Our surroundings is very important for our lives. But everyone has his own notion of a house with all facilities. For example, I know a man, who lives in a corridor seven meters long and well under two meters at its widest point. He uses space saving techniques. There is no room to swing a sparrow, let alone a cat. But it has five rooms and according to him – is an excellent venue for candlelit dinners for up to four. He has been living in this tubes-like home for the past 11 months. Since he moved in, the value of flats has multiplied five times. So he just can’t buy another one. I dear say than linear living like being on a barge, or living in a corridor like it.
He was compelled to live in this garden shed, a long, thin, lean to affair running along the side wall of the bricked house. He has even room for washing machine, cooker fridge, lavatory and bar. All the tables fold out from the wall. It has electric heating and lighting. Entering the narrow, plywood world of his you walk straight into his shower room, the wardrobe tucked away above the bed-top.
He said it’s rather like being in the cockpit of an aircraft. He unsure, how long he will continue to live in the flat. Recently he became engaged. His fianc?e likes the mini-home, but there is certainly no room for two.
The special theme for conversation about houses is neighbourhood. A survey has just been published shows that many people hate their neighbours. The results are alarming. 80% of the people who took part in the survey feel that their neighbours are inconsiderate. 25% don’t talk to the people who live next door and 10% don’t even know their names. In fact, one million householders in Britain would like to move because of the people that live next door. The biggest course of friction is noise. Many of the complaints about noise came from people who live in flats and divided houses. These often have thin walls which are not equipped to handle 60-walt stereos or the noise of household appliances.
The other major problems are arguments about car parking spaces, and old people complaining about the young. Some of the worst disagreements can last for years. In one case, people who live in the same house haven’t talked to each other for 15 years. Sometimes the disagreement ends in violence. The one of the worst cases, a man was a policeman in London shot a neighbour because he kept parking in his place.
When neighbours become friends they often help each other, but the survey showed that 90% of neighbours never shared a meal. 80% have never had a drink together and 20% had never even offered each other a cup of tea or coffee.
One solution to long-running disputes is to get the neighbours into a room with mediators who talk the problem through, and if necessary negotiate a formal agreement which they both agree to. This is a service that is becoming available in more and more towns.
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