Well, thank you to all those who wrote or “LIKED’ my blog on my entering the Convent.

It was so nice to ‘come out’ (if I can borrow THAT word) or perhaps ‘come clean’ is a better way to put it! As I said to those who wrote, I was aware a lot of people knew – from my children and friends telling them – but it rarely came from ME!

And there was others, like Jeanne who I met whilst cruising through the Adriatic Sea in Europe, who wrote to say it now explains certain discussions that we had at Dinner every night. You see, this was exactly the sort of secretness I indulged in with people I just met and it appears even from some people who have known me for quite a while!

Oh well, life does go on, doesn’t it? So onwards to the saga of Life with Tess (no more revelations though…hopefully).

Today I want to talk about neighbours and how we live within earshot of what is going on in other people’s lives. You see, Geoff and I have our meals every day outside in an area surrounded by our beautiful garden with pot plants etc. It is such a lovely spot. Sunny in the winter and cool in the early mornings and late evenings. We sit at the table and often get entertained by those around us eg the house closest to us next door and two house ‘up the back’ as we like to refer to it.

In the mornings, we hear and see different things to the evenings. Yesterday morning, we noticed one of the cats from next door sprawled out on the top of the neighbour’s car. The second cat was lazing on the ground nearby. Close but not too close! Today, the Happy Family birds (sometimes known as squeakers) were sunning themselves on top of the neighbour’s carport. I didn’t know that birds sun themselves? But it was only a small area of sun and they were all congregated in the sunny part. Possibly a bird convention like you see at the Gold Coast or Florida perhaps?

The most regular evening happenings are from the house ‘up the back’. Young Ethan lives there (not that I have ever seen him due to a big fence but I have HEARD him often) and things happen here regularly. It is because Ethan is about five-year old and has lived there since he was a toddler. There is often crying or screaming or both!  

Now, this last week, Ethan was playing up. His father was yelling (none of us ever do this, do we??) and the father told Ethan that HE would win this battle. It was a protrated battle too. And yes, he did win, because quietness soon reigned!  Two nights ago, screams pieced the night air just when I had put a fork full of some delicious meal to my lips. “Oh what now?” said Geoff thinking Ethan was in trouble again. 

The dog “Buster” was barking. Next minute, the mother is yelling at the dog: “Buster, get off him!” Ethan is, according to the noise, being eaten alive. We sit and listen to this played out until Mum apparently comes to the rescue (this is by hearing only). A distraught child is pacified and peace now reigns. Back to eating dinner.

Now for next door. This is an interesting house. Half renovated for the last 12 months it has sat in all its ugliness waiting…on more money so we believe. The house is shared with lots of people, all related one way or another. One never knows what interesting things may be happening at this place in the evenings eg exploding home-made rockets or heated arguments or all night parties or just general rabble. However, we try to get on with them to the best of our ability. Needless to say, we are often entertained one way or another!

There is also another house ‘up the back’ but further along, with a Chinese/Asian family in it and we call the lady we hear speaking Chinese, “Mrs Huong”. The truth is we have no idea who she  is and have never met her either! But Mrs Huoing she has been christened. Sometimes, her Chinese can be heard ringing through the morning – or the night for that matter – and we say “Mrs Huong is on the warpath today.”

It never occurred to us until we were discussing it today, that we just take for granted that other people’s lives unfold around us daily during breakfast and dinner time. They have become part of the fabric of our lives. Familiar sounds. Voices that we recognise. Yet, we do not know their faces or too much about them.

We know of Ethan and Buster because Geoff stood up on the fence and talked to the mother when they first came three years ago. Until that time, we had no neighbours close to us up the back. There was just an acre of gum trees which were hard to lose. So now, we could feel hemmed in by neighbours after 33 years of acreage along our whole back yard. It has taken some adapting to, but it is amazing how quickly one can become accustomed to their voices!

I wonder what Ethan and Buster and Mrs Huong thought today when we had a visit from our son Daniel with 2-year-old Isaac who loves being out in our yard. Perhaps the tables are turned and they are listening to the ‘goings on’ in OUR yard too. Perhaps they wonder as Isaac runs around laughing or kicking a ball. It is a pity they cannot see him hugging the trees as he loves to do!

Speaking of balls, Daniel found two old cricket balls lying on the grass and recognised them from his days of practising his fast bowling skills into a net when he was young. This was before he turned to spin bowling which was far harder and a little less glamorous than fast bowling.

I used to call the back yard “All Sports” when Dan was a boy. He had a hole in the grass with a tin can in it to practise his golf putting skills. He had the a basketball hoop so that he could practise his basketball shots and of course an Australian Rules football was a necessity to prepare him for the day when he would play for Australia! He was sporty our Daniel.

So, today I came to write about a totally different topic and my fingers and brain have taken me on this backyard adventure with the neighbourhood.  There is certainly never a dull moment in this neighbourhood and because we live at the top of a cul-d-sac there are other neighbours of which I have said nothing!

All in all, it is a good place to live!

Until tomorrow.