Saturday, January 06, 2007

Die, shonky tradesmen, die! - Lawn and garden maintenance (Part 2)

Written 5th January 2007:

So, the last time I left you I was ready to do this (and much use it would have been, but at least my passive-aggressive soul would have been satisfied):

I finally heard from Mum this afternoon. She said she arrived at the block with her menacing posse (my words :), and the guy had already done a third of the block with his mower. She asked him to stop work, and gave him $50 for his trouble (which he solicited and was very happy to get). She felt sorry for him and gave him a cold bottle of lemonade that she had in the car, which also made him very happy.

According my mother, who has the softest heart on the planet, bless her, he was a very nice man, and he said that the garden maintenance was just a side-business. His main job was fixing computers.

Let me tell you, my job is to maintain computers, and I'm thinking that instead of wasting those four years at Uni, I should have just bought myself a chainsaw and a strimmer. I could have a mansion in Peppermint Grove by now, with a boathouse and a small yacht. And a bronzed poolboy called Umpopo.

So, this guy, who at first quoted $450 to only clear the grass, managed to cut more than a third of it in the time it took my parents to drive to the block (20 minutes), and was happy to take $50 for the work he'd done (even though it wasn't authorised). Is anyone seeing the disparity in the mathematics here?!? Or is it just me?

To add insult to injury (perhaps we have been naughty and karma decided it was time for some payback), while Mum was out there, the lady from next door came over and demanded our address so she could send us a bill for half of the dividing fence. Luckily Mum was not intimidated and told her she'd have to speak to her daughter (thanks Mammy!).

The woman kept saying that the neighbour on the other side of the fence had paid up, and she had got a very good price on the fence (when asked what this "good price" was, she said she "couldn't tell"). She also kept mentioning that her husband was Australian and that they were property agents (well, big whoopee for you, ma'am!)

I researched the Dividing Fence Act of 1961, and the dividing fence needs to be agreed on before construction by both neighbours, and if not, they should have sent us a Notice To Fence in the mail. Regardless, we do not have to contribute to the cost of the fence (and the Act says "contribute" and not "pay half") until we complete a building or substantial structure on the land. (I'm not sure if a giant Wicker Man passes for a "substantial structure", but I really hope so :) If the aforementioned "lady" crosses my path tomorrow when we go to clear the land, I am going to throw the full Act at her. Perhaps I should etch it into a concrete slab first.

Written 6th January 2007:

Just got back from four hours of clearing the block, a concerted family effort with MFC and another family fried helping as well. I got bitten by red ants but managed to kill them before they crawled up to my bajingo, came home, scrubbed myself clean, had a small nap, and woke up feeling like ten kinds of crap. But it's all done!

Apparently before we got there the lady (perhaps too generous a term) next door was leaving in her car, and she said again to Mum, "You have to pay half of the fence, you know!" "How much was it?" asked Mum. "Oh, I've forgotten!" Gleesh. I hate bullies.

I hate bullies who pick on my family even more. Passive-aggressive Angie becomes Cold-Frosty-Claw-Your-Eyes-Out-Angie then.

Anyway, all's well that ends well, and maybe I'll get to build my Wicker Man and have a human sacrifice in it too* :p

* Disclaimer to anyone without a sense of humour: Of course I am not going to set fire to a huge Wicker Man on the family plot, idiots.


Juliness said...

When you get a chance, can you have Umpopo bring the Wicker Man over here?

an9ie said...

No probs! What's a bronzed poolboy between friends? :) I'm sure Umpopo would be pleased with the timeshare arrangement, as soon as it gets cold in the Southern hemisphere, up North he will go!