Monday, January 18, 2010

Chatting over the fence

I was just sitting outside in the sun on a lounger and ‘chatting’ with a friend from England on MSN when I saw my new neighbour over the fence. I yelled out a friendly ‘hi’ and was surprised to see him scuttle away without replying.

Now there’s a chance he thought I was a cougar on the hunt who’d spied prey separated from the herd but more likely I think it’s about a new social situation; one in which we so easily communicate electronically with people on other continents but not so easily with someone who lives next door.  Have you heard the one about not being able to get in touch with your grandmother because she’s not on Facebook? It makes me wonder what we might be missing out on, surely it must affect our sense of community – or does it? I know I feel a sense of belonging with the volunteer organisation I work with – does that count? Have our communities just moved away from suburbia? Is the workplace perhaps our new community?

OK the neighbour is outside again – looks like he’s planning to do some gardening. I will post this now and at the risk of freaking him out completely, I am going to go and stand at the fence and introduce myself. Horrors.


  1. Hi friend, peace...
    Your blog very interesting.
    If you willing visit my blog, and read my article at
    And... if you love books, read The Holy Qur'an please...

  2. I have two friends, we all work at different schools and have families and obligations, etc. but we email each other about a dozen times a day. I call it E-coffee-clatching. Interestingly when we get together for coffee we can talk, nonstop, for two hours!

  3. My neighbors and I have a nice waving friendship. We all live alone, one a male, the other female. We enjoy our peace, and the comfort of knowing the neighbors care, and will look in on you if things get too quite.

  4. I can't even see my neighbours. Love it. lol

  5. Hi I am looking for some New Zealanders bloggers to blog with

    I hardly ever see the neighbour who lives in the house below me
    the ones next door and I always say hi to one other

  6. Thanks for stopping by Aristiono. I'll check out your site.

    Froggy hasn't communication changed? I left the house the other day without my cell phone and felt naked all day. How did we used to manage without being constantly in contact with our nearest and dearest?

    That's nice to have that kind of relationship with your neighbours Punch - good to know someone handy would miss you if you got sick or hurt.

  7. Yeah whatever Moko, not all of us are so lucky to live out of town like you guys. I live within a few metres of 5 houses.

    Welcome Jen, I did wonder who the Aucklander was that visited. You're welcome anytime, I'll check out your site too.

  8. Maybe you should put some clothes on this time. I'm just saying.

  9. Bwaaaa Lori E... too funny. It's so strange how we as a society have moved from being friendly hey can you watch my kid while i run to the store for a sec to .... can I run a police report and then give you an answer... strange and sad.

    Perhaps offer some homemade cookies? :)

  10. LMAO Lori - you might be right, I was in a string bikini (not).

    I know Tammy - times change and not always for the better.

  11. Our neighbours just moved out and I was sad to see them go, we got on well. The new neighbours, well I don't think it will be the same and I cringe at the thought of having to build a 6 ft fence rather than the existing 3 ft one.

    You make a very valid point about actual neighbours and the internet.

    How did it go when you went back btw?

  12. Hi Jody, it turned out OK. Quiet guy but seems nice. I think he was worried I was going to be a painful neighbour for some reason. We introduced ourselves and exchanged phone numbers just in case we ever see anything untoward in each others places. All OK in the end.

  13. Lou, Stan and I know most of our neighbors. We aren't friendly with all of them, but we are at least civil.

    Communication has changed. I agree it is much easier for people to speak with someone across the globe from them, than to talk to their neighbor, or someone on the street.


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