Saturday, 13 February 2010

Communal Living

My neighbour with Hamish

I went out last night and got home late. My darling huz took the kids out for a few hours so that I could sleep in. I woke at the leisurely time of 9.30am, wandered downstairs, made my breakfast and then went to make my coffee. Horror of all horrors (except having to wake early) we were out of milk. In these situations I have two choices, I could get dressed and walk three minutes up the road to the corner shop, but that would require me getting dressed for a more public arena and it was raining OR I could go next door in my nighty. Its a no brainer!

Thats the best thing about my neighbours. Having me rock up on their doorstep begging for something at 9.30am on a Saturday is just a normal day. Just as it's normal is for one of them to knock on our door at all hours looking for a movie to borrow or rummage through our pantry for spices, borrow a can of tomatoes, a gurney or my car.

I often refer to her as my 'sister wife'. Sure we may not share our husbands but on a regular basis we share our food, childcare and generally live in a fairly communal way.

My kids will often ask to go and play out the front and I will find them hanging out nextdoor being fed lunch and making massive lego structures with the kids nextdoors amazing lego collection. At other times I will be lying in bed at 7.30am listening to my kids play out the back when suddenly I realise that there are two extra voices. When I stumble downstairs I find that the kids nextdoor have climbed the fence and they are swinging in our hammock, screaming as it almost goes all the way over generally running a muck ...

The good part is that after living next to each other for 8 years we have an understanding. There are times when we can walk straight past each other with as little as a a nod in acknowledgement and other times when I could be about to walk into my house but find myself next door drinking tea. We have clear communication so that the boundaries of this borrow and share relationship never seem out of balance and lastly we can both happily say no to each other.

Anyway this morning I was given enough milk for two coffees, offered some bacon and eggs for breakfast (damn me and my habitual muesli eating) and had a quick five minute chat before I came back home and snuggled back on the lounge with my hot coffee still in my PJ's and considerably more dry relaxed and comfortable that I would have been if I had had to get dressed and go to the shop.

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