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To hate my elderly neighbours talking to me in the garden?

(75 Posts)
stepmothersknockers Sat 11-Jul-15 16:19:11

I live in a terraced house. The neighbours on one side talk to me whenever I am in the garden. Whenever I STEP into the garden - to put washing out or water plants - I hear the click of their upper window and they both come and start shouting a conversation at me.

I absolutely hate it. I feel as though they are spying on my every move!!

It's actually making me want to move house. There is no where I can sit in the garden without them leaning out and talking to me. This afternoon I would love to sit outside and read my book but if I do, they will start talking to me.

Aibu to be this wound up about it?

CantAffordtoLive Sat 11-Jul-15 16:22:55

Can you get some screening so they can't see over the fence? I've planted some shrubs that will give me some privacy next year. I don't worry much at the moment as my neighbour is lovely and is out a lot anyway.

LindyHemming Sat 11-Jul-15 16:23:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Smurfingreat Sat 11-Jul-15 16:24:59

YANBU. I used to live on a boat and when they are all parked up on a quay or in a marina, the distance between your outside space and the neighbours is a matter of feet.

Etiquette demands that you leave the neighbours alone unless they make eye contact, so that everyone can enjoy their outside space in peace should they wish.

I have moved the boat on quite a few occasions to get rid of neighbours like the ones you describe, so can totally understand where you are coming from. Wish the solution was as easy for you. Maybe try wearing very big obvious brightly coloured headphones and pretending you haven't noticed them until they get the message?

BackforGood Sat 11-Jul-15 16:25:25

IMO, yes, YABU.
I'd say how lovely to have friendly, chatty neighbours.

After a bit of a chat, you can say,, "Well it's been nice chatting, but I'm dying to have 20mins peace and quiet with my book now, see you later" and go and sit and read.
Seems completely OTT to want to move, because you have nice neighbours hmm

Optimist1 Sat 11-Jul-15 16:25:41

I'd be wound up about it in your position, step. Could you venture out with your book, and when they start chatting steer the conversation round to the lovely weather "... so I thought I'd take the opportunity to read my book in peace and quiet for a while" whilst sitting down, opening book and putting on reading glasses (optional)? Blunt but not rude.

stepmothersknockers Sat 11-Jul-15 16:25:52

The houses are very tall, and the window that overlooks my garden is very high: I couldn't screen it without covering up the whole garden (I have been tempted...maybe a thirty foot gazebo...)

avocadotoast Sat 11-Jul-15 16:27:26

Oh my god, are you me? My neighbour next door is exactly like this. He's not elderly, but middle aged (late 50s-early 60s I guess). He lives by himself and is nice enough but I really just can not be bothered sometimes!

Every little thing he needs to talk about... He asked DH if we minded him parking closer to our car (which we don't, totally fine), then felt the need to check it with me as well. He constantly offers us the use of things, which is very generous, but kind of tiresome (eg "you can use my garden hose to wash your car" - we never wash our car! - "you can use my tumble dryer to dry your nappies", "I have some compost you can use to fill that hole in your lawn"). It almost feels like he's trying to one-up us, or like he thinks we're untidy or something.

I feel unreasonable getting irritated with him because he is a nice man but nine times out of ten I just can not be arsed. I always say hello to him but often I'll just carry on with whatever I'm doing and not start a conversation. DH always ends up talking to him for ages. I even hide from him sometimes and wait in the house til he's gone blush

stepmothersknockers Sat 11-Jul-15 16:27:33

Funnily enough when we bought the house, I asked the couple selling what they neighbours were like and they said "overly friendly" and laughed. I think they moved for the same reason...!

GoodbyeToAllOfThat Sat 11-Jul-15 16:28:37

I'm a bit of a misanthrope so I sympathise with your position. But your neighbours are elderly and possibly lonely - this might be you someday. You might actually find yourself liking them if you gave it a chance.

Ohfourfoxache Sat 11-Jul-15 16:28:45

Do you have somewhere to put an arbour? A nice little corner for a seat with something you could grow over the top to screen you?

avocadotoast Sat 11-Jul-15 16:28:54

Oh, and my neighbour gets my name wrong (which started when DD was just born and I was in a sleep deprived fog) and now I've let it get too far to correct him!

Getthewonderwebout Sat 11-Jul-15 16:29:36

Yanbu. Good neighbours are worth their weight but this is a bit much.

For their part, the probably enjoy the contact but they may well have more time for conversation than you and don't realise you have things to do. That said, even if you did nothing all day and night, it's still an intrusion into your space.

Your options are-

(A) big obvious headphones on. Oh dear, you can hear them calling over the din of Take That.

(B) top to toe camo gear

(C) outside under cover of darkness only

(D) "keeping well! Good, good. Sorry, dont want to be rude but I'm in such a rush, I can stop". Repeat when needed. Hopefully it will over time stop them deter them.

stepmothersknockers Sat 11-Jul-15 16:31:54

I have round for dinner with them and they are very nice - I've just got a houseful already and like the peace of my garden (well I did in my last house...)

Smurfingreat Sat 11-Jul-15 16:32:13

For those who are saying the OP is BU, there is a big difference between nice chatty neighbours and neighbours who will not let you have a seconds peace in your own garden.

It is not nice if you just want to have a few minutes to yourself and even worse if you suffer from anxiety or similar and just can't cope with talking to people at that moment.

EducationalWelfareMakeMeCry Sat 11-Jul-15 16:35:38

I have had neighbours like this.

Hang washing out at night. Growing tall or climbing plants next to the boundary, gardening when you see them go out helps.

walthamcross Sat 11-Jul-15 16:36:20

Can we trade neighbours? Ours are loud, anti-social and only talk to us to express their annoyance at having to take a parcel in on our behalf because we're out most of the day. I'd LOVE chatty elderly neighbours smile

ifgrandmahadawilly Sat 11-Jul-15 16:36:41


I have an elderly neighbour who accosts me whenever I step outside my front door. She is almost impossible to get away from. It's a nightmare when you are trying to get somewhere but even when you're not in a hurry, it's quite intrusive, irritating and tedious.

Backforthis Sat 11-Jul-15 16:42:15

Headphones. Big, obvious headphones. You don't have to be listening to anything, just pretend you can't hear them.

Backforthis Sat 11-Jul-15 16:43:26

Which Getthewonderwebout already said blush

LooksLikeImStuckHere Sat 11-Jul-15 16:48:31

YANBU. We have this only it's 5 year old that winds me up. 5 minutes? Fine. Endless shouting over the fence into my house? Nope!

I just want a peaceful garden!

Maybe one of these would work? wink

formerbabe Sat 11-Jul-15 16:50:25

I was going to say headphones too! Then ignore, ignore, ignore!

Skeppers Sat 11-Jul-15 16:55:57

YANBU if your neighbour is like mine; she doesn't chat, she gossips. Mostly about our other neighbours, mostly within their earshot. I don't want them thinking I'm in cahoots with her or agree with her opinion of them...I have no issue with them, they're perfectly pleasant people!

I've told her before that I don't think it's appropriate to gossip about them so blatantly but she carries on. The worst one was when she started telling me she didn't think that next door were 'coping' with their new baby! I mean, how rude and how totally none of her business!? I told her she was probably a bit out of order but she carried on...

Mehitabel6 Sat 11-Jul-15 16:56:41

All have to do is have a few words and then say 'lovely talking to you but I came out to read my book/water/ have a bit of peace and quiet and must get on'- all done with a smile.

basicbitch Sat 11-Jul-15 16:58:49

YANBU - I'm sure they mean well, but this would bother me as well. They should give you some privacy.

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