OPINION: Tourists test my patience
ONCE again, I am girding my loins as the school holidays approach.
When I relocated several years ago I - foolishly - chose again to live in a glorious part of Australia that is a drawcard for tourists.
Those tourists pack the family car carefully each holiday season with little Tristan, Chloe and Bailey the something-oodle; they cram jet skis, mini bikes, the CD collection and various other noisy pastimes into the 4WD that has never seen a dirt road, and head to our part of the world to have some fun.
Sadly, the car is often so full that they can't quite find a corner in which to squeeze their manners.
My nearest part-time neighbours (who only ever came up on the odd weekend and every other set of hols) have moved to Perth and thus their modest house is now listed on an Internet site for holiday letting.
Being a perennial stickybeak, I looked it up to find that a colossal sum of money per night is exchanged for the privilege of sleeping next door to me (I'm sure that must be the reason it's so expensive).
There's been a constant stream of people coming and going; parties, the odd drunken, vomiting teenager and several dogs that have pooed extravagantly in my yard.
Because I had the best neighbours for such a long time in Nashua, I've been spoilt and now have to tread carefully for more reasons than just the canine byproducts.
Are the visitors really that noisy, or am I over-reacting because all I heard for years was the gentle lowing of cattle?
Is it really that bad that the latest lot play DVDs - loudly - at 7am with all their doors and windows open so I can hear Homer Simpson dribbling over his doughnuts as clearly as if he were in my kitchen?
I realised I wasn't being unreasonable when I looked out the window last Christmas to find holiday renters had erected a rather roomy tent so they could squeeze in a few more people, possibly in an effort to get their money's worth.
Only problem was, they'd put the tent up in yet another neighbour's yard - without asking their permission.
A rather animated conversation ensued between the landowner and the visitors, accompanied by lively hand gestures and at least two renditions of the Angry Dance.
Then, one night a guest caused a moment's uproar (from me) after shining his torch through my bedroom window looking for a black labrador that had gone missing at midnight.
Apparently the owner thought he may have curled up in my bed. I chased him with a baseball bat.
I've planned a revenge for the upcoming holidays; the local op shop yielded several CDs featuring the bagpipes.
Homer, you have been warned.