Downside of Country Living : The Illuminati

I don’t mean to give the impression that I dislike country life, on the contrary, I love the mountain I get to gawk at every morning through my front windows.  I love my creaky groany house.  I love my garden, with all its dandelions and thistles and strange orange fungi.  I love the loudmouth little iridescent birds sitting on my washing line.  I love driving through the farms and vineyards and canola fields and rubbernecking the cows and sheep.

As always the problem is people, in this case the local Illuminati, the individuals who seem to have an inordinate amount of power and influence in these parts.

As mentioned before, I have a warehouse next door that is rather hideous, but in a certain light has a strange spooky gothic charm.


I was extra pleased when the building was sold and the owner began to fix.  I braced myself for the noise on the basis that it would be worth it in the end.  This week they began replacing the roof and crumbling sandstone bricks.  I retreated to my workroom and left them to get on with the job.

I do my gardening in the afternoon after six, due to the heat and when I emerged from my bubble, I found that the workers had climbed over my fence, rigged up this incredibly dodgy looking scaffolding, bracing it with a plank held down with bricks.


MY bricks.


In the process, they broke one of my yuccas


“trimmed” fronds off my palm tree and dumped those on the ground


Serious health and safety non-conformance coming up


Not that anyone around here cares too much about the health and safety of the populace.

Instead of simmering over the weekend and tackling the owner on Monday with a full head of furious steam, I called him right away and was very reasonable and polite.  He apologised and said he didn’t know what they were doing.  And isn’t that just the problem?  Let your workers loose on a building and don’t take the time to check on what they’re up to.

Then my sister reminded me of the fact that it is illegal to build any structure within a certain distance from a boundary.  This issue arose when my pyromaniac mother burned down the neighbour’s shed full of furniture and was required to pay for the damage.  My mother claimed the structure was not within the permitted distance, and although she had to pay for the furniture, the neighbours had to demolish the structure, so it was a lose-lose for both parties.

So anyway, I consulted the oracles and although the permitted distance varies from area to area, it seems to be 2,250m.  Out came my trusty tape measure and the distance is a mere 1.10m.  I am within my rights to call for the partial demolition of that entire building.

I’m not going to do that.  I don’t want the hassle and I’m a very reasonable person, but I see no reason to allow strange men to creep around my backyard breaking things, and if that sounds sexist, sorry, not sorry.



South African writer, crafter and all round animal lover
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3 Responses to Downside of Country Living : The Illuminati

  1. Dani says:

    Bloody cheek! Do the workers have a foreman / employer – or is that the one-and-the-same-new-owner? Tell the f or e or o-a-t-s-n-o if his workers tresspass on your property again (for more bricks) you’ll call your friendly cop – Adam. The least the owner should do is offer to replace whatever was broken / damaged!!

    On the upside – the spooky-ess should be replaced with something more appealing in the coming days. However, that window – does it invade your privacy? Perhaps the o-a-t-s-n-o should replace broken plants with more of a privacy plant…?


    The “foreman/employer” was the one who said “I didn’t know what they were doing”! What makes it worse is that these worker guys were next to my fence coughing, coff coff, they were smoking something and it wasn’t dagga, and since I live in tik-land, I am delighted that the guys invading my backyard might be tweakers. My plan when they finish is to plant that bamboo that grows up to 50m. I’m visiting the municipality tomorrow to see what my rights are. I have no problem coming over all Joburg and I might just speak my mother tongue instead of twisting my mouth up to be more courteous than they are being.

  3. I forgot about that incident with mom..but she also got the neighbours who were building a garage close to the fence to pull it down before it reached roof height.

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