Sunday, January 08, 2006

The Art Of Noise

In 25 years of life I’ve been lucky. I’ve never had the problems of noisy neighbours.

OK there was once the time, in my Hall Of Residence days at uni when I could clearly hear my neighbour in the throes of orgasm but when you’re 19 and she’s mildly attractive it really isn’t a problem. There was also the time at Flat 4 when the person above seemed to be tacking his carpet down at 3 am in the morning. The rhythmic tapping slowly moving across the ceiling.

In the last two nights however we’ve had neighbour noise. The thing is, they’ve been very comical. At 1.30am yesterday morning we discovered that next door obviously isn’t unoccupied as a loud row broke out. Cries of ‘Stupid Girl!’ in a Spanish accent were heard while Turkish shouting back echoed through the walls in relpy. It was a full-blown domestic and rather than slap the wall in anger I was drawn in. It was gripping stuff but ended with the female voice protesting to just ‘let her go to sleep’. (Tut tut – you should never go to sleep on an argument. Haven’t you ever read Clare Rayner!?)

This morning was bizarre, and from a different house. At approximately 3am I went down to get a drink. I could hear music but didn’t know where from. It wasn’t from either of ‘nextdoors’. Returning to the bedroom I eased open the window to have my ears assaulted with the very loud sounds of Irish Folk Music. (Good to see our double glazing works though, it was doing a damn fine job at stopping the sound!) I listened in pure bemusement as the song proclaiming support for Protestants drifted across the night. The sound was coming from the next street – I’m guessing the house whose light was on. I could hear the occasional muffled banging of irritated neighbours. What did I do? I laughed. At 3am the last sort of loud music you expect is Irish Folk. Perhaps party anthems or dance? It was the sounds of either a house party gone very wrong or a pissed up old Irishman remembering the good old days. After a while he obviously got the message of repeated banging and the music died away.

They say stuff comes in threes. So tomorrow at 2am I’m looking forward to the Salvation Army just opposite us digging out their tubas and encouraging the street into a belated and highly ironic rendition of ‘Silent Night’.

No comments: