What a week.  On Sunday, just before lunch time, my wife gave birth to our second child.  Victoria Lillian Long – She’s beautiful, and just the most wonderful thing for us all.

But, she came a day or so early, in fact, as far as we were concerned, she came about four days early – so, we weren’t quite ready.  The house was a bit of a mess, and generally we could have done with an extra day or so!

In the 3 full days since, I’ve learned fast that a good neighbour beats any technology – any day… Read on for why…

We left home at around 8pm Saturday Night – our Son safe and sleeping at his grandparents place, off to the hospital we trotted.  With time still to wait, I came home, grabbed a few hours sleep, then returned on the call at 2.30am that ‘things had started’.

Victoria was born at 11.55am, I can’t even remember what time I got home that afternoon/evening.  What I do remember is a washing basket at the front door.  Full of our washing.

You see earlier on Saturday we’d washed a lot of clothes, and being a nice sunny day, put them outside – they needed more time, so we’d likely bring them in on Sunday afternoon – or at least that was the question.

On Saturday night at 10pm, I put a load of very important washing on for my Wife, and in the morning at 3am before returning to the hospital put it out on the line.

So, to return home Sunday to a basket full of folded, dry washing, with those items I washed only the night before still out hanging wet in the backyard was amazing.

Our lovely Neighbour Judy had simply noticed that we had not been home for a full day, and knowing full well how pregnant my wife was, assumed things had happened, so took the liberty of taking in the washing.  How amazing is that.  Really – How Amazing.

Well, I can beat that.

This morning, Tuesday – I took Jackson to visit his mum, we played, had fun, then I took him to his grandparents so I could return home and get a quick run at some cleaning – lots to do before mum and bub get home on Thursday you see!

I drove over the hill approaching our home, and in the distance, past our home I could see other homes with their opened garbage bins on the street, some fallen over, some just opened – but – all out on the street – for collection – 4 hours earlier!

I swore, many times, at myself – how foolish, how simple, how could I forget.

I drove into the driveway, and noticed the bin at the top of the driveway.

As I hopped out of the car, walked to the bin, opened it – it was Empty.  We haven’t gone a day without filling the bin, let alone a whole week – She’d struck again – Judy had taken our bin out, and not only that, once collected by the council, Judy had brought it back up to the house.  Once again, Amazing.

No amount of thanks can repay her, hopefully a box of chocolates will help.

But it got me thinking – with all the twittering, facebooking, foursquareing we do these days – isn’t it amazing how important a good neighbour is?

Even an alert on my smartphone might have reminded me about the bin, but would I have been too far away to do anything? Would the phone have known to bring my washing in? No.

Although i’m sure “there’s an app for that”.

Since leaving home, I would guess I’ve had 10-15 different residences, units mainly, and now a townhouse we call our own.  At only one of them have I taken the time to know my neighbour – and boy oh boy has it paid off.

Technology is amazing – we’ve downloaded apps to keep our Son entertained while we look after the new baby, we’ve downloaded apps of sounds and noise for the baby to sleep to, but none of them would have helped me clear out the bin if Judy hadn’t been so wonderful.

Good old fashioned neighbours – we need more of em…