Travelling tittle-tattle, tall tales and shameless name-dropping by Jon ‘Don’t Call Me’ Norman

About Me

Friday, 9 January 2009

And a happy bloomin New Year to you too.

We've been living in our flat for nearly a year now and it's as good as it gets.

I mean the flat itself is pretty small. Decent sized living room for two people. We've squeezed in six people for entertainment purposes. We were doing the entertaining. We didn't do it just to see what the room looked like with that many people inside.

Nice bedroom, kitchen and bathroom. Enough storage for me and nearly enough for Fe. And the location is second to none which for South London is often a problem. Five mins from Clapham Junction, ten mins from the tube, bus stop into town right outside the house, bus stops from Central London, West London and pretty much everywhere in the very closest of vicinities. 25 mins from work. 25 mins from the parents. 25 mins from pretty much everywhere. And the area is safe enough, community spirit is evident and it's street enough to feel safe, street and part of what's going down. It's all good.

But in the past week and a half I've started having fears that it's all about to change.

I've worked throughout the Christmas and New Year period. It's one of the drawbacks of being self-employed and working in the sports media. My tax is due and football goes into overdrive. It's not something I complain about and in a way it's the most attractive time of the year to be working in London. Because most of the people who live here don't actually come from the city itself. So by the time Xmas comes along they bugger off back up north to their nice country cottage and to take part in the New Years Day hunt leaving the public transport system to take a nice breather and allow those using it to put their feet up for once.

However come last Sunday, the last Sunday before work started up again, it was time for everyone in England to rest up and take it easy. The first working week of a new working year awaited. A day traditionally associated with depositing browned Christmas trees outside the house, throwing out the Radio Times (highlighted TV shows and all), resetting the alarm on the phone, running a bath and counting up the days til payday - did New Years really cost that much? No matter. Sunday 4th January, up and down the country was the one day in the entire calender singularly devoted to rest.

Unless of course you live underneath my flat and decide it's the perfect time to throw a party.

It's not that the music was particularly loud. Nor that they were being overtly raucous. It's more that there's no soundproofing between our flat and their's. We could hear the voices, we could hear the cheering, we could hear every sodding thing. It's a nightmare because the problem lies in the poorly built soundproofing between floors. Going downstairs and asking them to whisper wasn't going to work any more than questioning why they'd decided that tonight of all night's was the one they'd decided to host a party.

We both dropped off to sleep around 1am but only after Fe had put on her noise restricting headphones and I'd promised myself that a trip to the ear plug store awaited in the morning.

Fast forward a week and I can hear them once more. I remind myself it's only 9pm on a Friday night and they are more than within their rights. Hell, I've turned my own music up to such a level that they can probably hear it more than there own tinny garage. 'The Ting Tings, Elbow & the ever reliable Smashing Pumpkins' being my music of choice before you ask. But how long can I put up with it?

It's affected me more than I thought it would. On the way home from work this week I've been sub-consciously fretting that another evening was about to be ruined. Only to get back and find everything has gone back to normal. Peace on earth retained. But for how long?

1 comment:

Lord Mancsworth of Mancshire said...

I commented on your most recent post first, but read this and I must say I really do know what it's like - awful.

When disturbed by the thump of a sub-bass that is ridiculously over-powered for city living, I am often visited by the same memory. The old giffer on St Leonard's Road. Particularly the time Jez drunkenly swore at his granddaughter. We were so young and goddam cool.

Aah, the perspective of hindsight.

Hope you get it sorted soon buddy. Perhaps you need to look into some sound-proof flooring?