Monday, December 17, 2007

Tiki tacky

Sometimes I really wonder what makes my kids tick. And my friends kids, and my friends tick... and I figure that they are probably looking back and thinking the very same thing about me. Us.

That's what proximity does; provides an opportunity to create a relationship where comparison is normal and a desire to understand is helpful. It increases the chance that your life and the life of those you live near or work and socialise with will overlap in quite personal ways, whether you like it or not.

I was yakking to Shari the other day about something and I referred to a bit of a yelling match we had on our side of the fence a few weeks ago and said I guess she heard it and she said no, she hadn't noticed it and it didn't matter, we live next door and hear them anyway.

Residential areas are a bit like friendships, really - warts and all. Lots of potential friction points, lots of oxygen sharing.

I have always subscribed to the theory that humans don't do well shoved together in close proximity without enough room for decent personal space, that people need room and dirt and green stuff around them to energise and re-energise themselves. It's not just me that finds burrowing in a pot of soil, digging a new bed or watching some new seedlings develop and flourish therapeutic and I'm not even a gardening nut. Reports of crime, aggression, violence can easily bring to mind the 'burbs so easily equated with over-crowding, uniformly cheap housing and lower socio-economic families and beneficiaries.

Everywhere has at least one, but it doesn't make it right.

Ads and I went Tiki-touring today and had a look at the big Lakes project which has a lot of new housing going up including spacious homes on big, elevated sections with lovely rural views, many of which overlook "The Landing", our newest planned slum-of-the-future which in years to come will likely become as locally synonymous with Police callouts as Oxford Street is now; rows of new little two-storey boxes, made of ticky tacky and all looking just the same as they rub elbows down on their tiny patchwork piece, next to the mosquito nursery which is one of the man-made lakes that lend their assistance in draining the swamp where pukeko used to live.

Amid the sound of hammers and saws fabricating more dwellings, the first houses of Nappy Valley are filling up and the Plunket Nurse is visiting.

I find it incredibly sad. Progress, my good left tit. This country-girl finds quarter-acre suburbia emotionally, environmentally, confining enough; I'd go nuts in less than a week mired moored at The Landing.

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Gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc - We gladly feast on those who would subdue us ...