Sam and Jane Lodge bought a nice plot in Kew
to build a new home with a glorious view
They received some abuse when their plans became known
as residents gossiped and started to moan
So, Sam and Jane Lodge weren’t a popular pair
Convinced that their neighbours were being unfair.

Jane told them: “Be real, the whole country’s investing,
in housing – it’s policy, what’s the point in protesting?
You must see that when your own houses were new
they probably blocked someone else’s ‘nice’ view!”
But the neighbours ganged up, bitter, full of distrust
never missing a chance to vent their disgust

And so it went on ‘til the builder had finished
with the neighbours’ hostility still undiminished
Sam quickly found out that the chaps in the local
were hardly inclined to be friendly or social
In fact, both the Lodges felt badly outcast
and just couldn’t believe the vendetta would last.

Jane joined the church, tried the WI
hoping that they might let sleeping dogs lie
But her efforts to mingle were met with a snub
whilst Sam was blackballed by the local golf club
So, resigned to the fact they’d never break through
they sat in their garden admiring the view

Then something happened that no one expected –
note on a tree, which Jane quickly collected
and took to show Sam who nearly dropped dead
“They simply can’t do it!” was all that he said
“A five-storey block – it’ll shut out our view –
we’ll fight to the death, yes, that’s what we’ll do.”

Jane went down the street, petition in hand
Eliciting signatures, her campaign all planned
Nobody wanted a block of apartments
and soon she was off to the planning department
– her mission: to stop this outrageous new scheme
Even Sam was surprised how she warmed to the theme

She went on the Internet, rang up the planners
(Not bothering with courtesy, tact or good manners)
‘phoned the developers, gave them an earful
acting the part – sometimes nasty then tearful
She organised meetings with all her supporters
– taking over Sam’s study as campaign headquarters

She started a newsletter, wrote to the press,
stuck leaflets though letterboxes – had some success
with the local MP who spoke in the house
Not a minute to spare (least of all for her spouse)
She arranged a collection to pay a consultant
whose initial approach left her flushed and exultant!

It seemed the developer in search of fat profits
had ignored EU regs when designing the soffits
and, once pointed out, the planners insisted
they’d not grant consent until they’d enlisted
a Belgian from Brussels to come and inspect
every last detail that had to be checked

This bought her some time, set her off down the trail
of looking for loopholes amongst the detail
Sitting up late with her friendly professional
dissecting the plans, getting red-eyed, obsessional,
all to unearth that impalpable flaw
convinced it would get the scheme thrown out the door

They hit on the error late into the night –
an old right of way, which ran right through the site.
Vic, the consultant, knew just what they’d found
and aroused by the moment (and sure of his ground)
pulled Jane towards him, his hands on her hips
And consulted her passionately, full on the lips.

Well, Jane was a hero, the scheme was refused
and poor Sam left the district, battered and bruised
Jane and Vic ran away to his cottage in Wales
and her dream house in Kew was put up for sale
A brewery put in for a flash gastro pub
plus a first floor extension with snooker above

This time the residents hit a brick wall
for without Jane to help them they’d no chance at all
Not to mention the fact that the brewery was rich
and the scheme went through planning with hardly a hitch
Then they went on to purchase the land at the back
And built a hotel where there would have been flats.

The moral, of course, as the poet might say,
is that putting aside naked greed and foul play
and despite the best efforts of your local town hall,
when it comes to development …
… “love (or is it sex?) conquers all!”

September 2013