Our home is in a small town on the Coromandel Peninsular.  We commute to the city to work during the week and come home every weekend.  Everyone knows each other’s comings and goings and life is very pleasant beside the sea.

We share our long driveway with several neighbours, who we often rely on.  Our closest are a young, busy family with three vehicles.  They have helped us break into our downstairs flat when visitors locked the keys inside, they have jumpstarted our car when the battery was flat, they have kept our keys and passed them on to visitors using our home mid-week, they have shared their fresh fish caught the same day in the harbour, and… they have a lot if visitors who have no place to park their cars.

We always knew that on the odd occasion, when we were not at home, they used our driveway and yard as a parking lot, despite having asked several times that this not occur.  Even so, for the last several weeks, each Friday night when we arrive home ready to crash, there is a visitor parked in our driveway and we can’t get in.  It’s so annoying to have to go next door and hear the excuses before being able to unpack and unwind.

So what are our choices?  Do nothing but accept the inconvenience and annoyance when our home is used as a public car park?  Call in the lawyers?  Put out road cones like another neighbour has done recently?  Set up a neighbourhood intervention?  Build an expensive fence and lock the gate when we are not there?

None of the above is ideal but I suspect, to keep the peace, it might just have to be the latter.  Sigh.  It will have to be slim pickings at Christmas this year.


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