garden · issues

The Fence Saga

tl;dr – Fences are hard. Too many old ladies. Nectarine trees are a bad idea.

I have fence issues. Now I can truely call myself a home owner.

I knew the fence was crap when I made my offer. First houses can’t tick all the boxes and the main thing was that I had a backyard suitable for Future Dog. Fences can be replaced, backyards can’t be increased.

With the new year I made it my task to fix up the house. Mainly cosmetic, like replacing ugly clunky net curtains with pretty delicate net curtains. That’s about the extent of my handyman abilities. Fixing the sliding door and antenna are tasks for my stepdad.

For me, replacing the fence is a high priority. It’s step one in my three step plan to get a dog. But I am a hermit so it took me courage to knock on the doors of strangers to talk fences. It was through my wanderings that I discovered that I lived next to community housing with a Crazy Cat Lady (which would explain all the cats constantly found in my backyard and the cat fights at night) and Problem Neighbour (a title that can be gained when you recieve two warnings about the person, one from an independant source of course). I don’t have to deal with Crazy Cat Lady but Problem Neighbour can’t be avoided.

Talking to Problem Neighbour uncovered that there was indeed a Fence Saga full of he-saids, she-said. I’m sure it’s a very interesting saga I’m only interested in my fence here-and-now so I’ve just been smiling-and-nodding, desperately thinking of a way out of the conversation.

Problem Neighbour’s side of the fence was meant to be replaced last year in a joint effort between home owner and Office of Housing. From what I understand, part of the problem was that a shed on my side needed removing. And then previous owner died and the family decided to dump the problem onto the new owner. (It also appears that previous owner was silly enough to give money to Problem Neighbour instead of the OoH and was scammed. I cannot verify this story but it makes me worry about what will happen to my levels of naivity when I’m an old lady).

Then it was time for the old lady (her name is Busybody) from the other side of the property to talk to me, with every second sentence being “I’m sorry but be very very careful with her”. Little did the old lady know that repetition does not increase the power of the words and made me want to run away and hide from old ladies. You do have to be careful not to overdose on old ladies. She also wanted the fence between the driveways replaced, which was never part of the my plans and is stressful because of the whole money thing and the FREAKING TREES IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FREAKING FENCE that would have to be removed first. Who the hell keeps planting big trees right next to fences? And I have to organise three quotes in-between work to find the best deal and all the fences have to be replaced at the same time because it’s cheaper that way and I should ask my father because he’ll know (because my poor little female brain can’t understand basic money stuff?). I know it would be more economical to do it all together but fuck that. All I care about is my yard and Future Dog.

Previous owner used crappy bamboo to try to
mask crappy holes in crappy fence

My parents want my shed so they were happy to take it down for me. And then the fence collapsed. So my lunch breaks consisted of trying to get a hold of OoH to get that damn fence replaced. That was a saga in itself with lots of miscommunication but ultimately lead to someone from the other side of the city (because the Office of Housing don’t trust contractors on this side?) coming over for the third time in the past few years to write up a quote. And advised that collapsed fence would be replaced between one-six weeks. 😦 Because OoH like to take their time or are incompetent or whatever. And this is just for one side of my yard. I haven’t even started getting quotes on the rest of the fences.

Once, again, my parents were kind enough to come over and help out by chopping down branches in preparation for new fence. During a heatwave. Because when I think 40C+ weather, I think outdoor manual labour. Not only do I have trees right up next to the fence but I have two massive unmaintained nectarine trees with branches all over the place, blocking my TV reception, and pooping nectarines everywhere. I don’t even like nectarines! Nectarine trees in urban backyards are a bad idea. Man, Busybody just would not leave us alone. My yard is covered in branches and nectarines, despite my parents already taking away two ute-loads.

The sooner I have my fence, the better. I’m am so over this.


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