfortunate experience of our neighbour returning from Newcastle to go and slash the communal garden. He does that each time he turns up. Armed by shears and electric trimmer he hoes into the bushes that have only just recovered from his last attack. He loves paling fences and exposing them. No sooner does a leaf appear on the palings, he cuts them off. Heaven only knows what he suffered during childhood. It must have been very bad. I hear that many people are fearful of bushfires and many grew up strongly opposed to the growing of nature and bushes-things in case of inciting a bush-fire. Is that true? I know that lawn cutting will soon start again. Spring does that, grass spurting up unashamedly and vigorously, tempting all and sundry to teach grass a lesson by cutting it to size. Teach grass a good lesson! I can hear the lawn-mower brigade coming.

Of course the communal garden slasher has allies. They always do. She is also a neighbour who seems to have the same penchant for taking away enjoyment of gardens and growing things. She came here a few years ago. Within weeks she took out part of the communal garden to the delight of our ‘naked-paling fence’ adoring neighbour. It remains a battle. What is it that some seem to delight in unhinging others? Ok, unhinge me. I am merely a newcomer, but why unhinge the rare and very humble sand lizard? What wrong have they done to deserve losing their natural habitat?

Endangered Lizard in our garden.

Endangered Lizard in our garden.

I wrote our neighbour a letter pointing out that enjoyment of a nice garden is no crime and asked him why he took it upon himself, together with his -co-slashers, the reason for wilfully damaging a garden and limiting the enjoyment of not just us humans but also of the poor lizards that used to live there. This was his answer;  Now, dear readers just get a little closer to the screen to get the real and rare insight into the mindset of garden-haters and I copy…….’Even though I don’t live here it is my right to maintain the  VALUE of MY PROPERTY……’   Now, there you have it. The unvarnished truth straight from the horse’s mouth. It finally came out. It had to happen.

Before the slashing

Before the slashing

Of course, the neighbours  slashing the garden are also those that are foisting a debt on others in pushing for the unnecessary re-paint job. There is a shortfall in the sinking-fund of at least twenty thousand. I applied to The Fair Trading Tribunal to seek redress.

And after the slashing. (The love of paling fences)

And after the slashing.
(The love of paling fences)

We shall see.

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42 Responses to “Before and after.”

  1. berlioz1935 Says:

    And the Bible says, “Love your neighbour!” It would be hard to love this type of neighbour.

    Like

  2. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    Ug-ally. Has the man no taste? Send him to Nauru.

    Like

  3. Carrie Rubin Says:

    “The Garden Slasher”—Sounds like the title of a horror movie. Starring your neighbor in the leading role…😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, I can see it already. All taken from ground level and from the lizards’ view-point. The electric slasher coming closer and closer. A dreadful scream. Blood spurting onto the Hebes and native sedges. The revenge of an army of lizards who turned on the slasher now writhing in agony when another army of red-ants descent on him drinking the red oozing blood coming from the severed hand still with twitching fingers. ..A close up shot of a smiling stripy lizard all resplendent with victory over the slasher..

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Dorothy brett Says:

    I would have thought Bowralites would be far more civilised and intelligent than they appear to be. Imagine having enough money and weight to throw around on unnecessary work and to destroy greenery the way it has been.
    Sure,y any work that is carried out has to be with the permission of the other members of the Strata Title.
    And imagine uttering the words “my property” to others in a shared Strata titled block. But as we know some people even seem to behave as tho they own the “block”.
    Thank goodness in this block of 12 apartments, two businesses, a pool etc etc we all seem to be able to behave reasonably and with respect for their neighbours.
    Don’t let it drag you down Gerard, stand up to them draw yourself up,to your 6ft 6in and be thankful you are not one of those introverted, narrow minded, mean spirited people.

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      I don’t think civility or inclusiveness is exclusive or inclusive of any village or town, country or race. It just takes a couple and it can become difficult. Half the town-houses here are let and owners live elsewhere. The slasher lives in Newcastle. He comes here only to slash and whip up hostility, especially since I went to the Dept. of Fair Trading, putting a spoke in the re-paint job.

      Liked by 1 person

      • auntyuta Says:

        In our experience, people who are investors (not owner occupiers) usually do not care to come to meetings. An agent looks after the people who are renting. If some communication is necessary, the corporate manager would get in touch with the agent. Where we live, an investor or agent never ever has appeared at our annual meeting, even though they always have to be invited by our strata manager.
        We owner occupiers have always made all the decisions on our own without any interference by the investors, for the investors could not care less how much the levy is since they can always charge sufficient rent to make a profit anyway.

        Liked by 1 person

      • berlioz1935 Says:

        Not only that, they can deduct all costs from their tax. In the end, they keep the capital gain. At our place, it is $ 10,000 per year – tax-free.

        Like

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        The slasher used to live here but moved to Newcastle some while ago. His unit is let to a very nice woman who, at own cost, really made the garden beautiful, both at the front and back. Of course when the owner turns up we all cower in fear of what he will cut and slash. Unfortunately he has an ally in an owner who lives here who is also keen to look at exposed paling fences and shearing off everything that dares to grow taller then 20 centmetres. This person is also the secretary of the executive committee.
        So, there is a problem!

        Like

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        I did not know about that. We don’t pay tax as we are below the level of income on which to pay tax. One of the benefits of retirement.

        Like

  5. M-R Says:

    This (_¤_) needs to have it explained that it is not HIS property, but everyone’s. Come on, Gerard ! – surely you’re up for that ?

    Like

  6. bkpyett Says:

    What a shame to have your greenery slashed. It interesting how we see things differently. In our suburb a few of us have our gardens spilling out onto the council verge, and have had no complaints, as yet!

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Thank you Barbara,
      There are two owners here who are very particular to keep things short to the ground and don’t really like spontaneous growing of shrubs. Perhaps they want to keep control over the garden and fear a break-out of chaos and disorder in the petunias or rose-bushes, protesting native sedges and Hebes.Who knows>?

      Like

  7. Lonia Scholvinck Says:

    Make a nice graffity on the wall!

    Like

  8. rodhart (@roderick_hart) Says:

    This is a depressing post. A reasonable person gardens to help wildlife, not kill it off.

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, it is Rod.
      I don’t want my place painted either and want it to grace with age. I care about how it feels nearing the front door. I don’t want “low sheen acrylic” paint. I like moss to grow.

      So depressing when talking about keeping up ‘value’.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. nonsmokingladybug Says:

    I am slashing our garden, so to speak. It’s going to be fall here soon and it will be cold in just a few days. I was pulling out tomato plants, cut back roses and hydrangeas. It’s like saying Goodbye to the summer, allowing some of the plants to get a rest.

    Like

  10. Patti Kuche Says:

    Wow, he’s sure exposing his issues!

    Like

  11. Andrew Says:

    These people should be locked up Gerard. If its communal do they have the right to ruin it? It looks dreadful now.

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, it is dreadful. The same person is now threatening me with financial punishment for holding up the painting job that is totally unnecesary, especially considering our compound to get into debt. Legally all maintenance must have money in the ‘sinking fund’ which it should save up for by a levy paid by all residents.

      Like

      • Andrew Says:

        We pay an additional amount each month to cover maintenance on our HK apartment. The whole of the building has recently been done without any additional payments. There are very clear rules and regulations to cover this situation but problems arise if the committee has the power to bind the residents. We voted our committee off because they wouldn’t explain where the money was going.

        Like

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Fortunately, The Gov. Fair Trading Tribunal is looking into it. The minutes of the last AGM has not a word about painting, not even that they are going into debt of some 25K. A$.
        Unbelievable!
        I swore not to get involved in Body Corporates but this little item takes the cake.
        It is stressing me, but with copious intake of Butter-milk and herrings I will survive. Milo too, is aware and is keeping an eye out. H too gives me supporting logic and good loving insight.

        Like

  12. stuartbramhall Says:

    Both Iceland and New Zealand have started Open Homes – Open Borders campaigns to accept Syrian refugees into our homes.

    http://m.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11507506

    Since the news article was published a week ago, the number of families agreeing to take them has increased from 600 to 2,900.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, the more the better. I think it is good to accept so many Syrians but it is glaringly obvious that the refugees locked up on Manus and Nauru should be taken to Australia. They have been locked up and out of sight for some years.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. auntyuta Says:

    In the past there were some Australian families who befriended some asylum seekers and even accommodated them in their homes. I saw once a TV program, showing a Queensland family with a lovely home and garden who had opened their home to some young Afghan men. These men seemed very grateful to this Australian family for giving them a good start in Australia. Some time later, I think I read somewhere that now it is not anymore possible to invite any asylum seekers into your home. I wonder whether this is so and whether this does still apply in all cases.
    Once asylum seekers are processed and it is established that they are in need of resettling, why can’t they then mix with the community and go to Australian schools or be working if they are able to work? It does not make sense to me.
    Well, finally our government is willing to accept a certain number of Syrian refugees for permanent resettling, 12OOO in fact. If they are lucky they’ll come here just before Christmas. I hope this is only a beginning. Australia should be capable to accepting quite a few more.
    I wonder, what is going to happen to these Asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus Island. For how long are they supposed to linger in those detention centres there?

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      “I wonder, what is going to happen to these Asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus Island. For how long are they supposed to linger in those detention centres there?”

      That is the big question which was asked by the ABC’ Leigh Sales last night of our awful PM. Tony Abbott. Our PM answered that this won’t be done because it will stop ‘people smuggling’.
      What a coward of a man. A murderer of people by stealth. Letting them rot.
      What to expect from a man who wanted to be a priest and …failed!

      Like

      • auntyuta Says:

        I wonder whether we are going to be informed about what sort of a reception the extra 12000 Syrians are going to get?
        What sort of accommodation is to be provided for them and where. How quickly can they be processed and allowed to integrate? I am of the opinion that Australians can organise very well once they put their mind to it. We’ll see.

        Like

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Yes, Helvi is also wondering how quickly all this will happen and over what time-span. Are they doing 1200 per year or are the 12000 coming here quickly?
        I also fear that many will be housed in far away areas. I remember when the Kosovars were housed in army barracks with outside toilets near Singleton.
        There were protests about the cold and for pregnant women having to go outside in the middle of freezing nights going to the outside toilets! Most of them quickly went back to Kosovo when things calmed down.

        Then of course, my memories of Scheyville in those Nissan huts…!

        Like

  14. hilarycustancegreen Says:

    This is just maddening.

    Like

  15. Master of Something Yet Says:

    Ugh. Is this the evil negative-gearing at work again?

    Like

  16. petspeopleandlife Says:

    Some people are like that. Can’t stand to see anything grow. They prefer looking at bare walls and prefer to keep what they consider a “perfect and uncomplicated look. Perhaps he thinks that a thief or bad person will hide in the un-clipped vegetation. What a shame.

    Like

  17. gerard oosterman Says:

    Yes, you are right again. this neighbour wants to clip everything level to the ground and said that a person could be hiding in between the foliage and attack them. Total schizo!
    How are you?

    Like

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