When I decided to create a blog on the designing, creating, building and decorating of our new house, I wanted to keep it an upbeat interesting insight into the process. Apart from a little whingeing about the weather, I didn't want to dwell on the negatives - like difficult neighbours, annoying tradesmen, building errors or architectural problems. And to be fair, we've had a pretty good run so far with most things apart from the sewer pipe issue at the start and a bit of a door-height problem with the brickies' job.
However, we have one particular neighbour who has been difficult at every stage of the process - objecting to everything and being impossible to reason with. And up until now I wasn't going to mention him at all. Neighbourly problems are not uncommon (in fact, I think they're positively rife) and they always seem to become heightened when one neighbour decides to build or renovate. We've all heard the horror stories. But right now, I am livid. I am speechless. And I thought I'd share with you what our delightful neighbour did last week.
As you know we've built a pool. It's not yet complete - just formed in concrete and with all the rain we've been having it's filled up with muddy water. Last week, when the rain had eased the foreman decided it was time to drain it - which he could easily do through the sewer/water pipes. But when he got to the pool area he noticed a strong smell of petrol!
Turns out our charming neighbour took it upon himself to hop into our property after-hours (which is technically trespassing) and pour kerosene into the pool because he was worried about mosquito larvae growing in the water and then having an outbreak of mosquitos! (Am I allowed more exclamation marks here ..?).
Not once did he think to either discuss this with the builders over the fence, or email or call either ourselves or our architect about his concerns. Oh yes, and did I mention this guy is a 60-something (at a guess) lawyer? (I would like to use multiple exclamation marks here but will refrain).
So, naturally, now the foreman cannot drain the water away into the sewer/water pipes and the cost of hiring a special machine to do so is around $1000. Said neighbour is apparently apologetic (not that he's said so to us, mind you) and it's been decided (as said neighbour doesn't want to pay $1000 for the machine hire) that the kerosene will evaporate eventually ... but I don't know how long that will be as we've now had more rain.
So you can see why I'm livid, speechless, agog at this man's actions. I mean, it's meant to be the season of good will. Where's the good will in that?