Dear Neighbour

Upon waking this morning I noticed a card that had been shoved under our front door overnight. Given that it had to be one of our neighbours who’d done this I found it strange they didn’t hand it over personally. I then remembered that this is England and over December there was an awkward exchange of gifts left on doorsteps which while a lovely gesture, created a strange etiquette dance among the 7 flats.

This card (a laminated piece of paper) stated that one of the couples in the building intended to hold their wedding reception in the communal garden on a Friday in August. Said communal garden lies at the back of the property and the newlyweds’ flat runs the width of the building and basically faces the garden.

Until about two weeks ago there was no garden – just a space resembling a treacherously lumpy sand pit hiding who knows what kind of jagged construction offal. Flattened and turfed in the last month, it is now a very pleasant space I’m sure we all hope to barbecue in this our short British summer. The newlyweds’ flat is not fenced off so they have essentially been treating this space as their own. Having to walk through the garden to reach the gas meters on the other side of the building is extremely awkward and does feel like trespassing, let alone having our own friends over for a barbecue.

Further down this decorative card, a few details were given as to the itinerary for the day. There would be music played and this would be turned up at 6pm. They would love to have us join them in their barbecue, but were given the arrival time of 7:30pm. This was ended with a promise to turn the noise down at midnight.

My first annoyance with this is we’re being told that our communal garden is being taken over on a day that we may have our own plans for it. Not asked, but told. They also chose to sneak the note under the door and not give it in person so they’re not prepared to consider anyone else in this situation. What about those who may be working on the Saturday?  Plus the lack of personal address and no choice of RSVP must mean they’re eagerly anticipating acceptance of their obligatory invite.

A strongly worded email to the property manager has been brewing in my head all morning, but caution has paused my furious keyboard pounding. While they have as much right to the space as us, something feels rather odd and entitled about having one’s wedding reception in a communal area. Personally I wouldn’t dream of it.

There has been no indication to the volume of guests either, but considering we’re being given notice implies quite a few, and drinking from early evening will hopefully not amount to plastic furniture fights or impromptu drunken karaoke.

On a (maybe) hot and (most likely) humid night we will also have to close the windows to the usually quieter back of the flat, and open the windows facing the Arterial Road outside means muffled bass beats from one side and stereo traffic  noise on the other. Fabulous.

The timing does coincide with my cousin visiting all the way from New Zealand so I may suggest we dine out that evening just to be away from it. That feeling of being chased from my own abode is all too familiar though following the screaming pyromaniacs I used to live next to  Who Ordered the Pre-Ritalin Kids?

I should probably also mention that this same neighbour asked to use our parking space in front of the building for their second car since we don’t have one. I’m now tempted to buy a scooter to occupy that space while I consider contacting the management. 
Thankfully this is one problem the local (and vocal) Brexit campaigners cannot blame on the EU!