“Hear! Hear!”

Back from a fine week’s seclusion, five minutes up a single track road from Stairhaven in Scotland. Where roe deer walk the fields during the day, hares practice that languid liquid loping walk then, magically disappear from human sight and bats, barn owls and buzzards share the skies with a gorgeous full moon Seen even better with the aid of a telescope thoughtfully left by the owners.

Scorching temperatures during a calm crossing Tuesday day-trip to Belfast (Northern Ireland) from Carnryan. The marvellous company of our grown-up and moved-out daughters and their partners. Time to relax, stretch the legs and the brain.

Then, to ram home the no pleasure without pain mantra: a six hours something Friday drive back home through a frustrating roadworks section of the M6. Traffic flow restricted because “smart motorways” are being built. Hmmm. Really?

And once back we notice a new message on the allotment gate,  replacing the one that asked people who visited the site before 6.30 a.m. (!) to use the bottom gate to avoid disturbing the neighbours.

The new note asks plot holders to refrain from using petrol driven strimmers from the afore-mentioned 6.30 a.m. to 8.30 a.m. Sections of the metal gate, meanwhile have been padded and the chain has been wrapped in rubber which, while no doubt lessening the sound of lock, chain and metal barriers, appears less appealing: a bodged job.

Fair enough. It is summer. Even for the season, while we’ve been away the area has been scorched by 30 Celsius – and above – temperatures, this is hot! Uncomfortably hot! People try to sleep with their windows open. The metallic binging and banging of the gates would disturb them. They have the right to sleep! No wonder they are complaining.

Using the bottom gates is a sensible suggestion. Of course it is. But using a strimmer so early in the morning? That is simple ignorance from a plot holder, surely? Whoever it is has not made the leap between noise (of opening the gates) and any other kind of noise. Has presumably walked the half mile or so to the bottom gate (no houses nearby), entered, walked up the hill to their plot and cranked up a noisy machine to batter away at paths.

We have a suspect in mind. And, actually he is a committee member. But he finds it hard to communicate, because he is (very) hard of hearing. Hearing aid in each ear. It has even been said that, in order to conserve the tiny batteries that power the things (my mom has hearing aids by the way) he had them turned off at committee meetings until someone nudged him to let him know it was the Any Other Business item of the agenda (and he would have none, but be aware of the date of the next meeting)

We imagine the scene at the last committee meeting, when the resident’s complaint is brought up.

Our man can’t understand it. He sits there, thinking:

“That’s strange, that’s about the time I usually get up there. I’ve never heard any noise from the gate.”

He maintains that he needs to be up on the plot so early because he suffers from exposure to the sun, by the way. Rest easy people I have seen his reflection in a mirror.

And as to the strimmer we imagine he thinks:

“There’s someone else has their strimmer on the go, while I’m just using mine to tidy up the grass round my fruit trees? Wonder who it is. Funny, I’ve never heard ‘em. But, of course if ever I find out who it is, I’ll tell them not to make so much noise in future.”

Image result for dysfunctional committee


One response to this post.

  1. Hahaha! Sadly all of my industrious neighbours are larks, whereas I’m an owl.


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