For many years the house behind us was left empty with a jungle of a 'garden' consisting of several tall trees all linked by a dense cover of star jasmine. It wasn't neat but it pretty much blocked our view of the house (highly desirable as it sank into decay) and provided breeding places for a multitude of small birds. Apart from the rats which also infested the area and the potential fire hazard from the over grown yard (which the owner would deal with when someone complained to the Council usually by burning it - not the safest option but there you go) we didn't mind. It made our yard very private and we enjoyed the birds.
Then, three years ago, the property changed hands and the new owners ripped out all the vegetation in the backyard except for one tree, which promptly died. It made life a little difficult for us because now every time we went out our back door we could see straight into their kitchen and, we assumed, they could see into ours but, because they are lower on the hill, maybe not. Their roof was about level with the fence and blocked our view to the street so we still had some sense of enclosure. Anyway we got used to drawing the curtains early but we felt we were always on view.
Little did we know. Last week the house was demolished. It's extraordinary just how this has opened up our yard to public view. Where before we thought we were exposed now we really are. I went out to water my potted plants and found myself in full view of someone looking up from the street below. There'll be no dashing out in pyjamas to grab something off the clothesline now and chasing a small and sometimes recalcitrant dog at night is going to provide entertainment for half the neighbourhood.
It's not all bad. The view, which has always been obscured, turns out to be spectacular and when I go out to watch the eclipse of the moon tonight I'll be able to see it clearly. I'd better not get used to it though. Apparently, although the owners haven't bothered to tell us what their plans are, they intend to rebuild and there will be more changes to get used to. But that's life, isn't it. Everything changes. Sometimes it's for the better, sometimes not. Whichever it is we have to change with it. At least it's never dull.