Because my washing line is currently in a passionate relationship with a two storey scaffolding, and has recently given birth to a family of spiders, I have had to seek drying accommodations elsewhere.
Luckily I have a fabulous neighbour who told me that I could let myself into her back garden any time of day or night and use her fabulously generous washing line.
So the other day, after collecting my towels, and staring over the fence with more than a little concern at the monstrosity that is my new additions upstairs, I let myself through her side gate when I heard a voice from the other side of the fence.
'Who's that then?', asked a friendly but cautious male voice.
'It's Shannon from Number 14', I told him.
There was a bit of a pause, then he said 'Oh, the big house on the corner. The building site'.
Yep, that's us.
The thing is, although we have lived here for more than 5 years, we have never met the people who live only two doors down. So we made our introductions over the fence.
While my initial (and very brief) reaction was annoyance at being held up while lugging around a washing basket filled to the brim with towels and pegs and few pilfered tomatoes, my over-riding response was reassurance that people do actually still care about their community.
This man was making sure that my neighbour wasn't getting broken into, and after being convinced I wasn't a burglar (he hadn't seen the tomatoes) he then wanted to spend time to get to know me. Afterall, we are neighbours.
I am proud to live in a neighbourhood where people watch out for each other.
I am not proud that it took me five years to realise this.