On the street where you live

Times are changing and I’d rather they didn’t. We have lived on our street Altar villas for nearly 17 years. Although we are not the longest standing inhabitants of any of the 4 townhouses on our cul de sac. No 1’s house has been in the family for a few generations and No 5’s Mister was brought up at No 7.

We love our street and unlike many streets we have brilliant neighbours. Our children have all grown up together. We have seen births, deaths, break ups and make ups. We’re a throwback to older times when you knew all your neighbours and knocking was considered rude unless you’re the police… If you want privacy then lock the bloody door. When all the parents can chastise each other’s kids without fear of repercussions. In fact it’s almost expected! Saves me a job!

Since we’ve been on our street we have seen our oldest grow up and fly the nest, No 5’s eldest has grown from a little girl to a teenager, in total four baby’s were born and now play and more often argue together like brothers and sisters. Having other children on a street for your own to play with is a joy. In times like these when you don’t and can’t let your children play out it’s been great to have had our adjoining gardens, shared swings, paddling pools and toys for our young ones to enjoy fear free.

Summer’s on Altar villas have been magical. We’ve had so many street party’s, bbqs, cosy evenings in and nights out over the years. We’ve given ourselves more hangovers than we would care to remember. Coming home from work to a glass of wine waiting and a chin wag with your neighbour whilst you decide who’s going to light the bbq for tea has been perfect. Watching the kids run through our houses and play. Sharing toys, make believe games, homework, clothing, birthdays, new schools, new siblings and more. Sitting up until the early hours wrapped in blankets, toasting marshmallows over the shared fire pit that we all built together. Giving hugs and listening when things aren’t ‘perfect’ in our lives. Sharing our triumphs and our grief. When we need someone to talk to we’ve all been there for each other.

Grand national days when we all cram in to our house to watch the race normally an hour after it’s finished so we can all watch it together with the kids. Having all the kids choose there horses together…. World Cup campaigns, Royal weddings, bike races and many many birthdays, Christmas’s and New Year’s Eve party’s. We’ve seen them all together over the years.

If we need milk, a coat, hairdryer, power tool we pop next door. Need help putting your furniture together or doing the garden or if we need to nip out we watch each other’s kids. If I can’t get my car on the street my neighbours help. Dear god who is going to do my garden? Who will bring my washing in when it rains? Who will I go to when the footballs on and I’m bored? Who will I pretend to share the bottle of wine with….

Alas all good things come to an end. I’m losing my wing men on either side. No 1 and No 5 are up for sale. It’s time for them to spread their wings and find there own forever homes. We’re staying as this is our forever home. Our family is downsizing not expanding. This just leaves the three of us again. We’ve come full circle. Daughter No2 will lose all her childhood besties in one fell swoop.

I cannot complain we have been so very lucky to have had something that is very rare these days. We’re a community, we’re friends and yes we annoy each other but that’s part of it too. Our music is too loud, their dog barks all the time, our cat treats all the other houses as his own (as does our child). We are going to have to have words with the cat when the new neighbours arrive.

All I can say is that our new neighbours are going to have a lot to live up to. I don’t imagine we will be so lucky twice but we’re already planning this summers bbq’s so like it or not we will still be here doing our thing and our door will always be open to our departing friends. We will miss you more than I can put in to words! Good luck in your new homes and don’t be strangers.. โ™ฅ๏ธ

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