King of Excellent (according to Scaryduck)

Tuesday, May 6

Neighbours, everybody needs good neighbours

"Are we a nation of strangers?" asks the BBC news team. When I lived in London, I lived in a close knit cul-de-sac, and the local kids ensured that everybody knew everybody else. But I also know that this is the exception to the rule. I'm always the first to say I hate London with a passion. I miss the area I was brought up in, but this was because of the nostalgia element. The neighbourly element would appear to have worsened even more, and now areas in the UK that were friendly and you looked after your neighbour and vice versa are now becoming few and far between. In the humble hamlet of Rhiwfawr, we have some 30ish houses. We have a phone box, 2 bus shelters, a mechanic (who's always too busy for everyone), a retired milkman who's always prepared to help anyone in the village, a 150 year old primary school and a community hall. I have a policy for everyone in this village (well except for the family who got John arrested), in that if they have a problem with their computer, I will fix it for free. This also works in reverse, knowing that a local gardener will come and sort out my garden if I desire for free, or a local builder will come and re-tarmac my drive when I finally get round to it. This barter system is invaluable, it also means that the Queen doesn't get her mucky paws on your hard earned, and all in all makes the area a better place to live. Yes, I'd agree some will take advantage, but in a small village like this it's unlikely, and easy to spot.
Meanwhile in London, you can get stabbed on your own doorstep. The neighbours will hear it, look out from their windows, see you bleeding to death, tut and do nothing. One might anonymously call 999, and yet no one will come forward to offer a statement. And why? Because they know that if it happened to them, the same neighbour now dying wouldn't have offered to help themselves. It's a philosophy of "why should I help them if they won't help me?" and it's why more and more streets in the UK are becoming unpleasant places to live. Tell me I'm wrong.