Skipping a bonfire, simply to not piss off the neighbours. When I first moved here, 9 years ago, I was more uncaring of what people thought of me and my doings. So I basically just did as I pleased, and if it would have disturbed anyone I probably wouldn’t haven noticed because I was too self-involved.
I used to have a fire in my firepit, even in a metal basket thingy atleast once a week just for the atmosphere fire brings. Now I’m 31, and for some weird reason I started to care. I try to keep peace with the man living across the street who loves it when I cut my hedges straight.
I understand now that he tries to keep a standard in the street, he tries to maintain that people care about how the street looks, how they interact, because it affects how they treat eachother socially. He explained to me, that when I have my fires, sparks can fly over the hedge, and land on his car lol… Besides that, he told me, that he even finds ashes on his backyard table (which means the ashes would travel OVER my hedge, the street, AND his house, to land on his table. I don’t believe that but okay… Then he tells me that his entire house smells like smoke when he goes to bed. And he tells me that it is illegal to have a fire in the garden haha.
But – he says, IF I want to have a fire, all I have to do is ring his doorbell, tell him I am planning to start a fire, so that he can remove his car haha. And what about all the other cars I think then? If he really has a point, I should ring ALL the neighbours doors to tell them to replace their vehicles because I want a fire haha.
But I like indeed peace as well. I will never consider that man as a buddy – because he stole my fire and points out that my hedge isn’t leveled good enough – but yet I adapt. Because I know he has a point, and maybe even a good one.
So now we have discovered swedish torches. Still fire, I must admit, not so big, but it’s wood burning, nice enough to bring atmosphere, and too small to produce stuff the old bugger doesn’t like.
It would be nice if he could just join in, or atleast understand that it is just our way to relax. I cannot help it that I don’t have the money to buy a house somewhere in the middle of nowhere. If I could, I would. Somehow there is this part of me that really wants much more contact / interaction with my direct community. I find it important to have my kids behaving right, to have people know I might be a bit grumpy, but am a good person with good means.
I do find it hard to find my way in this place where I didn’t grow up, to really feel at home and get that old feeling back. At home, people know exactly who I am, what I stand for, where I stem from. Mentioning my last name automatically rings a bell and I get associated with all my uncles and father, and they instantly know what to expect and they choose to like it or avoid it.
But in this “new” place, I live here 9 years now, so it isn’t that new anymore haha. I realise now that this is my new base. It is not only building up anymore – not just about starting a family, settling the home and the work and bringing up the babies. We have had these 9 first years of the basics.
I now must start having the new social life. To manifest what I stand for. Everything leads and points and almost screams “own responsibility” – I have to create and shape the community I want. I feel responsible. The misses I feel are the equation of the lack of my actions or attempts. I strongly believe and am brought up that all what we need is under our eyes, we only need to learn to see and accept it.
In that sense, I see in my annoying neighbour, the elder that even I don’t like it, is right – and has earned his respect. He holds his value, he takes his responsibility to keep what he likes, and to act when he disagrees.
My other neighbour stems from a different culture, he as well, eventho he has no job, holds strong to his own convictions – speaks about them openly and explains, so he gets accepted eventho he is totally different.
When I look arround me, it shows that I should be more open to my surroundings. Express myself a bit more instead of simply avoiding, or even get irritated by the presence of my neighbours. The feeling of “own and not-own” I have to see to bypass somehow. Because I am not in my homegrounds – 80% most likely indeed is not-own and different then what I’m used to in social things. Wether I like it or not – I am the one out of place this time lol.
Still I want to have a social life, and engage with these people. I am a social being, I need my talks at the fire, I have to write and make music and think. Someone needs to tell me i’m full of shit when I ramble nonsense. Maybe I don’t need it – but I’m used to it, I miss it, and I want it back. My home lies 300 miles south from here, only a 4 hour drive. Trust me, small isolated cultures like ours, can differ a whole lot in that 4 hour drive, that to an american is a tiny journey… But for a dutchman is a journey from the south to the north – you can’t drive much further without leaving it on the other end… The rippuarian in the saxon land….
A long piece of text, I know.. But yes, southern limburg is very bourgondic – we are emotional people haha, we sing when we drink and write poetry – we aren’t so fierce, the hills and good soil made us mellow and kind, and very chauvinistic – proud of our land and culture and language. Thats the stupid thing about small communities: you feel bloody lonely when you’re out of it. So yes, I definately need some kindred souls arround me lol…
and my apologies for the long text, it probably would’ve been alot shorter without beer LoL. Let’s play bloody dice damnit.