Thursday, November 25, 2010

My daughter's diary.

It got so bad last Spring that we went looking for help on how to deal with it. One of the suggestions was made by our GP. He recommended that my daughter write a diary. This, with her permission, is the first entry. (she would like you all to know that she is aware of the grammar and spelling mistakes)...plus I've done just a touch of editing.

I'll try and translate it in my next post.




Mon premier journal intime


Je m’appelle ... je vais bientôt avoir 14 ans, j’habite dans une petite ville appeler ... dans une des rues de... en centre ville avec ma maman et mes trois frères, En face de chez moi se trouve une belle très belle maison avec une femme qui s’appelle ...., qui vie seul sans sa fille est je crois quelle est complètement folle a lié.


Les paroles de ......


"Regard toi ton avenir est déjà tracer !! Tu vas faire ta vie en prison sal délinquante, caractériel, sal gosse vas ! Tu n’a pas a vivre avec une famille pareille regarde toi on direz une fille des rues !!"


"Et toi la, tu va arrêter de me cambrioler tous les soir j’en est mare que tu me vole le volet et me casser mon banc !! Et je le dis que tu vas arrêter de me lancer des pierres dans ma chambre ! Et tu ma casse la vitre sale gosse !! (Je suis au lit vers vingt heur Trente)"


"Et tu c’est pas faire à manger toi-même une fille de 13 ans comme toi est assez grande pour faire à manger toute seule !! Non mais tu n’as pas honte ?! A ton age !!"


"Non mais tu va voir toi le jour ou la gendarmerie viendra tu va voir !! A ton age il existe des prisons pour jeune !! Tu devrais faire attention a toi !!"


"Non mais tu arrête de m’agresser comme sa de me jeter des pierres !! Non mais tu n’as pas honte !! A ton age."


"Non mais regarde toi tu es toute maigre par rapport à tes frères !! Plus tard tu vas atterrie dans un hôpital pour anorexique !! Ah mais tu va voir l’assistant- social va venir te chercher avec la gendarmerie et tu va aller en famille d’accueille tu jamais plus revoir ta famille !! A oui sa je le te dis ce que tu va avoir ! PAUVRE GOSSE va !!!"



"OH tu crois que c’est de ton age sa !! De me faire des grimasses ! Non mais quand même pour ton age tu es très bête !"


"AH oui alors si c’est comme sa !! Grosse salope va te faire voir espèce de
Malade va voir le docteur tu est très malade va te soigner !! speuch !!" (Cracher dessus première fois rater elle à recommencer est elle ne me pas rater ; elle a même cracher sur ma maman.)



Tout caca de chien elle nous les mise dans la boite au lettres dans la fenêtre ou devant la porte qu’ont puise marcher dedans et sur notre banc, Elle prends les fleurs de mon frère qui viens juste de planter et les aracher est les écrases. Nous a renverser le banc est casser des assiettes et les a laisser devant la maison. Ma maman a fait un beau jardin dehors et les à écrasé casser saccager le travaille d’un beau petit jardin. Maintenant nous plantons plus rien qui reste en dehors de la maison Car on c’est ce quelle va faire.


Même qu’un jour elle est venu nous agresser directement dans la maison en hurlent en faisant tomber les étagères toute les livres les vélos… enfin bref tous se quelle pouvez faire tomber.



Mon petit frère .... a même était accuser d’avoir voler son accroche volet.



Comme tous les soir elle change l’eau de ses pigeons elle va au robinet de la ville juste a côté de la maison, elle a pris la poele pleine d’eau sale de ses pigeons et la jetter sur mon grand frère.


Comme mon petit frère et moi on ne connais pas notre père et que .... le c’est elle a dis a mon petit frère comment il s’appeler et ou il l’habiter mais bien encore une ce n’était pas vrai.



Avant il y a maintenant 4 ou 5 ans on avez 5 chats une apres l'autre et on les laisser en liberté. Elle les a empoisonné, avec du poison en mélange la viande avec le poison.



On a une autre voisine on est très proche avec elle car on la connais depuis très longtemps et comme elle ne peut pas très bien marcher (car elle c’est casser la jambe) pour prendre le soleil elle va sur le banc juste a deux mètre de la porte de ..... Elle c’est assise avec ma mère et ... est sotie au fenetre avec un tapis plein de poussière et la secouer sur le tête a .... (ma voisine) et elle ne pouvez pas se lever car elle a une canne et ne pouvez pas courir.


Comme maintenant elle croix que on la cambriole, elle nous film, prend des photos des crottes de chiens… elle nous film et quand elle parle elle éteint la camera.


Un jour elle a vue que je partez toute seule sans ma mère, alors elle a eu l’idée de me suivre elle ma harcelée, poursuivit jusqu'au petit supermarche. Je suis rentrer dans le magasin pour faire les courses je suis ressortie elle s’était cachée et elle m’a suivi sur le retour aussi tout en me harcelant et me hurlent dessus.



Tous les matins on dit au revoir à notre mère avant d’aller au collège. Et elle regarde qui vient nous chercher pour aller au collège…
Et quand on part elle nous regarde partir de fenêtre en fenêtre.
Quand je suis toute seule elle regarde si il y a pas ma mère dans les environ
Et elle passe a l’attaque elle me harcèle, me hurle dessus me jette des cailloux.



Comme j’ai deux chiens elle le sait a chaque fois que je les sort elle cris et ma chienne elle aboie et pour quelle se taisent et lui jette tous se qui lui passe sous la main. Mais elle le fait exprès pour que mes chiens soit agressive envers elle pour se plaindre et elle le fait même avec nous mais sa ne marche pas


.

Enfin il a toujours quelque chose de nouveaux chaque jours de très différents
Et ceci durent depuis 6 ans maintenant il est impossible de se rappeler de tous se quelle a fait en 6 ans. Peu têtre que c’est notre imagination qui déborde mais on croit qu’une semaine avant la pleine lune elle devient plus folle que d’habitudes, et tous sa est prouver car on suive les pleines lunes avec notre calendrier lunaire. Elle est méchante folle mais c’est sûrement une maladie, sa devient de pire en pire de jours en jours avant c’était de semaines en semaines et avant sa de mois en mois. Ma maman devient de plus en plus concerné car sa devient de pire en pire et on ne sait pas de qoui elle est capable…
Je ne ressent pas de Paine ni de pitié pour elle car je sais a qoi elle ressemble a l’intérieure. Mais quelqu'un qui ne la jamais vu comme sentir un peu de pitié.
Mais moi je n’est pas peur d’elle mais j’ai envie de la faire disparaître ou que sa s’arête …
On n’a même fait une tentative de déménagement on a mie la maison en ventre
Mais on est devenu amie amie avec le future acheteur mais en attendant le permis de construction de notre futur maison l’acheteur en question pris connaissance de Françoise et refusa de finir sa vie an face de chez elle.



Incroyable mais vrai !!

Première Avril deux mille dix


.... ..... 13 ans

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Dang! Get a life, lady!

I'm seriously considering closing up the front of the house, door, shutters, and all, and fixing the door around the back so that we use just that one and avoid this woman.

She must wait at her front window every morning until she hears our door, and shen she must run over to her side door so she can be a that door to open it and stare at my daughter as she passes. Every single school day.

Sometimes she makes remarks...'oh, look, she's going to school for once...you'll finish badly, as you're nothing but a thief and a liar....I see you smoking with your friends....social services is going to come and take you away and you'll never see your family anymore....sooner or later we'll get rid of you...OMG look at how you're dressed...just you wait, the courts are going to give you to me to raise...

It gets tiring. I tell my daughter to not respond to any of this. Just smile sweetly and think angelic thoughts. Don't let her get you down. And so that's usually what she does. Except for yesterday. Yesterday my daughter apparently yelled back and told her that she was sick of it. And didn't the neighbor go back into her house and shut the door! Wow!

Still, I don't think it's a good idea to respond...don't want to make that a habit, as things could just degrade and go downhill if it doesn't last.

And it doesn't work for me, anyway. I've tried. Asking her nicely, yelling back, telling her she's not refined or dignified, even shooting her the moon. Yep, I really did that. But it didn't work....things don't always mean or work the same way in France as they do in the US. Too bad.

Last week, I tried asking her what the heck she was doing wih her life, as it seemed she was just a nasty and miserable old lady that didn't have anything good or positive to contribute to the community. I asked her if she wasn't lonely, as she couldn't keep any friends for very long and even her daughter never came to visit her. I ttold her that there was more to live than this shit and asked her to maybe think about doing things in a different manner....for her sake as well as everyone else's.

Didn't work. I just got a load of abuse. Maybe it has to take time to sink in.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My ex husband once wrote a letter to the neighbor. He wanted custody of his sons and went looking for all the ammunition he could get.

(this one's too difficult, I'll come back to it)

It's not just me.

There was someone outside yesterday afternoon, yelling at the neighbor. No way I was going to open the door or peek out of the window, but it was loud enough to be heard, all the same. Someone was yelling at her to go get herself seen to. Yelling that she was crazy. And dangerous.

Usually it's just her that yells, as most French people are too polite...or too afraid...to go on like that in public. Most of them will just keep their heads down and walk quickly past. They don't want to know. I figure that comes from way back during and after the war, when the town was split into two by the Germans occupying one half of the town, with the other half 'free'. People here seem to have a mentality that's 'Look out for number one and keep your head down'. Unless someone is directly affected by something and/or stands to lose something, most people just don't get involved.

(back soon...)

This neighbor kills cats.

Murders them. Dead. And not her own cats, either.

She has different ways of doing it...slow poison, fast poison, throat slashing, or she'll grab one and take it to the vet and ask for it to be put down. And if she doesn't kill one, she'll grab it, say it's hers and give it away. No cats ever simply disappear.

Her own cats don't get this treatment. She watches over them like a hawk; maybe she's afraid someone will do the same to hers? She prefers Siamese cats for herself, and has been known to grab a wandering one off the street or from a garden lane and keep it for herself.

She's done in four of mine over the years, and grabbed two and kept them in her house for herself, and also given one of mine to someone else. Nowadays, our cats either stay in the house or live up at our garden in luxurious bird and mouse catching freedom, safe from human predators.

As I hear it, she's killed five cats that belonged to another neighbor where she has a garden, and threatened to kill one more that belongs to yet another neighbor in that same place....but this is secondhand, coming from a group of little old cat ladies that go over there each day to feed strays. They actually went to the Town Hall and the Gendarmerie to complain, but nobody could do anything, it seems.

Still, it freaks me out that she's experimenting with so many various ways to murder cats. In different places and with different people's cats. Sends shivers up the spine. What comes next in the horror movie?

It took her a while to start the killing. For many years she simply grabbed them and took them to the vet's, complaining that they were sick with rabies or kitty AIDS or whatever. The vet would just call me and tell me to come and get the cat and bill her for his time. That was years ago, since then, the vet has thrown her out and refuses to treat her animals anymore because she's caused so much trouble there.

Next, she began feeding them at her house. She'd leave bowls of food out on her step and on her windowsill, and then yell when people passed within hearing rage about how she had to feed my animals because I didn't. I tried to stop this by asking her nicely, then by taking away the bowls of food, but nothing changed.

After the cats began to die, I simply kept the animals inside.

Creepy neighbor.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Again.



Damned if she didn't do it again last week. Wired those barriers to the house across the lane from her. She ought to spend more energy on finding someone to repair her chimney. Or on finding the money to pay that someone.

I guess I ought to spend my energy on NOT undoing the wire and liberating those barriers. I did and she came out screaming and bashed me with a golf club. An iron. It's been a week and I still have the sore bruises.

And no, I didn't do anything to stop her. But I wanted to. I wanted to grab that golf club and throw it in the river that passes by her house. And maybe throw her and those barriers right in after it. But I didn't. I just told her that what she was doing wasn't a good idea and that I'm sure it was illegal from a traffic violation standpoint, and she just kept bashing and yelling at me. Ouch!

Then she got on the phone to those poor Gendarmes again. I reminded her not to forget to mention the golf club. So I walked over to the Gendarmerie, where she was still on the phone to them when I walked in the door....the walk took a while, too. They laughed and said that there was nothing they could do. As usual. Frustrating, but probably true.

The funniest part was a few days later, when I discovered that she'd been bashing me with my own golf club....I'd been sorting out a few things in the house and had put a golf bag outside for a time and hadn't noticd that some of the clubs had gone missing when I took the bag back inside.

I've learned a new French word.

'Creve!'

At least I think that's how it's spelled. The neighbor often yells this word at me, along with other words. This is the one she yells when she spits at/on me, which happens occasionally...usually when I am close enough to be within spitting distance, which I try not to be, but sometimes does happen.

I hate that. And the kids hate it, too...who wouldn't? My youngest says to spit back, but that would only bring me down to her level, which is out of the question. And anyway, I thik that's what she wants; for me to be as aggressive as she is and to get into some kind of an altercation, which is also out of the question.

I thought the word meant 'Die!', which is pretty shocking, all the same. But I've recently been told that it's much more than that, and that the translation is more like 'Die in the most horrible suffering way!'...is there even a one word translation in English for this? I've thought about it, and I can't find one. Just goes to show you how poetic the French language can be, eh?

I wanted to kill her...

...the day that she cornered my youngest and told him who his dad was and where he lived. Yeah, I've done some things that maybe weren't done in the best of ways, but it isn't any of her business.

I called my doctor and said I'd needed to come in and have a chat. He asked why and I told him it was because I could see in my mind's eye just how I was gonna kill that neighbor of mine. So he had me come in straight away....he also used to be her doctor, so he had an idea of what was going on. After all, it isn't as if she's this way just with me.

He's a good guy; easy to talk to and a good listener. He asks the right questions with just the right amount of humour and authority, and so I calmed down and decided that killing the neighbor wasn't really the right way to deal with this.

He, of course, said go to the Gendarmerie. very time. I, of course, refused. What was the point?...they either don't want to listen or they laugh. They never helped when my house got vandalized and burned, they never helped when my car got murdered. They never helped when the man from the lane behind me took to patrolling in front of my house with his Doberman.

At one point, when someone wrote on my behalf to the Procureur de la Republique, they had me come in and sign (under duress, I might add) that all was well and that they had helped me to solve the problems. I refused, at first....until they practically threatened me by pointing out that, if I refused to sign, that they would from that day foreward only help my by following the letter of the law. Which I took to mean that they wouldn't help at all...so I signed. Not that it makes any difference.

Ok, on reflection, I have to say that sometimes they DO help. And most of them are human, really, and they probably have personal lives outside of being Gendarmes. But they have a shitty job and many people don't respect them. I'm willing to bet that many of them are depressed in their line of work and fed up with humanity... so when some foreign lady comes in with her own problems that might or might not be simple to solve (if they even understand my lousy French), what can anyone expect? Plus they're military and not even from the town or even the region so they don't have the same vested interest as anyone living in the town.

About that dogbite...

I went over to the Gendarmerie Saturday morning. No dogbite signaled. Nothing, rien, nada, zip, diddlysquat.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A lovely picture postcard of the village.



That's a child's bicycle attached with bits of blue nylon bale string to a barrier on the side of the neighbor's house. The barriers have been put there by the town hall because the neighbor's chimney is beginning to crumble and fall onto the street (her house is a corner house). The roof tiles are falling off, too, and breaking some of the window panes of the house in front, but there aren't any barriers on that side, yet....maybe because she patrols night and day and quickly sweeps up any evidence on that side because for the town to close off that part of the lane would really be a bother for everyone as most people pass on that side with their cars.

The barriers are not very pretty, considering that this is a tourist town and we try to keep things looking nice for the people who promenade down the lanes to enjoy. Plus if we don't, we get a visit from the village constable telling us to 'do it or else', although I've never quite figured out what 'or else' means. Or maybe I've never had the nerve to get that far in order to see.

But the bicycle thing was just going too far. The neighbor doesn't want anyone passing on the lane that turns the corner around her house...she yells at anyone who does that it's private and they have no right to pass, which is not true. Maybe she doesn't want anyone to think the barriers are there so that passers-by don't get thunked on the head with a bit of falling chimney. Maybe she hasn't
paid up her insurance and doesn't want any litigation in case somone does get hurt by her house.

The barriers have been there for weeks, and there were notices on both sides (there are two lots of barriers, one for each corner of the lane), informing all who pass that the Gendarmes had delivered the message to the neighbor that the Town Hall would be putting up the barriers to protect citizens from being hit on the head by her falling chimney. But the notices are gone, probably ripped off by the neighbor to save face, who knows?

Anyway, she hasn't fixed the problems because she can't get anyone to come and do the work...she has a reputation in town for never paying any builders, workers, gardeners, cleaning ladies, repairmen, plumbers, electricians...you name it, she hasn't paid it. Plus, to shoo off anyone who asks for their money, she accuses them of theft, delation, breakage, poor workmanship... And so, that kind of thing goes around in a small town. Maybe the Town Hall will finally fix the chimney and then bill her for it, I dunno.

In the end, everybody passes by the barriers, it's the quickest way to get to where you want to go in this small village of labirinth lanes. And everybody ignores the neighbor if she chooses to shout or wave her cane about as they pass, although she doesn't do this to everyone. The poor tourists get the worst of it, it's a wonder they'll ever come back and spend more money here, visiting us, with this kind of welcome.

And that's what I meant by saying the bike was just too much. That bike tied to the barrier and thrown into the plants on the curb is NOT a lovely picture postcard of our village. Plus, if anyone does pass and the chimney comes crashing down as they pass, they'll be trapped. Not to mention if there should be a need for the police of fire rescue services to pass in a hurry.

So I cut it. I cut the agricultural string and took the bike away from the curb. And while I was at it, I also undid the wire that was on the barrier at the other side of the house...that was real wire, and it was circled around the other neighbor's drainpipe. Enough is enough.

She, of course, went nuts. Yelled, screamed, spit on me, waved her cane in my face. That cane is only a prop, she can move perfectly well without it, especially when she's using it to threaten someone or wave it in their face or bash them with it. She got out her video camera and filmed me removing the wire around the second barrier. Then she called the Gendarmes and told them that I was moving the barriers around her house and making them fall down onto the road. I reminded her to be sure to tell them about the string and the wire, so she simply went into her house and continues her conversation. Poor Gendarmes, they have better things to do, surely.

At that point, I figured it was best if I walked over to the Gendarmes and explained myself. She passed me in her car on the way and stopped to give me a lift there. No, thanks.

When I get there, she was already there, ranting and raving. I simply explained what I had done about the barriers being attached and said that I would continue to do it for public safety (and tourism) as long as she continues to attach them. Poor Gendarmes.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The dogs are innocent.

She says that one of the dogs has bitten her and she's going to the Gendarmes and I will get into trouble and that the dog will be put down. Of course, she said this to my daughter on her way home from school, just to make the poor kid worry.

Funny...I don't recall the dogs going out by themselves. In fact, they never go out of the house except on a leash and then it's mostly at night or early in the morning just to avoid her. The last time she saw the dogs that I remember was when I was sitting on the bench in the park and she came and bashed me on the head with her cane (I still have the bump)...but it was just with the tip of her cane because she didn't want to get too close to the dogs who were going crazy.

'Sit!', I said to them, and so they did, although they were not happy. I say the same to the kids when she gets going at them....I tell them to not answer back, to not lower themselves down to her level, because after all, that's probably just what she wants. Just 'Sit!' and smile sweetly.

So I guess I'll be going to see the Gendarmes in the morning. Again. What will they tell me this time? Last time, when she hit me with the golf club (I still have those bumps, too), they just laughed and said she was crazy and there was nothing they could do. The time before that was even funnier for them, and one woman Gendarme was just cracking up so much with laughter that I almost said to her that, yes, it could be seen as funny unless you had to live it.

I don't usually go to see the Gendarmes, in fact, I try to avoid it as much as possible...what's the point? The Neighbor is well known for her behaviour and it isn't just me that has to live with it and in any case, what's to be done? Well, that's more or less the case around here, except for a few instances. So I write my blog and hope I can get to the point where the funny side is clear even to me.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I'm an arsonist? I never knew.

Trudging home with armloads of groceries on a cold, dark, and rainy evening, hungry kids and probably unwalked dogs waiting. All I want to do is get into the house and make myself a mug of hot milk with a splash of Speculoos syrup in it and warm up a bit while getting dinner on the table. I'm dirty and tired and I stink of goat pee. I want a hot shower and then I want to sit quietly at the table and hear what the kids did during the day.

To get home I have to pass by the Neighbor's house. And of course, she's outside as I pass...she's climbed up the stone steps outside her house to get to her pidgeon coop, and she's feeding those birds more food so that they can poop more. Damn things fly around and poop, sit around and poop, nest under my eaves and poop, poop on our heads, poop on our sidewalks, poop on our houses, poop on our cars...I figure maybe she'll be so busy filling those birds that she'll leave me be, but no such luck.

So tonight it seems I am an arsonist. She tells me that I'll soon be burning down the entire neighborhood. Am I? I didn't know, although we did have a fire a few years back...two, in fact. One was here in this house when the chimneypipe caught fire due to the firewood being green and the other was our little house being vandalized and burned by seven little kids out for a good time.

I don't actually know how I'll be an arsonist, as those fires scared me so much, that since then I refuse to heat the house, even during the coldest months of winter. Now we heat with soup, socks, and porridge...which isn't always the most comfortable method but does help with the wood, electricity, gas, and fuel bills.

Now I'll be wondering if I should be worried. Or if I am becoming paranoid. Is she planning something or am I just letting my imagination get the better of me?

Come to think of it, a few yars back she had plans to open an art gallery in her house, and the town council refused her and she went around telling eveyone who would listen that she wasn't allowed because she lived next door to an arsonist (me) and the Mayor at the time thought that it would be too risky in view of the insurance, etc.. I considered that an extreme way to save face on her part, and just laughed it off...but here it is again.