Sunday, 8 February 2009

The neighbours beyond the curtains


COR BLIMEY It's been ages since I wrote here! These last two weeks have taken us from countryside to townside and through a fair few despairs. Here follows a tale of moving on, the sour particulars of which will be familiar to travelling folk across the centuries.

We were quite happily enjoying our as-long-as-we-like stay in the orchard and pottering away at work, barn clearing for the owner, trying to keep out of the rain and even meeting some kind locals with whom we shared soup, when we came across a nasty little knot of hostility which has forced us to leave. However romantically one thinks of this life it never pays to forget that the hostility is always bubbling there under the neatly trimmed hedges and behind the carefully arranged net curtains everywhere we go.

On a sunny January morning on heading out for a walk down the lane, we were rushed at by a snarling neighbour who greeted us with not a hello but "how long are you going to be living there?" .. "it's not very nice for us to have to look at you milling about!" (with extra spit on the italicized words and a dismissive wave of the hand)
Well! Said we.. that isn't a very friendly hello! Who are you? I don't think we have met before. And sorry that you have obviously been harbouring such anger, ("I'm NOT angry" said she)
Could you not have come over and had a chat with us, and talked about your concerns?
"No" said she, "you might have come out raging at me... I mean you just don't know do you... I mean, you might have had DOGS!" But said we, have you seen any dogs? We have been here for a month! We have not made any noise and we take all our rubbish away, we are quiet people, and don't want to bother anyone. It seems that our very presence bothers you very much. "Oh NO" said she "I mean don't get me wrong, I haven't got anything against you personally, I mean I have friends who are gypsies! And I like vintage vehicles" ...
But have we disturbed you in anyway? said we ...
"No" said she ... "But this is the winter.. who knows what you might get up to in the summer!"

And on the discussion went.. she gradually softened as her fear subsided, realising we weren't all she and her fellow gossipers might have imagined, and perhaps feeling bad for her initial attack.. I gave her this blog address and we jokingly told her to watch out because she she might well find herself there!


And so we walked on down the lane with knots in our bellies, feeling very much affected by this blatant dislike.
We had offered to move down to the other end of the field where we could not be seen "milling about" and were hidden by trees, but had to wait until the muddy ground hardened a bit before we could attempt it.

Then next morning we sat with our coffee and the back door open in the cold low morning sun watching the friendly blackbirds hop about our wheels. And we noticed a man, suited and bald, with a notebook, standing perhaps 200 yards from us, staring, staring right in our open door. And talking on his phone. And writing notes. And then he got back into his car and drove away.

Later that day we heard that there had been a phonecall to the kind orchard owner from the council. It was a second complaint which they had had to follow up. (The first had been on the day of our arrival).. Now the orchard owner could have said: they are my friends and this is my land, I gave them permission to stay there for a while. But he is in the early stages of applying for that strange thing that is planning permission. He plans to do up the tumbledown barn that stands in the orchard, and because of this he has to keep his neighbours sweet.

So we had to go.

But we were stuck in the mud.
And we had to wait for a frost.
And all the while we waited, we imagined nasty words, fears and shakings of heads behind all the curtains that twitched towards the orchard. And we felt unwanted. The kindness of our one soup-sharing friend meant all the more to us and by that we were warmed. (Thank you Kate!)

When we eventually did get all our bits and pieces packed up and any toppling items stowed carefully on the floor, the engine started with a worrying judder and billows of black exhaust smoke.
We manoeuvred our house gently between the apple trees and juddered to the church car park just down the road to assess our situation. The juddering was worrying and of course the hole in the radiator is still corked with a bolt. There followed a hearts-in-mouths journey avoiding the motorway to a garage who told us when we arrived that they wouldn't and couldn't work on this size of vehicle. So we limped on to the good old park and ride. And there we remain.


For £2.50 for 24 hours we can be here and bus in and out of town whenever we like... From here we can hunt for garages who will work on our juddering engine and we can sell pictures when we run out of money. I have even jumped on a train to visit my family and left Tui beneath the snowdrifts. It's not as picturesque a spot as we like best, but there is beauty here nevertheless, hidden between the railings and ticket barriers, and nature gloriously singing and unaware of its island-like existence in the middle of a ringroad.




When we were last here we heard from the friendly carpark attendant that there had once been a woman who had lived here for a year. And what to our interested eyes should be parked here on our return but an anonymous looking mercedes camper with a sock stuffed in for a fuel cap. Perhaps this lady might be a different sort of neighbour? Perhaps she has a story to tell? She is a mystery to us... she spends her days and nights in there with the curtains drawn, only emerging to rev her engine at all hours, for some unknown purpose. We have glimpsed her outdoors now and then staring at the sky, or visiting the dustbins, but a hello from us results only in a wordless grimace and a turning away of the head. I wonder about her living in that van alone and in her 70s. What is her tale?

It is easy when you are sensitive like we are for scowls and disapproval to affect you negatively, and make you feel that the world is a dreadful place full of people who should largely be avoided. We have taken great strength from those folks who come and chat and are kind. A lovely blog reader who I did not know presented me with a book on Somerset Folklore the other day whilst out selling! (Thank you Alice!) Such kindesses as well as the cheering ons left by all of you in the comments section here really make a difference. And we also happened upon a spirit-lifting book about off-grid living that is full of interesting tales of folk living gently and cheaply and lightly and invariably getting up noses of neighbours. How To Live Off-Grid by Nick Rosen is an interesting and informative exploration of all manner of ways to escape the rat-race. (It sports the most dreadful jacket cover I have ever seen, but don't let that put you off!) The experiences detailed in this book show that many of the Neighbours Who Complain are in fact moneyed second home buyers from cities who believe that they have bought the view along with their house and anyone altering it by stepping across it is not to be tolerated.




So we are here. Trying to get on with work and other essentials. Tui has been up on the roof today painting sort of rubbery tar stuff over the sneaky leaks and I have been sewing curtains (rather late in the day but there we go) out of old patched trousers and decorators' floorcloth. Whether or not these curtains will be twitched remains to be seen!

We are planning our next trajectory too. I think to combat the inevitable hostility which we will find in every corner, we must be quite forward, which is not in our hermit-like natures at all. We must knock at potential complainants' doors to give them an opportunity to meet us and to allay seeds of fears. We have spotted a secret little leafy lane somewhere which would be a delightful spot to stay awhile, but we feel sure that a dogwalker would report us to the council within a day.. so I plan to make a big sign to hang outside the truck saying THIS IS WHO WE ARE, we are travelling artists, here for a short spell, you can see what we do here at this website, and please feel free to knock with any concerns for a cup of tea and a chat. Perhaps this might weed out the wondering waiverers .. no doubt there'll still be the odd sour-faced narrow-minded person who will not be moved, and sooner or later the council will come. But I have read up on the council's policy for gypsy and traveller encampments and hope to be able to talk openly and sensibly with the council too about our way of life. And maybe, just maybe, they'll leave us for 28 days. And then we'll move on.


66 comments:

Laura said...

Oy, Rima, that's too bad that you guys had to leave the lovely orchard for a Park n' Ride...it stinks how people are the way they are...if you ain't one of them then you must be up to no good. Grrr. Well, my Fred and I have rec'd some guff for our buying an old 19th century farmhouse and fixing it up, these things take time, especially when the place went neglected for about twenty years. We've done battle with the insurance company a few years back when they threatened to drop us because our chimney started to lean (we tore it down and were in the process of working out the fixing part when they started this nonsense, and also forced us to dismantle my Fred's blacksmithing forge.) It's stuff like this that always has people with something special looking over their shoulders worrying about 'what next?' It's unfair.

Happy thoughts, my dear! Educate yourselves about the laws and get it working in your favor, and continue doing what your doing, creating beautiful things and living a happy life!

Best wishes,

Laura

Jopan said...

oh man i feel so sad for you guys. i wish i knew of somewhere nice that you could stay but we've had a few people stay there and they weren't that nice. Leaving big messes after them. that is what we've come to expect i suppose, so they would probably not appreiciate you're being there. It is the rude behavier of others that's spoilt it for people like you and i'm sorry for that. Also people are afraid of what they don't understand and i find that society has only ever tought people that the only thing out there thats important is making money and out doing the neighbours. you have broken free from that and it scares people. But i say Well Done for escaping!
Thanks for listening to my little rant.

ArtSnark said...

Good luck with your travels. Sadly there are small minds everywhere in the world. Fortunately you have the sense to continue on Your path & leave them to theirs. Best wishes & hope you find a lovely place to rest your head.

Yoli said...

I wish I could transport you magically to our place by the sea. I would never want you to leave! Take heart dear Rima, not all people are bad. There will be a good soul out there who will be more than delighted by the beautiful company. Your idea of a sign sounds very good. It will alert people to what you lovely people are about.

Melanie said...

Hugs Rima, you must be feeling quite shaken by that experience.

Unfortunately when you opt in to an alternative lifestyle, those who are stuck in the norm can often feel resentful of their burdens and hate that you have been able to live without that stress. People are always going to fear things that are different and outside of their experience.

Unfortunately you will always find NIMBYs (Not In My Back Yard). So many people know horror stories of people squatting and leaving mess which makes them even more afraid. Fear breeds prejudice.

I hope through your art, barriers can be broken and your next place is more peaceful.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

I am so sorry you have had to encounter such dark attitudes. I once was strolling our neighbourhood inviting people to a neighbourhood cook-out we were having and, upon handing an invitation to an elderly man I saw in his front garden, I was verbally assailed as though I was the devil himself. I tried to laugh it off, but burst out crying as soon as I returned home. It is not a good feeling.

I do think you are right when you say such reactions are based in fear. Scratch the surface of bigotry, prejudice and intolerance and that is what one generally finds.

I will pray for you a most salubrious spot to appear soon!! Edward and I would welcome you both to our garden anytime!!

Tess said...

Feeling lots of righteous indignation on your behalf. Not understanding and fear are so closely linked.
I love the idea of your sign.
My suspicion is that travelling houseboat artists would not be treated in the same way (I mention this because of a walk down to the canal earlier) but then they are physically incapable of moving out of their waterways.
God/dess go with you.

liZZie said...

eeeeek! don't like the sound of all that. I have a sweet little book, very old and fabric covered, called 'More Bright Brevities' and one of the brevities is 'If people throw stones at you build a wall around yourself with them'. Well, perhaps not the most apt of brevities to pass on to you. I will look for another, more suitable, but in the meantime I am with all the others who are with you if you know what I mean. Love, liZZie xx

Jessie Lilac said...

That sign sounds the best idea to me Rima. It's fear of the unknown that make people behave like that. It's great to hear how you're doing and now that Spring is on the horizon, (ok distantly but I like to think it's almost here!) then life should get easier. Happy travels!x

Margaret's Ramblings said...

Yes I feel a welcoming note with an invite for a cuppa is a good way forward.Although it is difficult you handled that lady well. A soft answer is always the best way to go. I hope you find a smoother path ahead, Margaret

Marja said...

Wow these people have a big problem
Making problems out of nothing and probably not knowing how much harm they do.
I would love to travel like you. Here many people buy old buses , do them up and travel around NZ. Just come over here and you'll be fine.
I hope for you that you meet many kindred spirits on your travels from now on.
Take care and hugs from NZ

ElvaUndine said...

It makes me sad to think that there are such people in this world, but it makes me happy to know there are people like you who continue to quietly and respectfully challenge them.

What a sweet little bird in that last photo!

Danielle Barlow said...

Hi Rima,
I'm sorry you've had a rotten time - people can be so unpleasant when they are fearful - which I'm sure is what all those comfortable people were. It is horribly upsetting to feel that hostility directed towards you, however much you might have discussed the probability of it happening. I know, we travelled once, many moons ago, across Europe in a converted bus, meeting many wonderful open minded people, but many ignorant , fearful people too.
I think you are right, the way to combat that ignorance and fear is to educate them , and invite them to meet you and your lifestyle, however uncomfortable that feels. Good luck, and take heart, we know you are full of courage!

chinecats said...

I love your little home! How can anyone think one mobile house with 2 people who do not travel with others can be a threat? Panic reaction to newspaper horror stories, I expect. Have you thought of using camp sites? One on the TV this week (South Today) welcoming visitors, in the middle of the New Forest with deer & wild ponies. Jenny.

Clare W said...

The old addage "when one door closes" always seems to come true and I know that with your gentle spirits you'll come to a friendly inspirational spot soon enough. In the mean time stay positive and open yourselves to the universe as you seem to.

Snippety Giblets said...

It is saddening to hear of your experience. Fear is the mind killer and so many people seem to use their imaginations to conjure worst case scenarios involving others rather than happy lives for themselves.

I encounter the same kind of attitudes to my body art (I am heavily tattooed :) ) and my "alternative parenting" choices. Nosy old women have actually stopped me in the street to give me a dressing down about using a sling.

It takes a big heart to bother to stand one's ground as you did. I hope you get fixed up somewhere lovely soon.

Erynn said...

It's terrible that people are treating you that way, Rima. I keep wishing human nature were a little kinder. So often it is, but the fearful, mean-spirited ones make it difficult for everyone else. I hope that you have better luck in other places. I'm glad at least that the encouragement you get here helps a little! I think what you're doing is wonderful and brave and I hope that the beauties of what you are doing outweigh any problems in the greater balance.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Rima, I understand how you must feel... These people are blind to who you are and therefore they probably miss many other good things in their lives... it is to pity them!

The life of the outsider( I relate as John and I are too, and always have been) is not the norm.. but it definitely is more interesting and I am sure you would not change it for the world....I know we would not... and the skills that you develop along the way are yours to keep for ever .. .
I always wanted to shield my children from pain and disappointment because it hurts... but without the knowledge of the pain... the pleasure would never be so great!! you and Tui are great.. and will only be greater...

someday one of them curtain-peekers will notice your name on that wonderful new book in the bookstore and nudge each other and say... why is that name familiar???

Follow your dream! You are on the right road... the best to you both, Gwen

ps.. your "Misrule, Mockery and Monstrosity " is truly a wonderful work of Art.. just fabulous!! It is an honour to know you!

Ciara said...

Oh Rima, what a shame, but sad to say, not unexpected methinks. I agree with what a number of previous comments say about these reactions being based on fear. We had our share of similar encounters in our nomadic days.

Well, I do wish you every blessing for finding a pathway to some leafy safe harbour. I think a sign is a brilliant idea, and a meet and greet. Who knows who you'll meet!
C x

amarkel58 said...

Well, if the two of you can ever figure out a way to get your house across the Atlantic, I have a house of my own and some land I own clear & free & you're welcome to park here as long as you like. Which I understand isn't going to help you in the slightest. It always depletes me to bump up against someone else's negative energy but, try to shake it off.

moreidlethoughts said...

I, too am sorry you've had such an experience. It's Life, I'm afraid! But you can take heart from the many who envy you. You are stirring memories of a time I lived (too briefly) on a canal boat. Nothing as luxurious as those gay old barges, but, for the most part , happy days.
Travel safely and know you carry much love with you.

beadbabe49 said...

I think your idea of a sign is brilliant and just the thing...
It also never ceases to amaze me that a few cranky ole farts can cause so much hurt to others...I try to remind myself that they are in the vast minority but they create such a stink that they seem to be more numerous than they are...ya know?

Lynn said...

My heart went out to both of you as I read of your recent challenges. Phooey! Why can't people just be nice? One of my pet peeves is being misunderstood. I always figure that if people gather all of the facts and then decide to dislike me, well, fine. But when they dislike a "me" who doesn't exist? Drives me bats! I think your sign idea is a wonderful one -- how wise you are! Do take care, and know that you're well-loved and supported "out here"...

nina said...

rima - i'll paraphrase franklin roosevelt when i say that they have nothing to fear but fear itself. i'm so sorry that you and tui have hit a hard, hard bump in the road, so early in your journey. i do understand the need for comfort and acceptance on the road, so that it will truly feel like home - how hard, hard hard it is for you to have that comfort snatched out from under you like that. i know, i promise this, that you'll find greater warmth in your journeys just around the bend. trust me on this. your heart is too big and too warm and true for otherwise. xoxoxo nina

Griffin said...

See that sparrow sitting on the spiked fence? That's you two that is.

Some people insist on letting their prejudices be their guide. It's their problem not yours.

But like that sparrow, you will sit on that fence and fly either way as you will. I suggest you both sing 'This Land is your Land' by St Woody of Guthrie when out walking.

Singing is difficult to describe as particularly aggressive (unless you're singing God Save the Queen when you're parked in front of Buckingham Palace!!) and smile lots.

If you look different, if you live different, if you are different - those who follow convention will detest you. You show them what they could be, but dare not and they are sad to think it. So they want you to leave and take away that reminder.

But screw your courage to the sticking place and you'll not fail.

pRiyA said...

i am just wondering what it would be like had you been travelling in india like this. actually, it would be pretty much the same. you'd have to pay bribes to corporation officials and policemen, deal with hordes of urchins and gwaping onlookers, and of course the neighbours both good and bad.
but you'd get written about in the sunday newspapers and that lends such credibility around here especially when waving it at a nasty neighbour.

bett/ said...

Hello Rima, siempre hay piedras en el camino... pero otras veces hay lindas sorpresas un saludo!!buen viaje

Dan said...

Sorry to hear about your troubles. People can be so unkind. I guess it is just a process of education and making these people realise that you are normal and not the kind of travellers the Daily Mail would have you believe in.

I think a policy of putting a sign on your van with a link to the website is a really good one. Maybe you could get some inexpensive leaflets printed up which you could post through neighbours' letterboxes? These could fulfil a joint function of explaining to people who you are and what your intentions are, and also advertising your artwork!

It would also help overcome any shyness of knocking on strangers' doors. You could put on the leaflet that your door is always open if people want to come and chat or for a cup of tea.

Suze said...

I'm sorry to read you've had this issue, Rima. The world is full of bigots, it's just that people don't recognise it in themselves, and get angry when they have to face it, and then try to make excuses by pushing it on to others.

I live in a small hamlet...with the only village pub close by, and several years ago I saw several of the customers standing outside staring along the road. Following their eyeline, you could see someone sitting on the floor of the phone box...a lit candle beside them. Comments followed...they must be on drugs...they're a druggie...I'm not going near them...we should call the police...and with that they all disappeared back into the pub. I went indoors too...but, couldn't leave it at that, and walked down to the box to find a young woman sitting in there. After a few minutes of conversation, she told me she'd been looking for a friend in the next village, and she'd not been in, so with no money and no telephone number for the friend, she had started walking...she knew not where. I got her into my house with some persuasion...I mean I could've been anyone too, and to phone her parents...it transpired she was sixteen and had run away. It took her Dad three hours to get to us...but, it was worth it. A few days later I got a note from her saying thank you, and it had been a spur of the moment decision to leave home.

I'd like to know what has happened since, but there was no return address...I also wonder what would have happened if my thoughts had been the same as those pub customers.

Good luck in your search for people who understand and have the vision to accept your choices.

Amy said...

Ah Sweet Rima,

It is a bump in your road but I know with the ingenuity and imagination that you and Tui both hold you will make it over this little bump just fine.

Focus your attention on those kindnesses you have found. On the Kate's who offer soup, on the blog readers bearing gifts. Remember there are many many more wonderful souls out there. Try your best not to judge those who are judging you....let those memories drift away like a bad dream.

you continue to be an inspiration to many!

Amanda said...

So many people apologizing for the failings of our fellow humans! Let me add my sincerest apologies to the list. Despite having to move, it sounds like you may have actually managed to change someone's outlook before making your way onward. Now that is a feather you can put in your cap!

potterboy said...

It looks like a prison :( I hope you're not getting too down about it - hope the splendid home is fixed soon and you're back on the road again and finding peace and solitude. If you're ever in North Nofolk, then you could park on my drive - i have no neighbours! But I do have a horrid busy road to contend with (my own prison of sorts...) so it probably wouldn't be so nice after all. Looking forward to the next installment of the saga - hopefully with good news.

ANDY & MEL LOWE said...

Hi Both

don't let the idiots bother you and there is always room for you up here in the highlands
i will give you a ring when i get some csh

lots of highland hugs and kisses

jean said...

It's funny, I think your little house looks pretty. There are many ugly things every day in just about every suburban neighborhood: cars, trucks, garbage cans, boring yards, boring houses, crappy sheds. People just take them for granted--well, that's the problem. Your home isn't boring enough!

Nancy said...

I spent nine months living in a '67 Ford Mustang (with bucket seats!) outside San Francisco, California while working a variety of small jobs including being a migrant farmworker/harvester. It taught me a lot especially about people and how different everyone is. Don't fret. There is a yin/yang in the universe. Something will balance your bad experience and you are right. There is beauty everywhere especially in a car park! You have to look a little.
You are such wonderful people (just from reading your blog) something good will happen!

Barry said...

So sad that newcomers (I won't say strangers) are greeted with such fear and aggression, instead of delight.

Some proactive reaching out may help, at least I hope it does.

BT said...

Oh Rima, you poor things. I cannot say that I am at all surprised though. We have had such hostility from our neighbours, in spite of doing everything we can to appease them. We have now given up!

I think your idea of a sign is excellent and my indeed help. If you ever manage to get your lorry over to Ireland you are more than welcome to stay here, as I've said previously. It's our land, nobody can complain as nobody else will see it except the really horrid neighbours and they can't complain because they do all sort illegally!! We can't see them and they can't see us except when they use our road to go down the their house.

I do hope you find somewhere good to stay for a while,
Gina
xx

From This Moment to That said...

Hello Rima, WHAT a time you've been having, the engine trouble being probably the last straw! I do hope things pick up very soon mechanical wise. I think Dan's idea sounds like a good way to go. Leaflets through doors and also the sign you thought of. Blinking hard for you both to stand your ground...suffering the slings and arrows. I'm so sorry! But because you are so brave and individual you will triumph because your hearts are made with stardust.

'Our way is not soft grass,
it's a mountain path with lots of rocks. But it goes upwards, forward, toward the sun.'

Ruth Wesheimer.

Hugs :)
Jane

Nao said...

Rima, this such frustrating news, such an irritating thing.

I do feel for you and Tui. People can be so unbearably closed minded. You are handling it beautifully though. I think the idea of a sign is a good one, sometimes people just seem to fear what they can't understand.

Well, if ever your in Canada, our door is always open to you and the kettle is on. The good thing about Canada of course is there is a lot more land then there are people, and so you can go for 100's of miles and not bump into a single neighbor. You can pull over on many a dirt road, set up camp for a month, and nobody would ever know you were there.

Anyway, we're all out here cheering you on! Don't lose heart!

Valaine said...

I agree about creating a sign to hang on you home. I think it would add even more character and will help ease those with their burning curiosity. You could make the best sign ever I bet! I think it would be a good idea :)

I wanted to share my new website with you, I'm not at silentdreamer any more, but have a new place at
http://www.blueowldesigns.net

Take care!
Valaine

Katie said...

What a tale you've got to tell, and I'm sure the nasty ogres of "un-hospitable-ness" will make an appearance in one of your stories, so you can be thankful at that time for this experience, but in the meantime, I'm SO SORRY! How frustrating that must've been!

Laetitia said...

What a sad adventure!!!it seems people are behave the same everywhere !!I hope you will meet more welcoming people in the future,!!! if you happen to cross the sea I know alot of wonderful places lost among the hills and the mountains where you will be never found and never annoyed !!!but I don't know if your house can swim...

Katie said...

we adore you rima you are the bright olde world in our day.What a horrible witch of a woman and the sour council man offended by contentment of all kinds.

Stay true to your gypsy ways I bet if you had your dna tested as I did you'd be roma through and through.

Anonymous said...

It is a sad world indeed when you can no longer sleep in the fields.

solsticedreamer~laoi gaul~williams said...

thats awful~you had such a lovely place, sorry you had to move on. the twitchy-curtain neighbour should listen to less gossip but i suppose its their life? when we moved here we had that with a few of the older ladies~right down to the twitching curtains and comments to our neighbour about 'who are they' 'why are they here' and 'what is it with that van of theirs anyway' like you say the negativity of this really upset me and took some of the joy i had on returning to the village i grew up in.
i am glad you have found somewhere to park up while you look for a garage~if you need any research done i will be glad to help

Pam said...

You and Tui shouldn't have to put up with that. None of those sour untalented people are beautiful. You are. You come from a place of imagination. They don't. How wonderful of you to even attempt to try and meet them halfway.The sign is a good idea. Then perhaps they'll hang their heads in shame. One would hope so.

wintergreen.3 said...

If they would only check out your art they would understand only a lovely person could create such beauty. It's their loss. Does your caravan float? You could sail it over here and live in our little woods in Wisconsin for as long as you like. Blessings, Gilli

Kim said...

I'm so sorry that you had to go through this, but I'm sure it won't be the last time you face such narrow mindedness. It has made me wonder, truthfully about how I would react, and I hope that I would have the grace and courage to go and speak to someone directly before making any kind of judgement.

So thank you for sharing this experience, as awful as it was for you. Maybe it's a learning curve for you, but also for those of us who are landlocked!

Kim x

Carol Stocker said...

Dear precious darling Rima...I am saddened to see the photos of your lovely home behind the fence and even more dis-heartened to hear of the snarling neighbor...what in the world was SHE doing milling about(said me with a wave of my hand)? :-)

It amazes me that someone can be so unkind to another human being...I just don't get it (have experience it but don't get it). What impresses me the most is that you wrote your blog entry with kindness, humor and compassion towards her. Brava!

...and just think, you may have taught her a bit about people and life and alternatives...who knows where that might lead her in her journey? Hang in there Rima, you are truly special and once you get the wagon running again, your wheels will lead you to someplace special, I'm sure of it!

With gentle hugs, Carol

Renee said...

Just as you and Tui are good, most other people are good too. Glad to hear from you but wishin that you had a nice place to stay.

Renee

anthromama said...

It's amazing to me that there is such prejudice about this...perhaps it is rooted in gypsies? Being from the US it's a bit of a mystery to me -- we are a traveling nation and what we call recreational vehicles (RVs) are a part of our culture.

I love that you approached the woman's harangue with understanding that she was expressing irrational fears. It would have been so easy to respond in kind.

Would you email me if you please, for I have a small drawing that my son did that I feel strongly must be sent to you and I don't know where to send it!

The Dutchess said...

People!!!

Come to Holland my dear...lots of space...you can park at my place anytime..:)
Stay warm and stay Happy!

Nick Green said...

I'm sure that if only people had seen your website and artwork first, they would be only too honoured to have you as a neighbour. If you're ever in the vicinity of Hertford, let me know. I'm sure I could find you somewhere peaceful to park.

Karen said...

I agree,its definitely fear that makes folk like this. Either that or a touch of the green eyed monster. Maybe it touches a raw nerve? Could they have a secret desire to be living as you are?
Good luck wherever you travel x

Karen said...

I'm sorry that you have been run out from the orchard. I'm with many who would welcome you, with house, to my farm --

Fear is a funny thing ....

Renee said...

You are a free spirit Rima and a peace loving person. I wish people weren't so afraid of people who lived differently than they might.

Always wishing you the best of everything. I love your work as you already know.

Love Renee

ready to pretend said...

Please continue living my future dream. I am unable to achieve such this as to the first commitments like lumbering teenage boys and the time it takes to empty your nest.
I wonder..have you heard of or looked up a North American Company called Tumbleweed Houses. The cost of this pre-made home that is about your home's size will make you gasp but they do have a few great ideas about space management. You will find a few utube clips of tours of their designs. It makes all this house stuff seem very silly. After-all a house is just a box for your stuff.
Just a Hello form the belly button of Canada, Thunder Bay
Yours, Janet

Claire said...

dear rima, i so sorry you've been subject to such hostility... i'm reading about the salem witch trials at the moment... fear of the unknown does terrible things to people! as nick green said, if people only visited this site, and saw your artwork, they would know what beautiful, gentle souls you are...
sending you protective blessings, claire x

Michelle said...

Oh Rima.. you poor things.. People can be so abrasive, harsh and closed when they live with ignorance and sometimes fear.

I think it's a good idea to be more active about associating yourself with people in the area, when you next move.. it removes the fear straight away in some cases.

I hope you managed to get your home sorted and are able to move on to somewhere much nicer.
x Michelle x

Bimbimbie said...

Oh dear :(

If you added BBC to that sign you would have a long line of curious folk wanting to share a cuppa with the Beautiful Brave Couple ;)

Sylvia said...

Hi Rima,

It is definitely disappointing to know that there are so many close minded people. I certainly hope that you find another lovely place.

Best of luck!

Sylvia

Night Owl said...

Hope you get your van fixed soon, and find some frienlier neighbours!

Michelle said...

So sorry to hear you've had problems, but not surprised. People fear different and it can make them defensive, protective and downright agressive.

Added to the problem is the fact that some travellers do behave badly. We've had some in our area who left a pretty spot by the river completely trashed after they'd been there a month or two. They left piles of garbage, human waste, litter... a total mess. The council has now blocked the parking area off, so no-one can use it anymore. So we all lose out because a few folk were inconsiderate.

In South Africa the inconsiderate ones were some fishermen who'd throw their booze bottles, old snarled fishing line and even hooks into the rock pools. I cut my foot on broken glass in a pool once when I was about 11. I hate people who mess this planet up for the rest of us! :-(

tlc illustration said...

Fear is a sad thing. That and the desire for power/entitlement make the world a poorer place.

Wishing you all the best of luck in your ventures (and at least post your web/blog site addresses in large letters on your door! Instant credibility with anyone who not being driven entirely by the above mentioned fear/power/entitlement, etc...)

al hayball said...

Although it must have been a horrid experience, the way you wrote about the confrontation had me in stiches!
Keep up the tremendous writing.

Griselda said...

Hola Rima...I am touched by your story, I often wonder about people who judge others by what they fear the most...those areas in themselves which they have not accepted yet.
I wish for you much singing and dancing, people who appreciate what you do and who you are.
Bright Blessings to you and that precious little one.
Griselda