I baked the orange cake for Mr Marco and Violet but it came out a bit burnt around the edges - the perils of working with a new (to me) oven.

The kids devoured the cake but I have promised myself I'll try again on Friday, when I don't have to work.

After meeting Mr Marco and Violet I have been thinking a lot about neighbours, and how important they are.

In Sydney, I lived in the same suburban red brick house my whole childhood. I knew almost everyone for streets around. Every day during the school holidays the kids would congregate in a nearby cul-de-sac and play street cricket or any number of games that we made up, including the pole game and brandings (don't ask!)

In summer we would all head for somebody's backyard swimming pool where we would play Marco Polo unsupervised - fortunately above ground swimming pools are usually pretty shallow. We were expected to play outdoors unless it was raining. Late afternoon the mothers would call out "tea-time' and we would all head home to eat, dirty and happy.

Later in Melbourne, my husband and I had wonderful neighbours. In particular, Sue-next-door (to distinguish her from Sue-two-doors-up and Sue-across-the-road) and I raised our children together until I moved to Adelaide in 2008. Sue-next-door's daughter Kate-next-door (to differentiate her from me), was my daughter's best friend from babyhood and they still write, ring and text each other regularly.

I hope that we will become friends with our neighbours here in Adelaide. It is difficult with so many mothers working (including me) to have that easy give-and-take that existed in the past. However, I am sure we will build relationships over time.

What do your neighbours mean to you?

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