Friday, October 21, 2011
Much wants more and sneaky sneaky neighbours
We have a saying in Norwegian "Mye vil ha mer og fanden vil ha fler" Meaning something along the lines of "Much wants more and the devil even more" This saying fits some people like a glove...
There are these people who bought an old ramshackle cottage up at the mountain. The cottage is next to our land (this land isn't cultivated - talking woods here). They started repairing the cottage and rebuilding it larger than it was. They came over to us last summer asking for our signature allowing them to build 0.5 meters closer to our border than what the laws allows (law says it has to be 4 meters from any building to the neighour border) I figured that half a meter didn't really matter and since they were decent enough to come ask for our permission beforehand and apparently went about it the correct way with county laws etc, I would be nice and play ball, so I said yes and signed. Major mistake!
At this stage I hadn't seen their rebuilt cottage and didn't really know how close this cottage was to our land. Turns out that not only have they sneakily removed the old boundary stones and cut down the row of trees that the previous owner had put up to function as a border AND built half a meter closer to our land, they had built their cottage ON our land =( Not far onto our land, granted, but still.... We can't really use that bit of land to anything as there is a dirt road crossing our land to a couple of other cottages further up in the woods. My father made a deal with these two cottage owners that they were allowed to build a dirt road on our land, given that they took all the cost of making it and all maintenance expenses and we were allowed to use the road when we were working in the woods, cutting trees, etc. Also in border disputes, the authorities demand very clear border-maps (there aren't any - this is old men country, boarders are shown with boundary stones, creeks and other such landmarks and orally told/shown from generation to generation) and still they tend to decide on joint expenses for the law suit and court procedures and let the buildings stay - so it's a typical lose/lose case. We were not happy and we let them know, but didn't go any further.
The other weekend they show up at our door again. This time they wanted a road and they showed us this old paper from 1968 stating that they had the right to have a 4 meters wide dirt road, were allowed to hunt and fish and cut firewood on our land. WTF?!? The paper isn't valid - legally or otherwise. These people also bought another house up there, even more worn down and ruined than the first cottage. This house was part of an old farm whose owners went bankrupt and the bank took over the entire farm and sold the land to the neighbour farmers up there (my father and Mr Lillekvelland) in the late 1980s.
So the farm no longer exist, the rights to fish and hunt and work the woods no longer exist. The old house was sold as a cottage, not a farm. The letter they referred to was a deal with the old farm owner and the previous owner of the cottage. Even if it was legit, it would only be valid for 10 years.... Who do these people think they are?!? They started to argue with us and hubby was about to lose his temper completely, so I just stated calmly that we were not signing any paper until we had discussed it with my father and that was that. They couldn't really say anything more and so they left. I am NEVER going to sign ANYTHING these crazies bring EVER again!
One thing is certain, they're not going to get a dirt road where they want it. Oh, I'll let them build a road over our land. I don't have the energy to be difficult just for the sake of argument - we really don't want anything to do with these guys. period. But I'll let them build a road from the other side of the cottage, up from the main road. I am not going to take any chances of them being able to complain and demand financial compensation because our tractors and forest-equipment make dents in "their" road....
Otherwise, I'm finally able to knit a pair of woolen socks to myself - unless my sister steals them, she came by yesterday and whined about this pair looking a lot cooler than the one I gave her -rolleyes- and listening to Neil Gaiman's "American Gods" and "The Anansi Boys" I luuuub these crazy stories. I've got the books and I've read them before, but having them read out loud by a fitting male voice doing the various accents and voicing the characters well is such a nice experience. Finished with American Gods and I've just started on the Anansi Boys and this one is read by a British guy with the most fitting accent - it has me laughing out loud again and again.
Hope you guys have a great weekend ^__^.