When Your Neighbour Surveils You Without Permission.


So I have a MEAN, probably dangerous, neighbour. I felt compelled to write a blog entry months ago about her pettiness but refrained from doing so since I thought it would be bad taste. Now that I have just discovered that she has installed a camera in a communal area, to spy on her neighbours, without the consent of everyone living here I can no longer be silent. I’m mortified that I discovered this camera. It should be possible for me to take a stroll inside the house in communal areas without being watched by the “mad lady in the attic” who lives here part-time. Good grief…here is my old entry that I had decided to keep unpublished:

Originally written in October, 2016.

“It must be hell, if you truly want to own an estate and have it all to yourself, but cannot afford it.

Yes, it must suck to be my neighbour, who owns several apartments around the world and behaves as if thought she owns this particular estate with an absolute disregard for the fact that this manor house has been divided up into several apartments. 

When I first moved in here, as my mother’s new husband owns one of the apartments, I thought that “Eva Peron” was a very nice lady. She was obviously very contact seeking, as she would appear out of nowhere to constantly start a conversation and hijack whomever she could in the family, especially me.

She spent a great deal of time complaining about all of the neighbours, complaining about how nobody really cared about the property, how everyone was useless, difficult, weird, etc;

I guess it should have been a sign of her “delirium,” when she took offence to one of the neighbours, parking his RV on the estate’s designated parking lot, as she felt that this was “right in front of her window,” even thought her window isn’t even remotely close to the parking. The RV was hardly visible behind all the trees as well. 

Now this “lady” has been living here for very many years, and has placed some  furniture around the common areas, which are rooms that are available to all. All of this furniture, that was standing here for years, has now been gradually removed to prevent us as a family enjoying  any of the communal areas. She even took away some of the garden furniture when she saw us enjoying family meals outside. Everything to prevent us from actually using the house and living here like a normal family/residents. Her latest stunt has been to turn off the general heating even though it is winter and verbally trying to prevent us from using the common rooms. I would also like to add that she herself kept the general heating on 24/7 during the winter months last year, as she had had some water problems and was trying to dry up her apartment. This year though she decided to turn all heating off, despite the fact that all residents pay service charges monthly. We are some of the very few residents who live here full-time, which means that we notice the extent of her malicious ways. The rest of the residents tend to keep an apartment here just to have somewhere nice in the countryside to retreat to and therefore have no interest in hearing about anything upsetting while they are here. Even if property funds are being miss-managed…..

At the beginning of my stay here, I gave my neighbour the benefit of the doubt. Meanwhile my stepfather and mother were growing increasingly annoyed with this woman, due to the fact that they were painfully aware of all the pettiness that was unfolding behind the scenes as this place is run by directors. Meaning that if you are an owner you can be one of the directors that together are meant to manage the property. Which pretty much means that you manage the service charge money and that you are supposed to do what the owners wants you to do. Yet “Peron” obviously thinks that she runs the whole estate on her own, with her husband, and it most be traumatizing for her that she needs other people’s service charge money to maintain this lifestyle. As my stepfather was one of the directors before he resigned, he saw all the insulting emails that were being sent back and forth. At this property you are “ruled” by a dictator couple, who takes your service charge money. The property has never been audited. 

If you rent here, you are treated as a second-grade resident. There was a young couple who recently moved out from here, as they couldn’t be bothered to pay expensive service charges, only to be treated like shit. Mind you that this is an estate with a park attached to it. The young couple though, were not allowed by the “directors” (Peron) to host a picnic here for their own family among other things.

When we moved here we instantly started using the park, as nobody else was. The park is huge and stands empty and un-used most of the time, which isn’t that surprising as the average age of the people living here must be 70+. We went out in the garden playing ball games, exercising etc; and started rowing on the lake, using a small boat that apparently belonged to the property. Behind the scenes all hell broke loose, with people suggesting that it should be illegal to bring instruments out in the garden ( I shot 2 music videos here), that it should be illegal to jog in the garden ( I’m the only one jogging on the property) and that it shouldn’t be legal for kids to play in the garden ( my siblings are the only kids here). All sorts of written signs were all of a sudden being put up in the lobby area, like “don’t let kids play in the park unattended” and the cherry on the pie was when “Eva Peron” summoned a “health and safety” inspector to come and asses the property. You see, us using the lake was horrendously controversial and a total no-no. I would also like to add that there is nowhere on the property where I’m allowed to rehearse either. For the first time in my life I’ve had to get hold of a rehearsal space, when I live on a largely uninhabited estate…

It became increasingly obvious to us during the year that “Peron,” doesn’t want anyone to use the property, apparently there should be a gardening team making the garden look pristine and ready to use, but it is all just for show. I was laughing at the banality but got totally furious too when this “lady” that used to listen at our door (literally) all of a sudden had locked up the garden toilet. I was sitting outside, reading the whole day, enjoying the wonderful weather, and thought to myself: “hey I don’t need to go in yet I can just use the toilet out here,” only to find it padlocked all of a sudden. I got furious beyond furious, since this “Lady,” had just put up signs and ropes everywhere, sending out an official note to all, commanding everyone to abstain from using the bridge on the property, when she herself still used it.

So she can use property funds, without asking for permission, she can do things to the property without permission, even if it damages the property, she can seal off things that are for everybody on this estate without asking, and that is apparently ok.

She has a reputation for being two-faced and she truly is taking things to a whole new level. She pretends to be nice to you, talk shit behind your back trying to put wedges up between those who live here and then run around doing whatever she likes, behaving as if thought she owns the whole property. Since her only hobby is to make other people upset there can be little doubt that she is genuinely mean and a miserable person.

After all the years that she has lived her, the garden toilet has never been padlocked, there has been furniture in the hall that has been there for years, and the suggestions about making it illegal to actually be active in the garden, is outrageous. 

All of this pails of course, to what “Peron” did both before and during my mother’s wedding, who naturally wanted to host her wedding in these beautiful surroundings. She did her best to sabotage the whole celebration, but this is a story on its own entirely and would probably best be told by the bride herself. This wonderful property, come with a free of charge, mad woman in the attic, who will do everything to chase you away, if she can’t walk all over you and boss you around, like you are a “pleb.” Keep in mind that her husband is the chairman of the directors, and that she and her husband have never been audited when it comes to how they manage the service charge money. Keep in mind that they’ve turned off the general hot water and heating, the last 4 years and that the service charges are more expensive than ever and more expensive than on other apartment-estates that have pools and tennis courts, amenities which we don’t have.

Yet no one really dares to stand up to “Franco” and “Peron,” as they start shouting at anyone who questions them. This intimidation tactic work, as people either resign from the board of directors, try to sell or move. “Eva Peron” has such poor manners and is so evil that she managed to un-invite herself from my mother’s wedding.

I could go on and on about the banality of the behaviour here. It is so petty , that it is unbelievable. I’ve come to the conclusion that the majority of the people who live here suffer from a terrible syndrome: the Lord and Lady of the manor syndrome. You start suffering form this chronic illness when you wish you could be the king of the castle, but sadly can’t afford it. The grand prize of shitty behaviour goes of course to the one and  only: “Eva Peron” who only seem to have one purpose in life:  to make life difficult for everyone else.  She has an enormous need to constantly make a point somehow, of how she apparently is the boss. She surveils those who live here to, which is obvious when you talk to her, she knows everything about what is going on, even what is being said inside your apartment, when she isn’t present. I don’t know if she is listening at the doors, or using the extra keys to people’s apartments to go in and sneak around, but she knows everything and harass everyone  in one way or the other.

Even going through other people’s mail, according to rumours-which is illegal.

“Eva Peron” also asked if we could use the back entrance when she was out in the garden, as she obviously took great offence by just seeing us. 

Me jogging on the property is apparently a major offence. Not that anybody else bothers to use the park for exercising. In fact its such a horrid crime that a fence was put up right in my path, the official excuse was that a hedge apparently is going to be planted there, but why put up a fence with no hedge and also, “Peron” cannot use property funds just because she feels like it. So the fence is still standing there, with no hedge, another excuse was that the fence was going to protect the roses from geese eating them. But the geese walked around and hung out there all the time. The next step, was of course to seal off “Peron’s” extremely valuable field. Not that it is, it’s microscopic, it features a garage and is connected to the garden as it must have belonged to the property once. This field takes you straight to the village and is very convenient as you don’t have to walk around the whole property on a road, that isn’t exactly pedestrian friendly.

In the beginning, there was no padlock at all and sometimes I would jog across the field. Then she introduced a padlock whenever she wasn’t home and during the “email war” that was ensuing among the directors, she all of a sudden determined to put up a “no trespassers sign.” This happened at the same time as the fence was coming up, without authorization, right in my jogging path. I confronted her, not in an aggressive way, but in a puzzled way, as we at this point were on speaking terms. I wondered what on earth the purpose was of the trespassers sign when I was the only person jogging thru her field. I wasn’t doing anything on her property, I was just passing thru and nobody had at that point told me that I couldn’t do it. At first when I approached her she was full of attitude, but after I asked her ” do you have a trespassers problem? I’ve never seen anyone there, I’m the only one I know running thru there.” At this “Peron” looked slightly embarrassed and confessed that, no, I could use it, that was ok, when it came to all these other trespassers, she didn’t seem to have an answer. The man who was going to put up this sign, all of a sudden aborted his mission and the sign was not put up. I guess after a little while it dawned upon me that the sign was intended for me. It couldn’t be intended for anyone else, when she’s lived here for 25+ years without ever putting one up. Jesus, how ridiculous I thought to myself and never crossed her field again.

Or that was until my Dragon was dying and I had to get home quickly. I ran as fast as I could and jumped into “Peron’s” field, after not having done so for months. Everything was alright until I came down to the gate leading to the property. The trespassers sign was up, facing the property, and considering that our property is strictly private, it can only be intended for one person. The gate had now been extended and replaced so that it was impossible to jump over it, unless you wanted to land in a jungle of stinging nettles. As I was in a hurry I jumped into the stingy bushes, laughing to myself about the lunacy of “Peron.”

If that’s how things are gonna be, I reckon we should put up a wall, to separate her field and the garden completely, why on earth should she have access to her field from the shared property, when she behaves the way she does?

It is obvious that this estate is all about one thing, “Peron” and “Franco” running it all without ever being questioned, hiring people who they know and that can pretty much be considered “their people,” intimidating those who question their actions, shouting and insulting people if it is necessary. Spreading false rumours about their neighbours, resorting to a divide and conquer mentality. They should have rock-star treatment and have privileges, everyone else is a simple peasant, simple peasants that they sadly need, as they wouldn’t be able to afford an estate on their own.

It must be hard for them.”

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