Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Doodles and neighbourhood stress

I had an upsetting weekend with neighbourhood disputes. I love this house but I hate living in this street. Lots of kids who have no respect for cars on the road does not sit well with me and they all seem to congregate on the corner just up from my house. I'm tired of repeatedly telling kids to move off the road so I can continue on my way.

Unfortunately, it all came to a head on the weekend when I had to, again, tell a group of kids to remove their bikes from the road. They had laid their bikes flat across the lane and I couldn't even go around them because one young girl was standing in the oncoming lane so, I did what anyone else would do in my position...I told them to move off the road. As I moved on, I happened to glance over at the parents who were sitting in their front yard drinking and I couldn't believe my eyes when one of the Dad's gave me the finger!!! I stopped the car, got out, told him that I had every right to tell their kids to move off the road if they were obstructing traffic but all I got was a mouthful of abuse from the other Dad. Well, all I can say is that it is easy to see why their kids have no respect when that is the type of example they are setting for them.

To make matters worse, they blatantly taunted me later that afternoon by getting all the kids and adults they could gather out on the road playing cricket. Same again on Sunday afternoon right on through to the evening. Come Monday morning, I got in the car to drive my son to school and was astounded to see the road literally covered in chalk drawings which went for about 10 metres. It was an utter mess and a complete eye-sore. It reminded me of the graffiti you see on walls and buildings. What message are these parents sending their kids? That it's okay to draw all over public property?

I rang the local council and they sent out a clean up crew the next day. I did see one of the council crew talking to one of the Dads concerning the mess on the road so you would think that would be the end of it, wouldn't you? Wrong! This morning, I drove my son to school and noticed a single chalk drawing on the road. The drawing was of a 'penis'! I'm pretty sure I see the message they are trying to give me but, again, what sort of example is that setting for their kids? Don't get me wrong......I love kids! I've raised five of my own and I can proudly say I've been a responsible parent all the way. My kids know right from wrong. I just have to wonder where today's youth are headed when a lot of them don't seem to be given any boundaries. Needless to say, my weekend was not the best.

Today, I painted in the sky of the Zebra painting. I went to take a pic but the camera battery died so I will try to post a pic soon.

For the past two days I have doodled while watching the midday movie. The first one reminds me of a flower. I based the second one on what I thought was a Zentangle only to find out afterwards that the standard size for a Zentangle is 3½"x3½" and mine was drawn in my A5 sketchbook so I guess it can be a Clayton's Zentangle. lol If you haven't heard of Zentangles before, you can find out all about them here. I found the 'Zentangle' drawing to be a very relaxing and soothing process. You just start with a line and let the drawing develop from there by repeating patterns. I will definitely be doing more of these. As a matter of fact, one of the little, handmade notebooks I bought last year is exactly 3½"x3½" in size so I will use that one from now on.
Micron Pigma pen in A5 sketchbook - © Serena Lewis

My Clayton's Zentangle - © Serena Lewis
Click on image to enlarge

Michelle is coming to stay for a couple of days starting tomorrow so I'm very excited!! She is still not doing well in terms of her recovery from the car accident three months ago. They are now sending her for a CAT scan and an MRI to make sure they haven't missed anything. I hope they get to the root of the problem soom.


  1. Oh my Serena, I feel for you. My parents had problems with neighbors like these so I know what you are going through. Those types of people love to egg you on. They don't care what the police say or do either. I really feel for you.

    I love your new illustrations. The black and white checks are awesome and really have a great look.

    Take care.


  2. Hey Serena, I'm so sorry that you're having that trouble.It makes it very hard when you so enjoy the house you live in. I guess all you can do, is what you did and hope that some sanity prevails. You're right about the kids, sadly some of those kids will grow up the same way as the parents.
    As for the drawings....awesome as always. Isn't it nice to have a diversion when something is gnawing at Ro

  3. Thank goodness we have our art to center us when the world gets a bit crazy around us! Let me know if you want me to come over and paint pretty colorful daisies over any nasty drawings!

  4. Holy cow! Those neighbors of your are *ssh*oles! I feel your pain. We moved a while ago because of neighbors. It's awful, they can really ruin things. I often get on my soapbox about kids that don't move for cars. It's out of control. Nobody is teaching their kids anything anymore.

  5. Hi Serena, what an unpleasant situation you went through. They sound like total morons these adults. I pity their children having them as role models.

    I really like that doodle with the checks - it has the feeling of an optical illusion! Looking forward to seeing your zebra painting :-)


  6. I totally sympathise with you, I really do. You sound so good about it but this sort of thing is extremely stressful. I've had 3 different experiences with problem neighbours and in one case the police told me that there is no solution except to move and eventually we did (and these were middle aged, 'middle class' people that ought to know better - there are no class barriers!). They do get off on making trouble but I can't understand the mentality when it must make life unpleasant for themselves too, no matter how much they sneer. Sadly kids that are brought up this way know no different and can't change without outside help of some sort. I just hope they get bored with it and hopefully realise what idiots they are. Good luck!

  7. Thank you all so much for your support. If the taunts continue, I may seriously consider moving again. This is the first time I have ever had problem neighbours and it's quite upsetting. The police do have a record of the event as I called them shortly after the abuse. As it stands, I can call the police when these neighbours are being a nuisance on the road and they will come out and tell them to move off the road but that is as far as their power goes. The hitch is that as soon as the police leave the neighbours can just go back to what they were doing. I've decided that I won't waste precious police resources for that and, for now, it's enough that they have a record of the problem. It upsets me to think that generations ago, a man would never have shown disrespect to a woman like that. It just seems like respect is becoming a thing of the past these days which I think is really sad. :(

  8. You know what kills me? I just saw this video online via
    It's of a little monkey riding a motorcycle in Thailand. The one thing I noticed when I watched this, is that THE MONKEY instinctively LOOKED BOTH WAYS AND WATCHED the traffic before getting on his motorcycle again! The kids in our community don't do that! LOL! It's funny... but it's not funny.

  9. I agree, Serena, respect does seem to be a thing of the past. It must be awful to have to deal with these inconsiderate, rude people everyday.

    I like your Zentangles and the black and white is quite striking.

    Enjoy your visit and take care!


  10. Hi Serena, sorry to hear you've had a bad week, I hope you have a lovely weekend :) I came across Suzi Blu a few weeks ago too and it was just the inspiration I needed! I love your journal pages, I find my deepest feelings seem to come out when I do these.x

  11. I'm so sorry that you're having this problem Serena and I think you're dealing with it the right way. The more attention that you give it (and them), the more you'll give them an excuse to feel justified in retaliating. Unfair, for sure. It's sad when our home which is our refuge from the world, become a place of conflict.
    The Zentangles are really beautiful and a great Zen activity to calm the mind. I think I'll keep my small sketchbook and pen in my bag and do some doodling too!

  12. Zentangle do wonders to calm the "savage beasts of the night"...and the daytime too! I enjoy doing them quite often...but change up the format to suit my mood. :)

    I hope the neighborhood situation settles a bit for you. I send wishful thoughts your wasy..

  13. I'm sorry about the conflicts with your neighbors. That kind of thing is never fun. I hope things get better soon. I do really like these doodles!

  14. Serena i didnt realize you had FIVE kids! I dont know how people have more than one. FIVE? You have my deepest respect.

    Rude neighbors: I thought people here were bad. In that situation, I would have called the police. What is wrong with people?????

  15. PS I hope Michelle is ok. Sending warm thoughts and prayers...

  16. The neighbourhood kids could sure learn about road sense from the monkey, Lauren ~ :)

    Kate, be sure to post those doodles as I'm sure they will be wonderful ~ :)

    Margart Ann, your Zentangle work is very inspiring and I always enjoy my visits to your blog. :)

    Thanks for dropping by, Anne. I'm glad you liked the doodles. :)

    Thanks, Jessica. :) Yes, FIVE kids....four to my first marriage so they are aged from 24 down to 19...and my baby, Aaron, aged 9....the gift from my second marriage.

  17. I pray your neighbors are a rare breed...sadly you got stuck with them. Mostly people are good, I try and think. I would move too!

    Love you larger Zentangles. I cannot get the hang of them. As always, your work is impeccable!