The importance of neighbours (city living style)


At the beginning of the year, I said goodbye to our wonderful neighbours of nearly five years, (excuse me a minute while I stifle my sobs.)

For city-dwelling-apartment-living kind of people, that live the way we do? I can’t put enough emphasis on just how important it is to have a good relationship with your neighbours. For many house dwellers reading this you will be nodding and saying yes, yes of course, good neighbours are important anywhere. Which is, of course true, but apartment city living with a young family kinds?Ā Oooh it’s really important.

Neighbours with kids: where your kids and their kids play safely and interchangeably throughout each others households. You know when it’s time to finish up, you can either holler from your back door for your kids to come home or turf your extras out and promising returns another day. Because of this, impromptu playdates are held almost daily. Mostly just in a shared space out the back where adult ears can listen but adult eyes don’t have to watch. There is a pack of kids out there keeping a tab on things, back in my child hood we roamed the streets like this and hung out in parks. In shared smaller living environments it still happens, just on a, well, smaller scale.

Need a cup of sugar? No worries, your neighbours got your back…or your cake or what ever it is you need that cup of sugar for. Neighbours are excellent for sharing cake with too. You give them cake and they’ll probably take all of your kids for an hour at their place. That’s a winning trade right there I tell you.

With more and more people living without extended family around them, or other close support to call on. Neighbours can be rather crucial in those tiny life moments when you just need a little hand with something or other.

You might need a pair of pliers.

A second opinion on a split head, (nurse neighbours are excellent. EXCELLENT.)

A babysitter.

You can enjoy their pet without owning a pet.


Someone to water your plants while you are away.

A neighbour can be someone to share good news with.

Someone to share bad news with.

Someone to share that huge bunch of bananas with.

Someone to chat to just while pegging out your washing, (living in an apartment does force you to be a little sociable.)

A friendly face to walk your kids to school while you are at home with their sick sibling.

Decisions can be made over shared laundry spaces. Options are talked over on back steps. Holiday mail collected easily and borrowed items returned straight away, (after all you know where they live!)

It’s certainly not always sunshine and roses out there, for every good thing there could be an equally frustrating annoying neighbourly thing. But for city small space living, it’s easier to work with your neighbours, to be a part of your immediate community. Each apartment block has a different set of people, dynamics and stories to be told. In this increasingly solitary life that people seem to be living either by themselves or even as a family, getting to know your neighbours is a really easy way to start and I think, an important one.

So after a good few months of being empty, a removalist truck sitting in the driveway and an array of cardboard boxes lining the hallway. I’m holding my breath a little. Now we wait for the new neighbours to move into the apartment next door… I certainly hope they like slabs of warm cake and little chats under the washing line.







23 thoughts on “The importance of neighbours (city living style)

      • Don’t be nervous, I think you guys have built up a good reserve in the karma bank to get yourselves a saintly neighbour šŸ˜‰


      • I used to live in the city in Perth WAY back when my son was born. I loved the city and it’s vibrancy. I loved walking to the Freo markets and the range of “everything” that was there. I loved being that close to the cutting edge of humanity but now I love my peace and my quiet and my bolt hole that I can return to and steady myself against the madding crowd. I am mad with crochet at the moment Ms Cityhippyfarmgirl. I am making amigurumi dolls. My next project is a little skinhead doll for a classmate. I think it would be lovely to be your nextdoor neighbour and teach your kids to crochet. I am guessing that’s the glory of inner city living. There are so many people around, you are bound to find someone who gets you. If I win lotto on the weekend (note to self “buy ticket…”) I will buy your apartment building and you can be your own next door neighbour :).


  1. I hope they are wonderful neighbours! I find most people are wonderful if you get to know them. We have lots of great neighbours in our suburban street but when I used to live in an apartment, I valued my neighbours then too.


  2. I wish your old neighbours would move in next door – our neighbours are pretty harmless and we do have some we look out for but none of these are keen on sharing food for various reasons I was gobsmacked the other day that neighbours complained about E playing ukelele at 10pm!!!!! They are fairly new neighbours so I wonder how they will go when the Greeks have their plate smashing oom pa pa party nearby!!!! Good luck with the new neighbours


  3. Oh my goodness, those new neighbours of yours…. Luckiest bunch of people they are. Who wouldn’t love warm cake, treats and chats, especially with you and yours. šŸ™‚

    A few years back we moved out of the city to the suburbs, it was a really foreign concept to actually talk to the neighbours, let along share baked goods with them, but quickly they have all become family friends. It is one of the nicest things knowing we have a dog sitter, a cup of sugar or someone to watch the place when we are away.

    Cant wait to hear how they settle in. šŸ™‚ Hope you had a lovely weekend. xx


  4. It’s so true that good neighbours are invaluable. And if you live in a higher-density situation, it’s even more important to be able to get along with those who are above you and below you and beside you. I do hope your new neighbours and kind and considerate and love your baking and bread and some good conversation xx


  5. Funny we’ve lived in our suburban house 15yrs have a good relationship with afew direct neighbors but wouldnt have a clue who the others are, mr 8 on the otherhand has made friends with every kid on our block and happy finds a friend to kick a ball with anytime his bored, we have a laneway that runs alongside our house and its pretty nice to see a bunch of kids running in and out of backyards having fun.


  6. Oh yes indeed! When our boys were growing up we had a lovely older couple living next door, and the woman kindly and generously said how nice it was to hear the noise of children living next door, politely omitting to mention that a fair bit of that noise was them yelling and screaming at times.
    And now she’s died and the house is lived in by her son and his family, including their autistic and hard of hearing teenage son who enjoys drumming. We learnt a lot from her, and like her just enjoy having a lovely family living next door, and accept that sometimes that can be a little noisy. But the upside is that they’re really nice people.


  7. YES to good neighbours, and yours sound like they were lovely. Fingers very tightly crossed for you that your new neighbours are, well, neighbourly!
    We live in a court and have a lovely 17 year old a few doors down who babysits our boys. They love it when she comes over as she reads to them and just enjoys hanging out. There’s also the Italian couple who shower us with lemons and tomatoes, the lady across the road who leaves oranges on our step, and the Spanish family who host a lot of big family events, and bring us the leftover cake! We LOVE our neighbours too.
    PS. Loving that inviting tray in your first photo. Are they squashed fly cookies?


  8. Running a bit late with my comments and greetings this week Brydie. You sound like a perfect neighbour…just as I would have expected! Neighbours are very important no matter how or where we live. We have several neighbours in various directions from our property all of them are approximately 20kms away. Some are difficult and bitter and we totally avoid them! Others are kind, generous and always willing to lend a hand if it is needed particularly in times of bush-fires and other tricky situations. Another family are great friends, and our children are friends with their children. Out here, sometimes neighbours are the only people we see on a regular basis, so they become part of our community by default. Hooray for cakes and sharing x


  9. We also just lost our neighbors of 12 years, we also watered plants and shared food etc. I am praying that the people who buy their hose is quiet, friendly and hopefully has a child my daughters age. We still visit with our old neighbors at their new place.


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