Monday, 1 December 2014

Building Walls And Observations

Over the past few weeks and especially this week, I have noticed quite a few changes in those around me and myself. I don't know if I have become more observant or if these are sudden changes. I have noticed how I have aged this year. Pluto turned 14 this month and he has also aged terribly. Often in the mornings I think he has died during the night. He lies so still and doesn't get up with the other dogs when I get up in the mornings. I panic and flit between being too scared to touch him to see if he is alive and wanting to shake him to make sure he is alive. He sleeps soundless all the time and sometimes seems very disorientated. He is still overweight and hasn't lost any muscle mass as yet, but he is getting very old and tired and just flops into his bed all the time. I can call and call and he doesn't budge, but at other times, he will be fast asleep and I walk out the room and he will jump up and follow me. I don't know what I will do when he dies, because he is my connection to Clint and Miss Piggy will be beside herself, because she is so attached to him.

Garfield is also getting so old and I saw a drastic change in her this year. She turned 16 in July and also just sleeps and sleeps. She has lost a lot of muscle mass, her hair is getting matted and hates being brushed. I don't like upsetting her, so I don't give her a good brushing, I just cut out the matted fur whenever I can. She is really looking scraggly and is so fussy I have tried to hide vitamins in her food, but then she refuses to eat. She is also my connection to Clint and you will always find her either on Clint's bed (mostly) or in the basket in my room, which she claimed before I could move it.

Chad is a very sensitive boy, but tries to hide his feelings, but this week they have really come to the forefront. First with the baby that was abused by her nanny, he was really cut up about it and after I had reassured him that the baby was OK, some boy at his school said the baby had died. I showed him the news articles stating that the baby was OK, but it still does not take away the fact that the baby was abused. He then watched a movie called "I am Sam" about a mentally retarded man, played by Sean Penn, who has a baby with a homeless woman, who disappears and then the state tried to take the child away from him. He wanted me to watch it, but I was making pies and I had to go to the shops before making the pies, so I only watched bits of the movie. He told me it was the saddest movie he has ever watched that does not involve animals. I have to watch it properly, but I know the ending and some movies I can watch over and over, but this one may be spoiled by knowing the ending. Chad really showed his sensitivity and compassion in both instances.

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Our one neighbour's house was broken into on Friday at around midday and her daughter was in the house when it happened and hid under the bed. Chad was so concerned about how scared she must have been. Now before you wonder about my neighbourly concern or lack thereof - these are the reasons for my lack of neighbourly concern, which I had to remind Chad of. Now I know two wrongs don't make a right, many wrongs just make you not give a stuff. Besides the fact that she is a miserable witch and she is not even old, she is younger than me I am sure, because her kids are younger than Chad and I did not have my children in my teens. She is just a sour misery and the old man next door, who is friendly with her, told her once that he should be the one who complains in the street, because he is old. Besides that, my child died and it did not bother her and even if she did not notice that he was no longer around, the old man must have told her.

The above picture is a diagram of our cul-de-sac. Her house is where no 6 is. No 5 is a panhandle, her wall runs up to number 5's entrance and when we were robbed, we were standing in the cul-de-sac waiting for the police (who never pitched) talking to number one and waiting with the security. She screamed over the wall for us to shut up. We were not even making a noise. Number one said he is so fed up with her, all she does is complain, but her dogs bark incessantly and she thinks she owns the street. When number fives's cleaning lady was held up two years ago, the police said that all the bush should be cut away. We saw on our cameras how "the look out" guy crept into the bushes by her wall and you could not see him at all. In fact Mr L (the old man) number three pulled out of his drive way and did not see the guy in the bushes.  We would be number four. This woman won't cut away the bushes. Here is a picture of her wall.

Her back garden apparently is an over grown cesspit. Her husband apparently left her (she was a miserable cow long before then) and he is living with another woman and she tells everyone he works in Durban. So she does not do her garden. One day I even saw Mr L. cutting her pavement lawn. If he is not 80, he is very close to it. His father died about six months ago, three days before he turned one hundred - people had children young in those days. Every now and again she will get a random person to cut her lawn. She does not have a gardener and you know you shouldn't just take people off the streets and employ them without references and ID's. Here is an even better photo of her ivy covered walls.

Her dogs were barking and barking and I said to Chad "can that dam woman not shut her dogs up", then as we left to take Chad to gym, we saw our whole street covered in security cars and police cars, but her car was not there, so we thought she was hijacked. We found out from the security company that she was robbed and the daughter was in the house. Now if her dogs did not bark continuously then someone might have looked out and seen them climbing over the walls and maybe if she showed concern for others, we would show concern for her. I had to explain all this to Chad and make him cognizant of the fact that yes, the daughter must have been petrified, but she did the right thing, she hid away and did not confront them and did not let material things become more important than her safety. That is basically life in the suburbs of South Africa, we live behind high walls more to keep ourselves away from the outside world than to keep the outside from coming in. I won't lie it is worrying that crime was so close to home.

I also noticed that Mr L has aged a lot this year and don't even think he noticed all the cops and security cars or he just did not bother to go down there. He used to be the self appointed neighbourhood watch, maybe he is also just fed up with her complaining about stupid things. He was working in his garage and his gate has a full view of the cul-de-sac as well, but he never went there.

Well... that is life in a South African suburban cul-de-sac

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