Stanhope reaches a harpies’ accord on water

Ari 23 January 2007 21

I was in the middle of my morning ritual the other day, sitting at the outdoor table in my backyard reading the newspaper and drinking coffee … then out of the corner of my eye I noticed movement on the front footpath.

A couple of middle-aged women – typical inner north “morning walkers” (you know the type … slightly overweight … sensible sun hats … shorts … running shoes) – were pacing up and down the footpath at the periphery of my corner block muttering to themselves.

They’d seemingly spotted the dripline feeding a recently planted hedge of native plants.

I couldn’t make out exactly what they were saying, but from their exaggerated pointing at the dripline along with the clear sounds of “tut-tutting” … combined with seemingly furious agreement about the evilness of what they were seeing … they were upset by my use of slowly dripping water (during the period officially alloted for this purpose) to keep a few native seedlings alive.

Somewhat hesitantly, they then crept onto my property to check the setting on the automatic tap timer in the middle of my front yard.

Emboldened by the lack of any obvious response to this trespassing, they continued creeping further on to peer over my side fence.

I expect their inspection didn’t yield the incriminating evidence they were seeking. The grass is dry and brown, studded with dry dog turds.

Then they saw me sitting there somewhat bemusedly watching their activities – both were horrified to have been observed … they looked at their feet, avoided eye contact, and scurried off.

So, I have now had the first taste of the officially sanctioned dob-in-your-neighbours regime where self-appointed harpies scour the suburbs for evidence that their neighbours are acting contrary to the New Water Order.

Although the watering was acting entirely within the restrictions, these two vigilantes felt they had the right to enter my property without permission to check my compliance.

As many of you may have found, Canberra is well supplied with people who are only too willing to approach other people in order to tell them how to live their lives. These two women had obviously decided to spend their mornings spying on their fellow citizens.

I expect that once they report back to the hive, Stanhope Special Agent 001½ Aidan Bruford will be assigned to paint a symbol – perhaps a Star of David – on my house to invite further scrutiny from the water posse.

I realise that the private property owner is fair game to be screwed, according to ACT Government policy, but it’s rather confronting to be sitting there getting ready for a day’s work and having a squad of peering shrews scuttle onto your property to check your compliance with its regulations.

The next person who tries a stunt like that, however, won’t face such a mild reaction.


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21 Responses to Stanhope reaches a harpies’ accord on water
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Thumper Thumper 6:05 pm 24 Jan 07

I guess al this goes to prove is that Stanhope, by his inaction, is now turning neighbour against neighbour, which, given time, will lead to a violent assault.

Given that water restrictions are apparently not working, how about this novel idea. Give us the infrastructure to provide water rather than these ludicrous restrictions upon restrictions

FC FC 12:33 pm 24 Jan 07

Ralph, I don’t see the point in washing a car that is an undrivable bucket of sh*t that hasn’t moved in many months with a hose using so much water he floods my driveway –
Also – I wouldn’t care if he was watering his lawn, at least there is a point to that. This guy is watering on cement. But he is also missing a few genes – the ones that give you common sense

KandyA KandyA 11:45 am 24 Jan 07

especially if you use their blood.
neighbour being a sticky-beak?…violence!
neighbour misusing water resources?…violence!
violence…is their anything it cant do?
not that Im advocating violence or anything.
violence=bad.

Woody Mann-Caruso Woody Mann-Caruso 10:51 am 24 Jan 07

I hear that if you put blood on your doorposts, they pass you over.

bighead bighead 4:26 pm 23 Jan 07

Seepi I think im the same as you, I just don’t have a need to dob someone in, although what they are doing isn’t exactly doing any damage, they were merely watering their garden in the day. O more or less figure…so what.

Maybe they haven’t heard about the exact restrictions. But if I only see it a few times i don’t really care. If anything I think I am bad, I am often staying to long in showers, usually 5-7 mins, I am slowly cutting back.

As for washing you car, I personally cannot be stuffed to wash mine, but if I was, I’d just pay the $10 or so and go to that place in Belconnen..Damn I’m lazy 😀

Ralph Ralph 3:42 pm 23 Jan 07

Who cares if he was washing his car love, I’ve been washing mine. As I’ve said before, the fine is a drop in the bucket.

One neighbour had a whine on the weekend, I told the silly bint she should be keeping an eye on what her kids are up to, not other people’s lawns.

FC FC 3:29 pm 23 Jan 07

Since the latest water restrictions have come in I have seen my loser neighbour wash his car twice!!
The thing is, his car is unregisted and hasn’t been driven in months!
And it was on cement, they used so much water that it was running of into my drive way.
I wasn’t about to say anything though – I think this guys water usage is the least of the communities problems regarding this wanker.
But seriously though – he does piss me off – not really because of this, but just in general and I would smile to myself if he was to cop a fine – do you just need to take a photo of them or something and will they get a fine??

lateralis lateralis 3:18 pm 23 Jan 07

“..put copies of dated pics in their letterbox for added Mafioso effect…”

Or even better, cut the end off her hose and stick it in her bed…dripping…

smokey4 smokey4 3:15 pm 23 Jan 07

One of ther best ones I’ve seen for misusing your rubbish bin is to fit a stop valve to the base, refill from the spouting with rain water and connect a pressure washer to the tap and wash down your paths. This will really get your neighbours going. Very handy use for the recycle bins down my way.

Maelinar Maelinar 3:12 pm 23 Jan 07

put copies of dated pics in their letterbox for added Mafioso effect…

Ross69, watering down your child is not an offence under the Stage 3 water restrictions guidelines. Tell them to move occasionally and you’ll cover your entire garden.

The added bonus is if you get dobbed in, you can counter-dob them for being a paedophile. Let’s see which one goes through the courts…

Mr Evil Mr Evil 3:02 pm 23 Jan 07

Well, I’ve noticed that the idiot in my street who was watering whenever he felt like it has stopped all of a sudden since I dobbed him in! 🙂

ross69 ross69 2:53 pm 23 Jan 07

The lady across the road from me said she’d call the water pigs on us if she seen us using the hose on an undesignated day again. which we only done once as we were hosing down our very messy 2 yr old on a 40 degree day. yet she hose’s down her HOUSE and DRIVEWAY and GARDEN almost everyday. Got nice dated pics of her doing it now just in case she wants to threaten us and the rest of the street again.

Danman Danman 2:42 pm 23 Jan 07

ill wander around with my digital camera looking for people wandering around with digital cameras.

200mm zoom should do it

S4anta S4anta 2:26 pm 23 Jan 07

Same again. However once alerting the local busy bodies to the pracalitites of water gardens with white good run off, they have subsequently stopped.
However they have been seen now wandering around with digital cameras to add to the gestapo-like presence.
Yet another direct result of newly retired public servants having nothing better to do.

Absent Diane Absent Diane 2:22 pm 23 Jan 07

so many busy bodies.. they are everywhere at work on the streets.

golden_youth golden_youth 2:00 pm 23 Jan 07

same story here- we had a couple of ladies stuck their heads over our fence to give us a lecture on our pool, and how we shouldnt even be swimming in it because we wont have water in the next ten years!?

terubo terubo 1:55 pm 23 Jan 07

A great read, Ari. Just goes to prove the old adage “never be without your camera” – an accompanying pic of these busybodies would have been superb!

seepi seepi 1:48 pm 23 Jan 07

A lady in my street still waters her front yard in the middle of the day.
I’ve been too apathetic to say anything to her.

blingblingbears blingblingbears 1:26 pm 23 Jan 07

I would have followed them home and had a good look at their gardens… would probably have been greener than yours!!

I hate sticky beaks… people in Canberra really need to learn to mind their own business.

poptop poptop 1:05 pm 23 Jan 07

Never forget, Harpies are 70% water. Your plants can use their moisture and nutrients . . .

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