What Lies In The Shadows

Has the world gone completely mad?  Bombarded with what seems like a constant drip-feed of violence, terror, and fear in the news, I was surprised to come across an article about two sets of neighbours, both in their eighties, warring over a clematis growing over their shared fence.

One neighbour planted her clematis eighteen years ago in honour of the birth of one of her grandchildren, so the story goes.  You can imagine how large it grew over all those years,  stretching along the entire length of her fence, which also borders her neighbour’s back garden.  With climbing roses growing through it,  it must have looked absolutely beautiful.

But her neighbours didn’t think so.

They decided to ‘cut it back’ from their side of the fence where it was trailing over.  This involved climbing on step-ladders and cutting all the ties holding the clematis up.   Never mind that they testified in court (yes, it went that far) that they cut only ‘four inches’ off: the owner of the clematis came outside just in time to watch in utter horror as it collapsed into a crumpled heap, broken, ruined.

Apparently, when she asked her neighbours what they were doing, the offending woman told her to go back inside and to ‘Shut your cake-hole’.

That’s British for, ‘Shut the f*** up’.

This sort of behaviour leaves me incredulous, asking how can some people be so utterly selfish and unkind? Don’t neighbours speak to one another any more?  I don’t like to think what I would do if a neighbour of mine told me to ‘shut my cake-hole’.

Then again, when it comes to neighbours…

I wonder though, what do people dream up when they sit in the shadows, alone with their resentments and unforgiving hearts?  Do they grow colder, ever-harsher, or do they, in time, learn to forgive?

Old Priory Ruin, Lewes, Sussex  (c) Sherri Matthews 2015

Old Priory Ruins, Lewes, Sussex
(c) Sherri Matthews 2015

Do cats, in their mischief and secret ways, dream of adventures
when shadowed in their play?

Maisy In Shadow Courtesy of Daughter (c) Sherri Matthews 2015

Maisy In Shadow
Courtesy of Daughter
(c) Sherri Matthews 2015

What longings fill our hearts when we watch the winter sun disappear, casting water into inky-black shadow, left only with the kiss of a chilled sea-breeze?

The Cobb, Lyme Regis, Dorset, England (c) Sherri Matthews 2015

The Cobb, Lyme Regis, Dorset, England
(c) Sherri Matthews 2015

It is in these places of shadow where I am safe and I am still.

This post is in response to the Weekly Photo Challenge theme of ‘Shadowed’.

About Sherri Matthews

Sherri has been writing full time since 2011. Currently working on her memoir, 'Stranger in a White Dress', she has been published in a variety of national magazines, websites and three anthologies. Sherri raised her three, now adult children, in California for twenty years and today, lives in England’s West Country with her hubby, Aspie youngest, two cats, a grumpy bunny and a family of Chinese Button Quails. She keeps out of mischief blogging, gardening, walking by the sea and snapping endless photographs. Her garden robin muse vists regularly.
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118 Responses to What Lies In The Shadows

  1. bethbyrnes says:

    Sherri, I so appreciated this post. I have the exact same issue with my neighbor who has killed some of my trees by butchering them on his side, believing that they can be cut anywhere, any time of the year, by any method and not be harmed. He sits and thinks up ways that my plants are interfering with his life, while professing to be a tree lover himself. We can do nothing because our particular neighborhood has “zero property lines”, a scourge in California that I never heard of while growing up in NY and NJ. Anyway, forgiveness. I am working on it!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Oh Beth, I am so sorry for all your are dealing with, such a mean, small-minded neighbour. I left my comment in my post about neighbours as I wrote a post last year about our ‘neighbour from hell’ who lived next door to us in California twenty years ago. We lost our house because of his paranoia, gun use and violence towards us. I had two young boys and my baby daughter at the time. It was an utter nightmare. I just don’t understand how some people can live their lives making everyone else’s so utterly miserable. I don’t understand ‘zero property lines’ either. It is really hard to forgive…I so understand that. Maybe your neighbour will move…wouldn’t that be nice :/

      Like

  2. ‘Shut your cake-hole.’ Ha ha! Did you make that up or is that a real translation? That’s funny, but the neighbors battling and going to court over a beautiful plant, that’s not funny at all. I feel sorry for people like that. What sad and miserable lives they must live. Being a curmudgeon takes a lot of energy. I prefer to use my energy in a more positive way.
    Happy Weekend, Sherri! I got your email…I’ll be in touch. xoxo

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  3. Rajagopal says:

    Episode of strife between neighbours over a harmless clematis making its flowering slant either this side of fence or the other would really make any right thinking mind reflect on the alarming extent to which hatred is spreading its tentacles. Through your telling visuals of an ancient ruin and the placid waterfront, nature seems to be making a strong counterpoint about ruinous hatred and salutary effect of peaceful co-existence…wonder if anyone is seeing it… season’s greetings to you sherri…Raj.

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    • Sherri says:

      Hello Raj! And a very Happy New Year to you too, lovely to see you again! You have certainly picked up something very interesting here, thank you greatly for your wonderful input! I had in mind that the ruins, while beautiful to walk around, were once a magnificent Abbey, destroyed thanks to King Henry VIII during the dissolution of the monasteries between 1536 and 1541. Certainly a great deal of ‘ruinous hatred’ around then! Quarrels taken to quite a different level in the ‘shadows’. Then, yes, I love what you say about the waterfront. I love these photo challenges for this very reason…it is always a surprise to see what speaks through the photos to different people. So let’s see!

      Like

  4. Andy Oldham says:

    We need to adopt “shut your cake hole” here in the US. It sounds a bit more of a polite rudeness. Haha! Its a shame we dont know our neighbors well enough to talk anymore. As you asked, a
    Has the world gone mad? Love this post!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Haha…can you imagine someone’s face if you said it over there? Thanks Andy, glad you liked it! And now you know what we Brits get up to when we have nothing better to do than be horrible to our neighbours 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  5. suej says:

    Petty squabbles and strife ending up in court…(how vindictive or just plain nasty)can people be… On another note – love your Winter shot of the Cob at Lyme, i used to think it was best at the tail ends of the year

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      It’s utter craziness isn’t it? I had to share because I was so incensed by such ridiculous and mean pettiness 👿 Glad you like that shot Sue, thanks! There is something about the lighting in winter that makes for good atmospheric effects, but I don’t need to tell you that 🙂 After strolling along the cob (and the wind was bitter!) we had a fish & chip lunch. It was a great way to end the year…before I came down with a rotten cough and cold, ha 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  6. “Shut your cake hole” made me LOL! The Brits and their quaint expressions. I love hearing it in the Lancashire (Coronation St) dialect. Shaut yer kek haul! On the serious side, it is sad when neighbours can be so petty and ungracious. Bitterness is an ugly thing. I love your shadow metaphor. I prefer light to shadow. Dark things lurk in the shadow, whereas light makes one grow and thrive. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Haha…you got it Jennifer, I can hear it now 🙂 You can see why I had to share, but yes, so sad that people become so mean and hateful towards their neighbours. Thank you, and yes, shadow, I find, is great to write about, to ponder and retreat to at times, yet always with the knowledge that with just one step outside, the light is waiting to shine its magic 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Great interpretation of the challenge. Thankfully, we have the sweetest neighbours and get along with them so well we have the keys to each others house in case anything happens.

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    • Sherri says:

      Thank you, glad you enjoyed it! Good neighbours are worth their weight in gold, I ‘m so glad for you. We are the just same with ours they are wonderful. I never take that for granted, last year I wrote about our ‘neighbour from hell’ when we lived in California. We lost our house because of his violence towards us, a nightmare. I guess that’s why reading that article struck such a chord :/

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  8. The offending neighbor sounds to be of a younger generation. At first I thought both had lived side-by-side for a long time. Still, that’s no way to treat anyone. What is the world coming to. Humans are becoming so self-centered and don’t care about anything or anyone else. Not a good start to world peace. ❤ ❤
    Good example of how NOT to treat your neighbors for a start.

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    • Sherri says:

      Sad to say Tess, they are both in their 80s, but I’m not sure how long they have lived next door to one another.You would think they would have learnt to be a little more tolerant by now wouldn’t you? You are right, us humans are more self-centered than ever. It was the sheer pettiness and meanness of such an action that had me fuming. As you know, my family suffered bitterly at the hands of a neighbour madman in California…now we have wonderful neighbours, I never, ever take that for granted 🙂 🙂 ❤ ❤

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  9. Heyjude says:

    Lovely image of the Cob Sherri. Not so lovely tale of the battle of the clematis! Though I always thought you should prune clematis every year. I had a neighbour who grew the Montana variety which goes quite mad and it rampaged all over the side of our dividing fence. I loved the free flowers, but did have to ask him to prune it every few years as he never did, and it grew rather unruly, blocking out light. Fortunately we were good friends 🙂

    As for “shut yer cake-hole” that’s a very Yorkshire saying for simply saying “shut up” Not one I was allowed to use btw 🙂

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    • Sherri says:

      Thanks Jude, glad you like it! I thought of you when I posted that specific photo…I have more from Lyme Regis that I’ll be sharing shortly, a nice walk for Jo 🙂 Now you see, that is the perfect illustration of how to deal with a problem like that, without having to yell ‘shut yer cake-hole’ over your fence…which of course you would never do 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Imelda says:

    How sad that neighbors could not even talk nicely to each other. Poor clematis, poor unhappy people.

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  11. jennypellett says:

    What horrible narrow minded people, Sherri!
    I’ve laughed at some of the comments here, about shut your cake-hole. It’s not a phrase I’ve heard recently but I’m sure it was a staple of my playground back in the dark ages. How funny. But not for the poor lady on the receiving end.
    And you’re right – so much anger and violence in the world. This is just petty.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      You can see why I had to share this Jenny! I was reminded of ‘cake-hole’ too as something we would have yelled out as kids, back in the day, ha! With so much going on in the world, and then reading this…well, what more can be said? I know one thing (and as you know,we had our fair share of neighbour ‘hell’), I’m so glad for my wonderful neighbours now 🙂

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  12. Hello, Sherri! I completely agree about the state of the world today and the lack of civility. It is truly scary, as we are seeing in the news. But like you say, it’s also happening right next door. 😦

    I am glad you find comfort in your places of shadows. That Maisy sure is cute. 🙂 I hope that you have a peaceful and serene weekend! At least that’s my plan for the weekend! Cheers! xo

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    • Sherri says:

      Hi Maria! How are you? Thank you, I do hope you too are having that peaceful and serene weekend. I am attempting to get it started, ha 🙂 We need to make sure to do that, so much horror and rudeness in the world. Ahh…thanks, my daughter took that photo of Maisy, I thought it was quite artsy and perfect for the ‘shadow’ theme! Cheers to you too Maria, enjoy 🙂 xo

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  13. Hi Sherri, I have known a few people just like that. You know they’re nuts when they start shooting one another and it does seem as though the whole world is racing to destruction. Its hard to comprehend why so many can’t see the blessings this world could bring everyone, if we could all just put down the weapons and share the gifts we’ve all been given and put away all the jealousy, hate and anger and seek to forgive one another. We are all human and we will all make mistakes.

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    • Sherri says:

      Hello Donna! You said it perfectly, it would seem that for many people this is just impossible to do. A tragedy. As you know, we had our ‘neighbour from hell’ experience in California and I seriously thought at one point he was going to shoot one of us. The world has gone mad…but we can seek peace, forgiveness and healing in our own lives and that is all we can do. Every day. And on that note, I hope you have a restful and peaceful weekend 🙂

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  14. Oh that poor plant 😦 As for neighbours, it’s really sad when it gets to that point… Can’t we all just get along??!!!

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  15. Pat says:

    Oh my, Sherri. I don’t know where to begin to comment on this and the neighbors’ feud except to be a little contrary and add some food for thought. 😉 All of us have run into these things whether on the highways, grocery stores or in our backyards.

    Like your readers, I agree It’s not to say that it makes it right. We may even be the clematis killer on occasion. What’s to say we wouldn’t react the same way if we felt our rights had been violated? It goes without saying that we humans have our work cut out for us when it comes to the condition of the heart. No one escapes and everyone is responsible.

    Good post and always love the photos — so serene in contrast to the shadows. But, isn’t that the way life is? Happy Friday, my friend, and have a great weekend. Hugs. 🙂

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    • Sherri says:

      You are absolutely right Pat, and thank you for sharing your thoughts. There are always two sides to every story, that’s for sure! Whatever happened behind the scenes in this story, I find it so sad and troubling that people can’t communicate and work these kind of disputes out. I just don’t understand it when people are so unreasonable and petty. As you know, I shared my ‘neighbour from hell’ story last year, when we were terrorised by a paranoid, gun-toting,drug-taking, madman for two years when we lived in CA, causing to lose our home due to his threats. We lost all our rights and the law didn’t protect us then. A different story altogether of course, and I’m so grateful for our wonderful neighbours now 🙂
      I always appreciate your feedback and insight Pat, and I’m glad you enjoyed this post, hoping I was to bring some serenity alongside the shadows 🙂 It is good to retreat sometimes into shadow for reflection, so long as we make sure to return to the light and it’s wonderful blessings 🙂 Indeed, such is life! You have a great weekend too my friend, and hugs right back to you 🙂

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      • Pat says:

        I agree, Sherri. Whatever happens in disputes you would think we could learn to come to terms having more compassion and a spirit of reconciliation. Instead, it seems like it’s more acceptable these days to use force to solve our problems, like in your situation. I wonder where will it stop. We can’t give up trying, though.

        You’re always welcome on the feedback, Sherri, though I go off the deep end sometimes. The shadows are good to retreat to or just bring out more texture and definition. It’s all one big, crazy wonderful life. Take care, my friend, and enjoy your weekend. We’ll talk again soon. 🙂

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      • Sherri says:

        Thanks Pat…you’re a star ⭐ And you are right, we mustn’t give up trying, at least then we know we’ve done the best we can with what we’ve been given 🙂 Hope you had a great weekend and a good week ahead and talk soon my friend 🙂

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  16. Mumblypeg says:

    What a sad reflection on how catching hatred and discord is in this troubled world. But it was always thus. I think of Cain and Abel, I can never remember which one picked up a stout stick and killed his brother, right at the beginning of the story of mankind. Your photos are lovely and showed the shadows beautifully. Thankfully light pushes back darkness.
    Lovely post
    Love and hugs xxx M

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      It is very sad indeed…such are the ways of the human heart 😦 Thank you dear Mumbly, I’m glad you enjoyed the photos (C took the one of Maisy, I thought it was very artsy!). Yes, the light shines in the darkness, always 🙂 Love & hugs back to you ❤ xxxx

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  17. When you see disputes between neighbours such as this then you wonder what hope is there for the world. I’m with you Sherri we should talk. When we got the cocker spaniel we didn’t know how Zack our german shepherd would take to him coming onto his territory. The resuce place we got the cocker from said “they would meet us in the park (neutral territory) and we would go for a nice long walk together. They said that dogs that have walked together will be comfortable being on home territory together. We did that and not a moments scrapping occurred when we had both of them home. Perhaps we should all just go for a nice long walk. Lovely photos for shadowed Sherri. ❤

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    • Sherri says:

      Thank you Irene, I’m glad you enjoyed the photos 🙂 I never knew that about dogs and how important it is for them to meet first on neutral territory and then walk together. I will remember that, and how lovely that your two are so happy together 🙂 Those rescue people know their dogs! Shame they couldn’t have told those neighbours the same thing…I think you may have hit on the solution to our human condition my friend. Even more reason to go on those walks 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Ste J says:

    The world does seem full of horror stories, I am surprised anybody is good in this world as all the media seem to wish us to see is the bad. There really should be more happy news out there and everybody should take a deep breath and just try to enjoy themselves. I enjoyed your translation of shut your cake-hole, we are wonderfully polite even when trying not to be.

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    • Sherri says:

      Yes, it is hard sometimes to know that there is still some good left in the world. Sadly,I don’t know if too many know how to take a deep breath anymore…perhaps they need to go to the pub more often and learn to chill 🙂 Haha..so true…I just couldn’t bring myself to ‘swear’ on my blog, call me old-fashioned 😉

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  19. Lee J Dawson says:

    Such a shame that they should have argued over something of beauty. We Brits can be so territorial! We used to say ‘shut yer cake hole’ in Glasgow too. Another version was ‘ach away’n bile yer heid!’ 😀

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Haha…love that Lee! I’ll have to tell my Glaswegian neighbour that, he’ll love it! (Don’t worry, as a joke, he and his wife are the most wonderful neighbours 🙂 )

      Like

  20. TanGental says:

    twas ever thus: this from Wiki on Cider with Rosie, recounting Laurie Lee’s childhood in the 20s in deepest Gloucestershire
    Grannies in the Wainscot describes the two old women who were the Lees’ neighbours, Granny Trill and Granny Wallon, who were permanently at war with each other. Granny Wallon or ‘Er-Down-Under spends her days gathering the fruits of the surrounding countryside and turning them into wines that slowly ferment over a year in their bottles. Granny Trill or ‘Er-Up-Atop spends her days combing her hair and reading her almanacs. As a young girl she had lived with her father, a woodsman, and she still seeks comfort in the forest. The two old women arrange everything so that they never meet, shopping on different days, using different paths down the bank to their homes, and continuously rapping on their floors and ceilings. One day Granny Trill is taken ill and quickly fades away. She is soon followed by Granny Wallon, who loses her will to live.
    Human nature, sadly. Don’t think it will change though you recount your example with a similarly light touch to the Talented Mr Lee

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    • Sherri says:

      ‘She is soon followed by Granny Wallon, who loses her will to live.’ What a wonderfully rich story this is Geoff, thanks for sharing it with this huge Laurie Lee fan 🙂 Human we are, and still the very same heart-condition through the generations…and your last sentence…well…I really don’t know what to say…

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  21. cardamone5 says:

    I know you have had bad experiences with neighbors, but, a clematis? Didn’t they realize how long it takes those suckers to become the stuff of gardening farm covers, esp. combined with climbing roses? Oh, how I love clematis/ What’s not to love? How hard would it have been to precede cations with communication, preferably not of the cake hole variety? My last neighbor was like this. Nothing I did was ever right. In fact, he seemed most contented when griping to other neighbors about my audacity of cutting down trees that he used to complain filled up his gutters, but now flooded his yard with sunshine or cutting back bushes between the fronts of our homes after returning from a vacation that he had cut the middle one down to the ground. I spoke to him before proceeding, but he conveniently forgot that conversation. I used to get mad, and then, I just felt sorry for him. What a sad life to nit pick over such small grievances. Life is so rich and fast. Let’s focus on moments of grace, faith and uplifting support and love from friends and family, of which I consider you one. Thank you, dear friend, for reminding me of the important things.

    Love,
    E

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Dear Elizabeth, yes, you remember well my neighbour madman…but yes, this is what struck me about the story I shared in this post, how utterly petty and unreasonable people can be. What happens to some people to cause them to become so hard and miserable and mean? I am so sorry to learn of all your neighbour put you through, but you have taken the higher road and chosen to live your life with grace and peace, even if he hasn’t. It is so good to be reminded of the good things in life, of all our blessings and the gifts we are indeed given through family and friends. I am honoured to stand by your side dear friend, as you do mine. So it is me who is thanking you and sending my love and a huge hug 🙂

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  22. simplyilka says:

    Hi Sherri!

    All these neighborhood fights irritate me too. Even if a court decides about an issue these people still have to live next to each other. How can they do this without with all this anger in them? Can it be healthy if you get up in the morning feeling sick because you have to see your neighbor?

    It is a problem that people get angry and act on it right away. And they act without getting the whole picture. And like you said taking might have changed it all. This goes for neighborhood as well as global problems. After all., people are the same wherever they are.

    Good to have hiding places where we can get our energy, peace and perspective back 🙂

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    • Sherri says:

      Thank you dear Ilka, and you are absolutely right. Not much hope for the world is there if we can’t even sort out our differences over a clematis growing over a shared fence? As you say, even by going to court, nobody is the winner. Life is far too short to be bitter and mean like this, but so many these days don’t seem to get that…
      It would be so good just to be thankful for our many blessings…and yes, retreat to those hiding places when we need to so that we can once again move back into the light and sing 🙂

      Like

  23. Yolanda M. says:

    Ah neighbours. Where to begin Sherri. Sadly I know of too many people who as they have aged have allowed their hearts to harden (not saying the younger generations aren’t callous and narrow-minded) but in reference to the above story you mention, I believe that particular couple had a few resentments ‘festering’ that probably had nothing to do with the beautiful clematis…Over the years we have been asked to removed ‘parts’ of trees and shrubs because it was somehow ‘polluting or spoiling their property’. Sad. What we have learned is to keep an open line of communication going with all our neighbours. It takes some effort and a lot of compromise to keep people happy.

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    • Sherri says:

      Ahh…where to begin indeed? You are so right Yolanda I do believe that there must be a long list of seething resentments building up to the destruction of the clematis. And of course, there are always two sides to every story. I’m so glad you have been able to work out those issues with your neighbours in a reasonable and mature way…but then I would expect nothing less from you as such a lovely, thoughtful and decent person. I don’t understand why more people can’t be like this, the world would be a much happier place 🙂 Perhaps it is because of all the effort it takes that some just can’t be bothered :/ Then of course there are the madmen neighbours like the one we had in CA…but that’s a whole other story…

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Those horrid neighbours must have had very hard hearts and no eye for beauty. We had a similar thing happen twice with miserable neighbours in Johannesburg. The first one completely destroyed a beautiful creeper which covered an ugly wall between our two properties. We arrived home one Saturday afternoon to find the creeper which had just started flowering, lying in tatters, and their ugly wash line exposed to view from our bedroom and pool area. At our next house, the neighbour over the back from us, instructed her gardener to pull out all the ivy which covered their unsightly concrete wall. He threw it all over into our garden, and when we complained, she just swore at us. When we looked over the wall to see what plants it might have been interfering with, all we saw was bare earth. There were no plants except for a huge avocado tree. They never harvested the avos, but just let them drop and rot on the ground. I think they were just being spiteful because we had a lovely garden. Fortunately they moved not long after. I love your photo of Maisy. She really does look like she’s dreaming up some mischief. 🙂 xx

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      I know Sylvia, I feel just the same way. I would love to have a beautiful clematis flowing and flourishing over my fence! We have honeysuckle and jasmine that in the summer overflows our neighbours fence and they are always telling us how much they love it but of course if they ever wanted us to cut it back a little on their side, well, no problem 🙂 Oh I am so sorry for your horrible neighbour experiences, I just don’t understand that kind of behaviour and never will. Don’t they get that these plants serve a beautiful purpose, hiding ugly walls and bare gardens – not to mention ugly washing lines? That must have been awful to arrive back home and witness that, I can imagine how upset you would have been. And just leaving those avocados to rot? Goodness, I would be in heaven if I had an avocado tree growing my garden – but then that’s never going to happen in England, ha 😉 So glad those days are behind you, hope you have wonderful neighbours when you move! Haha..thanks Sylvia, yes, my daughter took that photo of Maisy, quite artsy I thought! She looks quite sinister actually 🙂 xx

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Mahesh Nair says:

    It’s sad, really. These neighbors must have had other issues bothering them, and clematis apparently became their ‘the’ point, taking the fight to court. Court? Imagine how much they hate each other.

    Yes, neighbor conflicts don’t seem to leave you alone 🙂

    “What longings fill our hearts…” sentence is superb!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      I think you are right Mahesh…talk about seething resentments and hatred. I feel sick at just the thought of neighbours like that..and yes, you do indeed know all about my neighbour conflicts, but at least when I read articles like this I can be so thankful for our wonderful neighbours now 🙂
      Thank you so much my friend…wow!

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Mabel Kwong says:

    That is a horrible piece of news to hear. I would be horrified if someone said something that rude along the lines of that in my face. The least they can do is have a short face-to-face conversation with one another and maybe work things out from there.

    I think most of the time we think we are right; we want out own selfish way and believe the world revolves around us. So not true. On a positive note, lovely photos, Sherri 🙂

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      It is just horrible isn’t it? So sad that they can’t just talk it through. How do things get this bad between neighbours? Ahh…thanks Mabel, I’m so glad you enjoyed the photos…it’s always interesting to see what the photo challenge stirs up isn’t it 🙂

      Like

      • Mabel Kwong says:

        I don’t know how things get bad between neighbours…probably along the way someone did something to tick the other off – like turning up the music loud one night :/ I don’t talk to my neighbours much, never did, but I like to think they are very nice people 🙂

        Have a good week, Sherri! ❤

        Like

      • Sherri says:

        Yes, I can relate to that. When our awful neighbour in California played his music way too loud and we asked him to turn it down, he turned on us with a whole world of abuse. But that’s all in the past, thank goodness :/
        Thanks Mabel, you have a good week too and I’ll catch up with you soon 🙂 ❤

        Like

  27. Sunni Morris says:

    Sherri,

    I love the pictures you post. There’s so much history in Europe and grand old ruins and architecture.

    Sunni

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Hi Sunni, lovely to hear from you and thank you so much. The history here is wonderful, I love old ruins 🙂 I hope all is well with you and your beautiful cats…

      Like

  28. Rachel M says:

    That is sad. I wonder why they didn’t like the clematis? They’re beautiful. I’ve just planted one next to our fence 😉

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      I know Rachel, I just don’t understand it either. Oh good, I hope yours thrives! I planted one a couple of years ago but it died, so trying again this year. I hope it grows and grows 🙂

      Like

  29. I had to laugh at how displeased your cat looks in that photo! But I appreciate this goes against the sombre message in this post. I hear all you are saying, dear Sherri P. Indeed it is baffling how so many of us can allow contempt and selfishness to reside in our hearts. Though, I believe, by being kind and selfless to those people, it opens the door of compassion before their eyes – many of which may not even have known was there – and so it is later their decision as to whether they will walk through it or not. And we can only pray they do so.

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    • Sherri says:

      Haha…yes, Maisy looks quite sinister actually I think! Like she is plotting some kind of dastardly deed, ha! And yes, you are so right Jenny Jen Jen, it starts with us and our hearts and our kindness and compassion towards others. It is tragic that some people grow so hard and bitter and blow up over something so apparently trivial as a clematis growing over a fence, yet there must be so much more going on inside their hardened hearts. Prayer is a great place to start 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  30. That really is beautiful. Hugs.

    Like

  31. Loved the photos of the peaceful places. EVERYTHING has a shadow side. It’s the only way life exists. It does break the heart a bit to see neighbors doing mean things to each other or even family. I see it all the time. And we wonder why the world can’t find peace. I’ve decided the only peace I will see out there is what I feel inside and project.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Hello Marlene! I’m glad you enjoyed the photos, thank you 🙂 You have it right my friend, it comes right back to taking personal responsibility for the way we live our lives as decent citizens. Which certainly does not include yelling at our neighbours telling them to shut their cake-holes o_O

      Like

  32. Waring neighbours are a complete nightmare, not just for themselves but those that live the other side of them as well. When I lived in London, I hardly saw the neighbours as everyone was far too busy rushing around or away at the weekends to get out of the city. Even when I lived in a small block of flats in London I rarely saw the neighbours, but I much rather have that than have a neighbour that wants to be at war with me.

    I can only think that a neighbour will go to war when they have nothing else better to do. I always view these people as negative, and the negativity they generate makes them want to argue and be at war with everybody. They are the ones that give society a bad name and make living in that street or that block of flats a complete nightmare for everyone else.

    Fortunately, where I now live, neighbours do speak to each other, but not in the way it was like back in the 1970’s when I was growing up and everybody got on well and had get togethers to celebrate events like Bonfire Night, The Silver Jubilee or a Wedding. I think those days are long gone now, Sherri, other than maybe in very small villages or communities.

    I remember using “shut your cake-hole” when I was growing up, but never used it since then. Back then it was used as a friendly way to say “shut up”.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Oh Hugh, I agree, it really does seem to be the way of the world now. Still, as you say, much better to live in peace even if that means not knowing our neighbours. Having horrible, mean and petty people living next door is an absolute nightmare. We had an awful experience with a madman in California which made me wary for years after we moved away, even the slightest sounds from the neighbours made me nervous. That was a long time ago and thankfully we have lovely neighbours now so I like to put that all behind me. Ha, yes, it was definitely a saying from those younger days, something we probably yelled out on the playground to insult someone. I was a bit naughty in my explanation but couldn’t resist 😉

      Like

  33. Charli Mills says:

    I learned a new phrase, just used it on my husband, too and he laughed! Makes me want to eat cake, oddly enough. Guess I don’t have the right verve for this phrase. A sad tale, but I adore you thoughtful questions and beautiful photos at the end of your post. Lovely! I’m off to make cake now for my cake hole to enjoy! 😀

    Like

  34. Tom Merriman says:

    What are people like, Sherri? Talking always seems to take place too late. And actions based on resentment seem to be a priority. Sigh.
    Maisy’s cute, by the way!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      What are they like indeed Tom? Honestly, it really is pathetic but also very, very sad isn’t it? Ahh…thank you, I’ll be sure to send your lovely compliment on to Maisy 🙂

      Like

  35. Gorgeous pics Sherri, I love the one of the houses above the sea, I can just see myself living there – although a little precarious I think in these times. Such a shame about the clematis, after all those years, she must have been devastated. We’ve had a few problems with neighbours (as I know you have) and I think we do get particularly upset by those because they’re impinging on the place that’s our haven. I’ve often felt trapped by bad neighbours – not wanting to live with them, but worrying that we wouldn’t be able to sell up because of them. I did consider a spell – not, I hasten to add, a curse – just something to gently move them on, but fortunately things have calmed down now. Given the response of that particular neighbour in your story, I wouldn’t blame clematis lady from plotting in the dark! I love that last line – pure poetry.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thank you Andrea! Yes, what a wonderful place to live, me too 🙂 As you say though, must be pretty treacherous when the weather is particularly bad…
      Oh I’m so sorry to hear of your problem neighbours but relieved to know that things have calmed down. I wish I could have put a spell on our madman neighbour o_O Feeling trapped by them is just horrible because you can’t even feel at peace in your own home which is awful. Ha, yes, I’m sure she’s done her fair share of plotting 😉 Ahh…thanks so much…

      Like

  36. restlessjo says:

    You’ve squeezed a few minutes to blog, Sherri! Hope you’ve had a good (and troublefree) weekend too 🙂 I love that last shot of the Cobb!
    Neighbours? Some of them I can take or leave but it would never occur to me to attack their clematis. Ask for a cutting, just maybe… 🙂

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      I did Jo, I did indeed 🙂 And now I’m squeezing in catching up on Monday evening while cooking dinner and trying to get over to you which I will asap! It was a good weekend thanks (and yes, trouble free, yay!) hope for you too. Got lots of jobs in the garden done, cutting back trees and roses and hedges and all the while my little robin was observing which was lovely 🙂 Haha…yes, I mean, come on…but I wouldn’t even dare ask for a cutting from that miserable woman 😦
      Ahh…glad you like it, thank you Jo, it’s a lovely spot out there at Lyme Regis. Haven’t forgotten the walk…

      Liked by 1 person

  37. So sad but happens every day and in every era. My grandmother wouldn’t speak to her neighbor Mr Jacobs over some darn fool thing for some 20 years or so. I think at nearly 90 years old they made peace with one another. Of course you know more about bad neighbors than most! Loved the photos and the shadows they depicted. Of course I especially loved the one of Maisy! Shiloh sends Auntie Sherri as do I my friend.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Ahh..so sad isn’t it? We know about awful neighbours don’t we my friend :/ Ha, well, wow, what a story about your grandmother, maybe there’s hope for these people yet then…perhaps they’ll mellow in their 90s 😉 I’m so glad you enjoyed the photos. C took that photo of Maisy, rather artsy I thought! And yes, give Shiloh lots of love from Auntie Sherri and of course to his mummy too 🙂 ❤ xoxo

      Like

  38. Marie Keates says:

    Sadly there are a lot of warring neighbours. On one side ours are not the best but, in general, we tend to try to ignore them and their loud explosive rows and co start building work. There was a day when they began to knock holes in our garden wall and I complained but that was as far as it went. Lovely photos.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Oh dear…hope they stopped making those holes. Honestly, I can’t believe some people. No more troubles I hope? Thank you Marie, glad you liked the pics 🙂 I’ll catch up with you shortly…

      Liked by 1 person

  39. Letizia says:

    I can’t believe the neighbors couldn’t just talk about the clematis first. I’m sure the first one would have been happy to carefully prune it a little bit, goodness.

    Maisy is just adorable. She looks so sneaky in that photo. How old is she?

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      On I know, it is quite pathetic and actually so very sad for people to behave this way.
      Ahh…thank you Letizia! Yes, Maisy looks very mischievous doesn’t she, quite sinister actually, haha! Maisy is 12, we’ve had her since a kitten for my daughter, when she was 10. She wanted a grey and white kitten and we found her at the cat shelter near where we lived in California. I brought her back with us to the UK under the Pet Passport Scheme in 2003. She still meows with a faint American accent 😉

      Like

  40. Fence fighting is unfortunately too common…
    Lovely photos and sentiment, Sherri.

    Like

  41. I hope that first sentence isn’t rhetorical because I wan to say, “Yes. The world has for certain gone mad.” And by “the world” of course I mean the humans (who are the worst house guests one could imagine). I also want to say how lovely the photos are. And that this post is serious but you had me cracking up in the middle with your: “That’s British for, ‘Shut the f*** up.”

    As for neighbors…you know how I feel about that.
    https://sarahbrentyn.wordpress.com/2014/11/09/its-a-beautiful-day-in-the-neighborhood/

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Ha – yes, that is just what I meant, us humans. The world would be a great place if it wasn’t for us, ‘the worst house guests one could imagine’. You put it so well. Ahh, thank you Sarah, I’m happy you enjoyed the pics…and yes, I’m glad you laughed at that, I like to think I brought some humour into such an utterly absurd story 😉 Coming over to read now…

      Like

  42. Shut y’ cake-hole, Estuary English chavette speak! These charming Anglo-Saxons aren’t known for their love of nature — only fluffy pink cushions in their bedrooms and dices dangling from the driving mirrors of their cars. …Just couldn’t resist a bit of stereotyping here.
    But seriously now, I think there is a big problem in the UK with people becoming very self-centred and lacking in basis manners and consideration for others. That being said, years back, I returned from holiday to find my normally civilised neighbour had cut all the fir trees down along our boundary during the birds’ nesting season.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Haha! Oh Sarah, you’ve made me laugh out loud with this!! The image going through my head right now, you can imagine… 😀
      Yes, why are we so self-centered now? When standing in a queue for instance, say at the Post Office, I hear people talking and you know, neither one of them is listening to the other, all they want to talk about is themselves. Quite worrying.
      Oh Sarah, that’s just awful about your neighbour, you must have been devestated, I know I would be. How on earth did you handle that? This wasn’t the same neighbour who lobbed huge fireworks over to the other neighbour by any chance?

      Liked by 1 person

      • No, that was another neighbour. How did I handle the ripping up of the trees? Hah, I was much more hormonal and volatile those days. My neighbour was about about 6′ 8″ tall, but that didn’t stop me giving him the benefit of my wrath with a few equivalents of “shut y’ cakehole” thrown in. These days, I’d be more likely to smile sweetly, talk reasonably, and leave the offender wondering if I’m full of forgiveness or am putting a curse on them!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Sherri says:

          Haha…oh that’s just brilliant Sarah!! I wondered if the changes in the way I react to things these days was due to me just becoming immune to life’s, how-shall-we-say, challenges, but I am thinking that perhaps hormones (or lack of them, ha!) have an impact 😉 I can just imagine you though, facing off on that giant…oh, you do remind of me 🙂 xx

          Liked by 1 person

  43. Such a powerful post, Sherri. Sad but so real, and a problem on so many levels. And with all the true misery and pain in the world, this example reminds us of how much hurt and violence begins on a personal level. It almost makes you feel despair about the larger picture, doesn’t it? How can we resolve the true issues if neighbors do this kind of thing to each other?

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Yes, you are right Marylin, it is so, so sad. Tragic actually. I just couldn’t believe it when I read this article but then, I shouldn’t have been surprised…it happens more and more it seems. Something’s gotta give…

      Like

  44. Les says:

    Those neighbors fighting about a flower is just plain stupid! However, I did like your Image of that Castle? I enjoy snooping about in History, as you might gather in my Blog. Wish I could walk around that place and see what’s there from what used to be.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      It is absolutely ridiculous isn’t it? Such a sad way to live life…
      I’m glad you enjoyed the photo of the old Priory. It used to be an Abbey, and a very large one, goes back centuries. I hope to do a longer post about it shortly which you might be interested in, as a history buff 🙂 I shall enjoy coming over to your blog and taking a sneak peak! Many thanks Les 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  45. Shame on that neighbor who was selfish and rude. These are the very neighbors that gives bad image to what neighbors truly mean. A neighbor used to mean someone who is kind and reliable. Someone that you can count on for help when problem arise. I notice now though that other than a nod or waving of the hand, so many neighbors don’t bother to talk to each or care enough to say, Hi. I feel bad for the woman who lost her tree plus treated with so much disrespect but I also feel sad for the angry, rude neighbor because in reality, these are the kind of people with bitterness and unhappiness in their hearts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      So, so true, all of what you share my friend. What a tragic indictment on our society if ‘normal’ people like this can’t even be civil to one another and treat one another with respect. I’ll never understand it. It is sad that neighbourhoods are not the friendly ones they used to be…world over it seems…

      Like

  46. reocochran says:

    The world is going mad on so many different levels. It is sad when neighbors cannot get along, after all I feel that the countries we live in are supposed to be ‘civilized.’ I excuse a lot of things in the tropical forests or the societies removed by distance from civilization, but this is sad about the plants. (Beth’s example of trees and yours of a clematis flowering plant that someone planted to memorialize a family member…)

    Like

  47. yprior1 says:

    Well thanks for the term “shut your cake hole” -ha!
    and I agree with your point about neighbors and how peace should be the ultimate goal – where all parties remember that social unity requires sacrifice on both sides and maybe requires one side to even give a whole bunch more if needed. I think so many disputes are related to selfishness – even tho all neighbors have equal rights – it just takes a higher level of living – which you indicate – and crazy that this went to court! sad too – and I watch the show called Judge Judy and she has heard a few cases about one neighbor cutting something back – cos it crossed the property lines – and well, people really should sometimes just MOVE! ha!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      My daughter and I LOVE Judge Judy!! So I am smiling now, as yes, I can just imagine her reaction to something like this! Ha…wonder how she would have responded in hearing someone in her court telling her neighbour to ‘shut your cake-hole!!’ Would love to see that, can you imagine? Yes, you know, you really hit the proverbial nail on the head here Y, it really does come down to taking the higher road in life so many times and I do worry at how darn selfish people seem to have become…although, I suppose, nothing much has changed. We don’t seem to learn do we? Well, I am mortified to see you left this comment 5 days ago and I am only just replying which shows me how much this laptop stuff has set me back. Thanks for such a great comment though…always love to hear your thoughts 🙂 ❤ 🙂

      Like

  48. A tale of callousness; hard to believe people would do such a thing. But then again, sadly, maybe not … Just having looked at your post again, I see both sets of neighbours were in their eighties. Not to suggest that all elderly have such issues, I do wonder if some degree of dementia was involved on the part of the clematis haters? A sad story all round: why can’t people just get along? Or at least ignore each other if they can’t do that?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Good point Marlene, very good point. Does make me wonder too, about possible dementia. You would think that people would learn not to let such issues get so out of control wouldn’t you? Despite going to Court, they still have to live next door to one another…

      Like

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