Yesterday, our neighbour-on-the-left (Nol for future reference), had her lawyer turn up on our property with the police in tow.  The lawyer arrived bearing notice of an Urgent Interdict to be heard in court this morning, while the police threatened to arrest Nigel, our site manager, and to take him off to jail right there and then. (Quite what influence this lawyer has on the police is something of a mystery.  It’s not as if a charge has ever been laid against Nigel and I’m not sure if they had an actual warrant on them or not.  It’s fascinating.  It can be difficult to get the police out even in an emergency so to have them come out on a spurious charge of trespassing – which he was not doing – must take some persuasion.) Although I know I have mentioned problems with Nol in earlier posts, I have tried to stay away from the topic as much as possible on this blog.  That is not to say there haven’t been ongoing niggles and complaints along the way.  There have.  Many of them. But for the most part I have continued to believe that a calm, measured and co-operative response would win through in the end.  It has in the past, in all other aspects of our lives.  But it’s not working this time. My first draft of this post, written  last night, ran into pages and pages as I tried to document all the stages and correspondence that led up to yesterday’s denouement but it became a cumbersome – and boring – piece of writing. Suffice it to say that from inception this neighbour has been difficult about the boundary wall separating her property from ours.  It’s a horrible wall, made up of different sections of brickwork and precast panels.  It wanders down the slope weaving from her side of the boundary to ours and parts of it, being pushed over by trees towards our side, look as though they could collapse at any minute. Way back, we offered to build a completely new wall, entirely at our cost, down the full length of the property following the correct building line. It would have been plastered on both sides and topped with electric fencing – she has huge security concerns – and she could have painted her side any colour she liked.  This was rejected out of hand.  Then there was a period in the middle of the year when it seemed it might be allowed, but when the reality dawned that the shabby precast wall would have to come down and that some of the privet and syringa trees  (both regarded as alien invaders in this country) would have to go or be drastically trimmed, there was another Nol wobble. With the Builders’ Holidays being almost upon us, it has become more urgent to resolve the issue, especially with regard to the precast walling.  All attempts to communicate have been rebuffed and we’ve been told to talk only to her lawyer.  This has been a very new experience for us, not being litigious by nature. Attempts to contact the lawyer last week were unsuccessful and eventually, with another deadline passed, work on dismantling the precast wall started yesterday.  It is worth mentioning that this stretch of wall is entirely on our property and topped by electric fencing installed by us in an effort to placate our neighbour’s security fears when we first started building.  So ‘trespassing’ doesn’t come into the picture. Presented with notice of an interdict yesterday and the threat of Nigel being carted off to jail, we’ve had to concede the defeat of any rational, co-operative approach.  So we’ve been forced to get a lawyer of our own to intervene on our behalf.  For now, the ‘Urgent Interdict’ is on hold and an offer has been made by us to provide for extra security for the duration of the reconstruction. It’s funny.  If I ever felt threatened of overwhelmed by building activity next door,  I would regard my security as my responsibility and would install whatever extra measures I felt were necessary.  It has never occurred to me for a second that my neighbours are in any way obliged to take my safety – or my anxieties – into account.  This whole experience has been something of an eye-opener to us, but actually, knowing that in future we’ll also be able to say ‘Talk to Our Lawyer’ is quite a relief.