“I should say ‘donkeys’, not ‘jackasses’,”

Says Dad, as we walk past the noisy hoofed animals next door.

“I wouldn’t want the neighbours to think I’m talking about them.”

In June 2010, the neighbours filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking an easement over our land. They were concerned they might be denied the use of our driveway in the future, though we had never denied or threatened to deny them in the past.

When Dad bought the farm in 1969 for $18,900, Jim Godfrey, who subdivided the land, had planned to put in a driveway of his own. Dad told him not to bother with the added expense as he was welcome to use ours. They shook hands.



Said Dad with his cane/sword like He-Man to the courthouse sky.

In March 2011, the neighbours denied our settlement offer of an easement over our 180 metre driveway in exchange for an easement over their 20 metre turnaround area.

“Fences make the best neighbours.”

Said the judge in our day in court.

In July 2011, the Honourable Mr. Justice dismissed the petitioner with costs.

We won.

“He told me his wife is a lady,”

says Dad.

“Your mother’s mother was the great great granddaughter of Lord Brooke and she was kind to everyone she met.”

Says Dad.

“That’s a lady.”

In August 2011, the neighbours filed a Notice of Appeal.

“An appeal will be difficult and expensive for both parties. However, my clients are intent on proceeding and have the financial resources to do so.”

Wrote their new legal representation, pushing again for a one-way easement.

“I am instructed to inform you of my client’s plans for a gate in the current Turnaround Area.”

He wrote in his next letter.

The gate was built and our garbage man and other visiting large vehicles now reverse down the driveway the neighbours continue to enjoy.


“Well, I’ve had my morning glare from the neighbours,”

Laughs Dad with the paper in hand.

In April 2013 and with the deadline to pursue an appeal passed, our lawyers sent a letter requesting a negotiated $5,164.00 in costs from the $8,218.99 we spent in legal fees.

The letter was followed by a neighbourly visit to Dad. According to the neighbour, his mother-in-law had died recently and his wife was experiencing some health concerns. Therefore, he felt Dad should sympathize by waiving the costs.

Dad in his chair, Andrea told the neighbour to leave.

In May 2013, our lawyers deposited a cheque for $5000.00.

“We’ve shared the driveway with five neighbours in the forty odd years we’ve been here.”

Says Dad.

“One bad apple out of five is pretty good odds.”


About Morbid Optimist

My name is Katryna Mary Brooke Ormiston. I am 35 years old and after living in Vancouver for a decade, I am returning home to my 81 year old father’s hobby farm on Vancouver Island to care for him in the final stages of his life. This blog is to document my journey, process my experiences along the way and hopefully share and feel connected to a community beyond the three and a half acres I find myself on. A message in a bottle in the cyber-sea.
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