Desperate English Housewife in Washington, chapter 354

This ad is the dog’s b*llocks!

Well, I trawled through the Superbowl commercials from Sunday and I liked the Doritos one, because it was cute, and I don’t get what all the fuss is about the Coca-Cola one.

Some folks are having a pop because it’s not all sung in English. Sigh. Honestly, get over it! I choose the Spanish option at the store check out to try and improve my Spanish. America is multicultural – that’s to celebrate. So, whilst you are banned in our house, Coke, because you are gut-rotting soda, I dig your commercial.

Yes it is, because it is diverse.

Yes it is, because it is diverse.

Anyhow. this commercial was shown in Georgia, and it is frigging epic by an American dude attorney called Jamie Casino! It’s like a mini-movie or a trailer! Seriously, check this out! It’s nuts! And the fact his surname is ‘Casino’ – even more kudos to the bloke. He rocks!!

This time, I say it and mean it with a big grin of approval on my face – ONLY IN AMERICA! πŸ˜‰

Clean up your front yard!

The other day, when I was sitting just in this very place, writing my blog, I saw a woman with a clipboard outside. I thought not much of it, because the house next door is for sale and I guessed it was some kind of Real Estate lady – she had that kind of bouffant hair you see on the side of their vans. πŸ˜‰

Anyway, yesterday I got a yellow card in my mail box from the local residents’ association! Oh, my delight!

Now, I have friends who are on their own residents’ associations in their neighbourhoods in Columbia, and they take it very seriously, and I appreciate and respect that. It must be a tough job.

I also get that when the Columbia Association was founded the neighbourhoods were subject to a serious of standards and rules. Like, you don’t paint your door purple (this is not Brighton or Torquay) and you have no junk in your front yard. Seriously, there is none of that here – remember when I was aghast to see a mattress in the ROAD just by my house?! Quelle horreur!

Jolly and bright houses in Brighton, England

Jolly and bright houses in Brighton, England

Anyhow, Columbia is very tidy and you rarely see a bit of litter, and that’s lovely, and people move here because it is safe and clean and wot not. BUT sometimes I feel like it is a little bit Desperate Housewives/Stepford Wives, with all the houses the same and not much personality and character exuding from some of the neighbourhoods. Admittedly, some of them are different and I see some people trying to make their mark and I like that. Old Ellicott City nearby, which is older as its name suggest, definitely has more charm and personality in its housing, but the rest is a big estate with big, new houses looking very much the same.

A typical Columbia house

A typical Columbia house

Each to their own. I loved walking through parts of New York and delighted at seeing the city houses – all a mishmash and full of colour and vibrancy – but I certainly appreciate living where I live at the same time.

There are rules with the Columbia Association – you don’t hang your washing out to dry (even tho this is VERY environmentally friendly), leave your battered old Chevy out, put up a fence or a trampoline without consent and you don’t make exterior alternations, full stop. Fair enough.

BUT – my ‘violation’ note stated that there was a ‘box and branches creating an eyesore’ on our grass outside the front of the house. How I laughed!

This ‘eyesore’ is actually Harry’s attempt at a tree house. It’s certainly not amazing, but he made it and loves it, and he plays in it and eats Roast Beef Monster Munch there, watching the world go by, and I love that he does that. Plus, do they know how much trouble I would be in if I even attempted to tidy that away?!

The offending tree house / eyesore sore

The offending tree house / eyesore

It made me smile, and then a bit sad. It was kind of like saying: please don’t let your children play in the front yard. I made a sarcastic (read as British) mental note to myself as a parent: allow no more creative, imaginative outside playing for six-year-old boys.

My status update about this event on Facebook generated a lot of comment – some people thought it was outrageous to get a comment a card about such a sweet little tree house effort and that it was pretty militant of the residents’ association; others kind of got that a violation is a violation, and commented that ‘If they let you keep the tree house, then the guy next door with pink painted Virgin Mary statues will have to be given a pass’.

I hear it all! But Harry and I have a plan because they are coming back to inspect that the ‘eyesore’ has been removed in a few weeks.

I explained that rules are rule to Harry, but we discussed how we might be able to keep the tree house, and it’s worth a try. Life lessons and all that!

This weekend Harry will be writing a note to the residents’ association making his case to keep the tree house. He will pose outside in his tree house, eating his Roast Beef Monster Munch for a series of pictures to show how he loves it. The pictures will show that he sits and reads there, that his friend Rachel stops by the chat to him, and that the cats come and lie next to him to pass the time of day. We will then pin the note and the pictures to the tree on the day the residents’ association returns…..

As my friend Bill declared: ‘Can’t wait to see how this one unfolds…..’ Wish us luck! πŸ˜‰

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8 Responses to Desperate English Housewife in Washington, chapter 354

  1. Andy says:

    This weekend on pay-per-view: A UKDesperateHousewife in the USA vs. The Columbia Residents Association “This Could Get Ugly. Fast.” I hope ‘Arry can tug at their heartstrings, but i’ve had run-ins with those associations before. I fought the law and the law won…..

  2. Pat and Pam says:

    Huzzah! I totally agree with you re the coke commercial!

    Fingers x’d about Harry’s house — maybe a spot of paint would help? Might be a big maybe, though.

  3. Wishing you and Harry the best! Technically it’s the village in which you live that sets and enforces the covenants, not CA, per se. But, to most people, CA and the villages are pretty much one and the same. Hope to see you at the hocoblogs party on the 27th. http://goo.gl/AnaVco And remember, please and if you will, to use the tags for your posts with a hoco focus, e.g. #HoCoBlogs for community posts, #HoCoFood for restaurant posts, etc. http://goo.gl/vwrEcV Thanks!

  4. Joan says:

    Don’t blame your village association. The association only sends a violation notice if one of your neighbours complained about it! What you and Harry need to do is APPLY for the structure by going through official channels! The Resident Architectural Committee will review the application at a public meeting and determine whether it meets the guidelines for your village.

  5. Now, no one is blaming anyone! I’m not applying for anything in any way shape or form, so let’s not blow this out of proportion! Effing miserable neighbours is all I can say! I’ll get Harry to invite them round for Monster Munch! I’s a frigging box!

  6. June Simpson says:

    Don’t they know that an Englishman’s (or woman’s) home is their castle ( and every child’s treehouse is his/her castle). Honestly, I really hate these HOA’s – yes, I understand that people want to keep their neighborhoods nice, but sure a bit of common sense should prevail at times? As for the miserable git that complained, have they forgotten what it is to be a child?

    Save the treehouse!’

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