03 February 2009

Chainsaw at One in the Morning

Someone down the road from here was using a chainsaw at one o'clock this morning. It was not windy here yesterday and no emergency rescue was happening in the dead of night.

Is such insensitivity to the needs of others a sign of individualism gone mad? The person with the chainsaw has started again now, at a much more reasonable hour.


I have nothing against individual freedom. In fact, I spend most of my time trying to promote it. Yet there are so many people around here who have the idea that their own priorities and need for self-expression are inalienable rights, regardless of the impact on others.

There is a tree in my garden that needs an encounter with a chainsaw, but I would rather arrange to have that done when my elderly neighbour has her lawns mowed, which is every second Thursday morning. My neighbour's lawn is mowed even though the grass grows slowly and is usually shaved to an ugly brown stubble.


Many of my neighbours are elderly, and some appear to be suffering from hearing loss. Perhaps they are unaware of the impact of sounds on those of us who still have excellent hearing.

None of my neighbours bothers to complain if a burglar alarm on a nearby shop goes off at 7am at least twice a week, or if an inebriated, incompetent percussionist regularly thrashes and bashes next door to them during dinner.

Perhaps most of the people in this neighbourhood either do not think it is their business to complain, or do not know who to contact for advice.  Perhaps they are not quite sure what to say and do, or maybe they just want to avoid any form of confrontation.

Quite a lot of my elderly neighbours are from non-English speaking backgrounds. The majority appear to have had little more than a primary education. Maybe that is why they do not complain, especially if they find it difficult to communicate their needs to those in authority, and to assert their rights.


This is suburbia, not a community. Domestic life is often lived in isolated worlds with families, friends, televisions, computers and air conditioning systems.

So, with a chainsaw still roaring nearby, I will try again later to enjoy a quieter way of life.

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