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Turning That Frown Upside Down

Turning that frown upside downAnyone who knows me will know that our move to Mackay has not been a happy life experience. My very first week here The Big J was rushed off to hospital for emergency surgery, we’ve written off my favourite ever car, struggled to cope with the inflated prices of living both rural and in a mining community, and to top it all off – I got chubby. But with our impending move, I’m once again looking to the future with hope and optimism. I’ll be glad to leave my negative attitude behind in Mackay. It did get me thinking though that maybe I need to get my positive back before we make the move. So in the interest of turning that frown upside down, I’m starting by reviewing my attitude towards our neighbours.

The Big J is especially looking forward to leaving our current neighbours behind and keeps saying “wherever we go we’ll never have neighbours as bad as this again”. I’m totally loving his enthusiasm for the future and don’t have the heart to tell him that we really could have neighbours worse than what we have now. But in case you’re wondering, here is a list of all the great experiences our neighbours have shared with us.

Turning That Frown Upside Down – Our Neighbours Rock

We currently rent the first unit in a set of 6.

To the guy who lives in the unit next door:

  • We’ve always wanted a dog but have felt that due to our circumstances, now is just not the right time. But you’ve given us many of the experiences enjoyed by pet owners. At 5.30am every day, we are woken by your dog howling beside our bedroom window when you leave for work. Honestly, it’s as if the little guy is right there in the bedroom with us, like having our own dog really. On some morning’s, I even try yelling a ‘sit down’ or ‘shut up’ out the window, but again, he ignores me completely. You have allowed us to experience some of the joys of pet ownership without the responsibility. So thank you.
  • Once you’re home though, the dog settles down nicely and we get to experience another joy. No, it’s not the joy of silence but rather the pleasure of your drumming. As your drum kit is located no more than 3 metres from Rei Baby’s bedroom, we get to enjoy the full pleasure of you rocking out. This is wonderful because Rei Baby has learnt to sleep through the incessant drone of your drums, which btw, sometimes start as early as 8.30am and rock until 7.30 at night. After all, I’d hate to have one of those kids that woke up every time an earthquake struck near by or a Mac truck drove through her bedroom (hey, you’ve even got to be wary of police cars driving through your house in Australia). I’m sure you know the type of kid I’m referring to right? So thank you.
  • And finally, thanks for putting down the drum sticks, shutting up the dog and turning your stereo to loud and rocking out to some soothing late 90’s nu metal music. I haven’t heard Korn’s Freak on a Leash for years! And you play it with such volume that I can easily re-acquaint myself with the lyrics. So thank you.

To the owners of unit 3:

  • I don’t know who finally moved your bins out of the driveway, but you sure tested my driving reflexes for a while there when I had to keep swerving around them. And as  you probably know, it’s important to have sharp driving reflexes here in Mackay. So thank you.
  • I see that you have your unit advertised for sale. Although you enclosed the car port, I would never have described my humble 7.5 x 7.5 metre abode as spacious. You sure have made me rethink our space and be thankful that we have such a spacious floor plan to work with. So thank you.

To Shazza & Dazza around the corner:

  • I really appreciate that you signed for a package of mine even though we’d never met. I know I refused (obviously out of pure bitchy negativity) when the Aus Post guy tried to get me to do the same. It didn’t matter how many details he told me about the guy next door, I still refused to sign for his package. But not you guys, you went the extra mile to make sure that package was delivered, and even knocked on my door to let me know that I could pop over and collect it. I’m also incredibly appreciative that you didn’t steal my package – believe it or not, I’ve had thieving neighbours steal parcels before. So thank you.
  • Another great thing about ‘popping over’ to collect my package from you guys was that it gave me my first opportunity to really road test that fancy pram I bought for Rei Baby. Seriously, I’d been wondering whether it was money well spent or not, but the way that pram handled itself as I wove in and out of all the car parts decorating  your lawn/car port, really affirmed that I’d made the right decision. Phew! So thank you.

To the guys behind us:

  • I think it’s great that you only mow your lawn twice a year. I mean, you’re making a HUGE effort to reduce your carbon footprint. Right? If it was me though, I’d probably freak about having 3 large dogs in 1 metre tall grass, especially during snake season. Did you know that I’ve almost walked over 5 Eastern Brown Snakes in the last few months? The other great thing about your lawn is, boy does it make ours look fantastic! We haven’t mown ours for two whole months, but compared to yours, it looks mag-nif-i-cent! So thank you.
  • I totally love your music choices too. It’s not every day that I get to enjoy Dolly’s 9 to 5 followed by New Kids on The Block Step by Step. Seriously, I love this! So thank you.

To the couple in the cottage next door:

  • Your grass is seriously beautiful! It is so lush and green even during the dry season. Your grass has given The Big J and I hours and hours of conversation “Do they know that there are water restrictions?” or “Ha – check it out. They have put the sprinkler on our side. I guess that’s to stop the dead grass spreading across the border, like it’s some kind of plague”.(BTW did you know that our suburb has the highest water usage across the region – any ideas what could be bumping up those figures?). This really has given us hours of conversation and speculation about your water conservation efforts. So thank you.
  • You may not have noticed, but that time at the gym when you were bitching about the horrendous place next door, I was right there beside you on the cross trainer. How funny is that? But do you know what – I hate the cross trainer. HATE hate it. Hate it so much! But that day, you really gave me the fuel I needed to just go, go, go! I think that day I burned more energy on the stupid, hateful cross trainer than during all of my other efforts combined. So thank you.

And to everybody else that lives in the units? I think it’s great that you never, ever bring your bins in. Never. Ever. Ever. It makes our place so easy to find “Oh just drive along and you’ll see an overgrown place with about x amount of wheelie bins out the front (no it’s not bin day) and that’s it”. Hardly anyone has ever driven past. So thank you.

Now that we’re all friendly neighbours, do you mind if The Big J and I fill up your bins with our waste (seriously, how much freaking space do palm fronds take up)? Thank you!

Look at me – turning that frown upside down.

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