Sunday, September 16, 2007

That nosy pregnant woman who hasn't got enough to do

I didn't realise what hives of activity suburban streets were during the day.

I imagined all the houses, once their occupants had scuttled off to catch the 7.55a.m. bus to the city, dozing quietly while they awaited the evening return. In previous suburban existences, my walks have stuck to the routine of the ranks of the employed - the 6a.m dog walk, the occasional stroll along the creek on hot evenings.

Now my (almost) daily waddles are at much more erratic hours - 11am, after lunch, or quickly, before those clouds come over - and I find that it's not so much an emptying of the streets as a changing of the guard. Practically every second house has some kind of home improvement contractor parked out the front - men mulching trees, building verandahs, assembling wardrobes. Very very old people totter behind roll-along walking frames, stopping to chat with anyone at all. There are a few other heavily pregnant women out walking but we haven't shrugged off all of our workaday habits yet - no one smiles or nods or stops to chat. I think that comes once we've got prams and have been deprived of adult conversation a bit longer. The pram women hang out at the slides. And the dark side - the middle of the day seems to be when people think they can get away with flagrantly wasting water.

Two days in a row I passed a middle aged woman, hair in a bun, pressure-hosing the walls of her house. And then, a couple of houses down, a man on his roof, hosing out his gutters. In our house, paragons that we are, we shower over buckets and carry the water out onto the garden. And there they are, wantonly pissing away our allocation of the Wivenhoe dam.

I've read that there are water rangers who come around and smack naughty water wasters. Who do I ring? Or am I taking my new housewifely duties too far?


Debstar said...

You could dob them in but I think it would be a complete waste of time. I don't think the council does much.

elsewhere said...

it's all true. I observed the same phenomena several years ago when i was sick and at home for a few weeks.