Friday, 27 February 2009

Fence peering

It's about time we started looking at that thing that runs around the garden.No, not the rabbit/dog/goat or whatever but the fence.
It may be new and fresh and smelling faintly of a car air freshener or it may be old and drier than an aged nun but more importantly it surrounds your precious little piece of earth.
More than that, it separates your bit of soil from the next.
That's what I am talking about today. The mighty, landscaped oasis that you overlook every time you raise your head above that wooden boundary of yours.
It saddens me to say it, but the odds are that, unless you live in a road or street that competes in the local stages of Britain in bloom, you will be surrounded by a wild and overgrown dumping ground, scattered artistically with old car tyres and twenty feet tall brambles, or, alternatively, a gravel desert interspersed with brick paths.
It is beyond me how, when the whole financial world is hurtling towards hell in a tinder dry wooden hand basket,people think they can sell a house with a garden that requires a native guide to navigate.
Try as we might to install some degree of civic pride in our lives, to maybe make this sceptred Isle a destination for the spending masses, we still haven't grasped the concept of a visually enticing front approach.
I spend, at most, one hour each fortnight cutting the lawn, pruning shrubs or weeding and I manage to limit the level of horror my front garden causes to passers by. What estate agents (those now extinct creatures) once phrased as 'kerb appeal' has been translated as, at best, a miniature NCP for two or, at worst, an overflow from the municipal recycling site (dump in old English).
Would it be too much to expect our civil servants to step out of their tax bought warm cars and , with clipboard firmly grasped twixt finger and thumb, make a note of those wrecks and report them?
Would a flood tax levied on all paved over gardens deter the breeding grounds for Chelsea Tractors?
Let's think laterally for a moment: We don't have enough plots of land for new allotments (we do, however , have the greatest population of rare newts in Europe, apparently)so why don't we commandeer the neglected front or rear gardens and hand them over to the waiting wanna be allotmenteers?
OK, let's just make it a little easier for the hard of thinking ensconced in the once Ivory now grubby grey towers of power. Charge more council tax to those who don't respect the property they have been fortunate enough to be allowed to live in. There people in third world countries who wash down their front steps and plant flowers on the dust to show how proud they are of their hovel, but we in the wealthy(by comparison) west treat our acreage worse than our toilets.
Go out,look, speak to your neighbour, they may be ill, working long shifts or just unable to cope.
They may just be completely unaware that you have a problem with the view they are presenting, some may even welcome your advice and help.
If, however, they don't, if they suggest you leave in a sexual fashion and mind your own business, why not remind your local councillor just who voted them in and who pays their wages?

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