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A Conversation with the Thistle Lady


I have a confession to make…It pains me to say it but I hide from my neighbour. If I see her I will dodge behind a bush or throw my husband to her as the lamb to the slaughter. I’m being kind when I say this but my neighbour is a Tyrant.  It was last summer that we purchased a beautiful home on a green space – perfect for our kids. But unbeknownst to me I had to deal with The Thistle Lady.

Our conversations would begin as such:

“I’ve been meaning to discuss an issue I have with you about the thistles. You see I have noticed that they have been growing in the park space and I have taken the opportunity to be pulling them out. I was just wondering if you thought about doing the same – for the children, of course.”

I would look at the Thistle Lady with a dazed incomprehension of what she was actually talking about and wondered about the children.

“What do you mean for the children?”

“Well, you know how prickly the thistles can be?”

“My children seem to have no problems with thistles. Why would I want to pull them out of the public park space? Don’t we pay property tax and home owner’s association fees to have it taken care of?”

“Yes, we do! But it’s about communal living. The people of the community must take back the park spaces. Maybe we should even charge for others to use them.”

“But why?”

“As you know we need to take care of our common space.”

“But it looks fine. “

“You have no idea. But what do you know? I’m not quite sure you do anything besides stare at the computer, drink wine, or read books all day.”

 “I think I hear the phone ringing.”

The phone was my saviour but even on the best of days there was no escape!  It is this conversation which would occur on a daily basis, and at anytime of the day nobody was ever safe. She even went as far as to plant a thistle in my flower patch and tormented anyone who dared to enter the park.  It is this reason alone that I believe every home for sale should list a neighbour beware policy.  No one should ever have to deal with the Thistle Lady!

Categories: 1 Family, Mothers, Children, Life, Siblings


Darcie Cameron is a RYT 200 who believes Yoga is a gift that is accessible to everyone with proper modifications, a patient smile and just taking the time to breathe. One of the greatest presents you will ever unwrap is when you connect your mind, body and spirit in perfect sync with your own breath. Connect with Darcie on Facebook

6 replies

  1. I love this piece.

    “You have no idea. But what do you know? I’m not quite sure you do anything besides stare at the computer, drink wine, or read books all day.”

    Deja vu moment for me. (Except, replace wine with chocolate as we were not rich enough to afford too much wine!)

    After we got married, we had moved into an apartment owned by an entire extended family. It’s called a ‘joint’ family in India. They had the above complaint about me, though the thistles involved were chiefly metaphorical. Such unsociable behaviour on my part had deprived them of the joy of scrutinizing us – and our vagrant ways – in detail, over conversation about the best ways of pickling mangoes or something!

    We survived there only about a year.


    1. You are brave to live with an extended family – I don’t think I would have lasted a year! I hope you were able to move to a quiet condo that and enjoy the solitude without the intrusiveness of busy body neighbors. I lived in Delhi for a year. I was harrassed constantly by the police for walking home by myself or staying out past curfew. I was fortunate enough to rely on my neighbors for their assistance with these pests, they would translate what the police were saying, and convince them to leave. It is the one time I was grateful for having neighbors!

      1. Oh, my episode was in Delhi too. We did manage to move to a quiet neighbourhood after that – which I must confess we disrupted with some of our fights ;)- and our landlady was a sweet old lady with a very private disposition. Now though I’m back to Calcutta, my hometown. And yes, there are thistle people here too! I suppose it’s a universal thing.

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