Monday, October 05, 2009

Meeting The Neighbours

It’s funny. Only two weeks ago I was lamenting to my wife, my friends and my work colleagues (anyone who would listen in fact) how much I missed university. The buzz. The creative atmosphere. The sense of higher learning and personal development that offered a sense of relief from the relentless toil of 9 to 5.

And then a week ago the university came back to me...

...in the shape of new neighbours: students.

Oh joy.

Now I might have had my gripes about our old neighbours – the Polish family – but really they were lovely and hardly any trouble at all (as long as you averted your eyes when Mr Daddy-Pole was squatting in front of his barbecue like a Sumo wrestler in shorts so tight his genitals appeared to have been shrink wrapped in cling film). They were quiet. Kept regular hours. And mowed their lawn occasionally.

They had a young family like us and so there was enough common ground for us to harbour mutual respect for each other’s home lives and need for private R&R time.

The same cannot be said for the party animals now living next-door.

OK. I’m being a bit harsh. I’ve had one disturbed night out of 7 but really, given that they’re going to be here for at least 9 months, the odds aren’t great for me maintaining my beauty sleep regime.

Friday night the loud music kicked off at 10.20pm. Not a constant thump-thump-thump (which would be bad enough) but a horrible start and stop track that seemed to be on a permanent loop. It was maddening. However, end-of-week exhaustion worked in my favour and I did manage to drop off... Only to be woken at 1.0am by the same track now being pumped so loudly out of a car parked out the front that I could hear the house bricks vaporizing with each thump of the bass.

And then the music was unbelievably drowned out by a sleep shattering barrage of giggling and shrieking and screamed conversations whose beginnings, middles and ends consisted solely off “yeah, man, like, yeah, like, yeah man...”

In the end I had to don trousers and coat (it only occurs to me now that I was in danger of adopting flasher chic) and go outside and politely hail them over the hedge. Tempted as I was to give them a mouthful (I’m only talking strong language here, OK?) I decided to keep it polite. I figured it might be wiser not to launch straight off into a war on my own doorstep. I asked them if they wouldn’t mind “keeping it down just a bit so that their neighbours could get some sleep?”

To be fair to them, they apologized and the music volume was instantly dropped. And within minutes they had all disbursed and gone back to their hashish bongs or whatever it is they’re called these days. And I was able to get back to sleep.

However I was tired and grumpy the next day. And I suddenly recalled all the things about Uni life that had begun to irritate me greatly when I was there.

Students and their fun and their music and their good times and their living life to the max and their craziness and their drinking and their inane loudness and their totally in your face youthfulness and ebullience.

Bah humbug!

Come back Mr Cling Film – all is forgiven!


30 comments:

Gina said...

Ah you're getting old like me.

Let's hope that it was just a housewarming party and that they don't have another until they leave. When we were selling our house in Aber the neighbours on both sides put some pressure on us not to sell to a landlord (it was a big house on lots of floors) so they didn't get students in.

I can sleep through anything though.

But being tired is no fun. Next time you should probably don something less Flasher and go and join in. Whilst you'll be tired the next day at least you have had some fun.

Steve said...

Gina: I don't think it was a housewarming as such just some friends coming over for a nose. But if 4 people can make that much noise I dread to think what a party could do! As for joining in with them... not sure my wife would approve. But, you know, if I gatecrashed regularly and inflicted my crap dancing on them it might put them off having parties or playing loud music ever again... hey, I think you might be onto something there! ;-)

The Dotterel said...

You've reminded me how, twenty years ago, I acquired the nightly habit sleeping with earplugs. They're very comfortable, and have the added attraction of meaning you don't hear spouses snoring, babies crying etc. Highly recommended!

Steve said...

Dotterel: I tried earplugs a few years ago but just couldn't get on with them. They either wouldn't stay in or caused my ear to itch so much I ended up scratching them until they bled. I think I need a soundproof cocoon...

The Sagittarian said...

A few years ago our neighbours rang and politely asked us to turnt he music down...it was about 10.30pm but we agreed nicely, as it turns out the wife was studying and the noise was affecting her ability to do that. No problem, now the studying is all done and they come over and bring their music with them! (I expect that will change shortly as they are about to have their first baby!!); on the other hand our nieghbours on the other side are all young rowdy inconsiderate yobs with appalling music tastes! Even further down the street is a family with a penchant for Kareoke on Sunday afternoons - the same songs over and over...might need some of that armoury that Owen mentioned in your last blog to take care of that one!!

Inchy said...

Never did Uni. Walked out into the Big Wide World and came face to face with the Short Sharp Shock that is working for a living.

However I do hear my noisy gay neighbour upstairs either cage fighting or having sex. I'm not sure which it is as they both appear to sound the same.

Owen said...

Good luck Steve... you sure seem to have all sorts of fun neighbors now ! And the noise didn't wake up your kids ? The barbarians are at our gates, they're even at our garden hedges...

Clippy Mat said...

if i could be bothered to post on my own blog these days i might have written somehing similar to your lament. i live in a university town and our neighbourhood has been taken over by students. arrgghh! i feel your pain :-)
p.s. thaks for your response to my message

Steve said...

Amanda: feel free to pack some heat and go shoot 'em up. Karaoke is a crime against humanity.

Inchy: I think hitting each other with metal fold-up chairs might be the give away...

Owen: the kids slept through the lot thankfully - just wish I could. We're lucky the kids feel so secure in their beds, I guess. As for the barbarians... it feels like the last days of Rome...!

Clippy Mat: it's been really noticeable this year. Possibly Warwick Univesity has increased its intake but suddenly there are hundreds of dynamic, fashionable young things everywhere... we've been overrun! It's like someone has imported the 1980's!

Re: message - my pleasure. Thank you.

KAZ said...

Poor you - It's the base isn't it and those sub woofers or whatever.
I've been there - the last straw was when my clock fell off the wall.

Steve said...

Kaz: I'm convinced they're testing some kind of sound weapon for the military. Either that or they bought it off eBay.

Rol said...

You're just jealous they didn't invite you to partake.

Gift wrap them a traffic cone and they'll love you forever.

Steve said...

Rol: one traffic cone and they're anybody's, eh? Bloody students! Wonder what they'd do if I offered them a policeman's helmet... (no euphemism intended)?

justme said...

Oh dear.....I fear you are in for a LONG 9 months of disturbed nights.....maybe try the earplugs again?
They won't be meaning to be noisy....they probably don't even think they ARE. But....

Steve said...

Justme: I think it might be more effective if I buy a sandpit and just bury my head...!

Suburbia said...

Hee hee!

Actually, I have no idea why you suffering loud music like that is funny! We had the same here for a while, but the culprits were in their 80s! One now passed on and the other lost her marbles (and hearing no doubt!)

Hope it's not a regular occurrence.

Steve said...

Suburbia: In their 80's? My God, what were they banging out? The Charleston? Mind you, I think I might prefer that to drum & bass...! ;-)

A Write Blog said...

Whenever I'm faced with that sort of thing I just think back to what I was like at 18. Oh dear.

They stopped the music and were polite. I'd count your blessings.

Just get out earlier if they do it again.

You could have slightly older singleton party animals.

Now they aren't always so polite.

Gypsy said...

Where we used to live there was a guy who played really loud music. I wouldn't have minded so much if you could actually make out what it was but all you could hear was the bass thumping. Sometimes I couldn't work out what was louder...the bass thumping or my head.


I highly recommend moving to the country. Now all we have to put up with is dogs barking :)

Steve said...

AWB: good point - thank God they're still young and malleable!

Gypsy: I'd move to the country tomorrow given half the chance. I find the lowing of cattle very soothing and the occasional detonation of a double barrelled shotgun very comforting... as long as there's a broadband connection I'll be happy.

French Fancy said...

I feel for you, I really do. I'm the least tolerant person in the world about this sort of noise and sometimes at a weekend when our neighbour's adult kids come and visit they tinker outside on their souped up cars and play rap at ear-piercing volume. This means the windows shake and our dogs howl.

I know it's not as bad as night time noise but try telling that to me at 3pm on an otherwise peaceful Sunday.

Re your students - I guess yours is not the only household they are disturbing. If a few of you banded together and complained to the letting agents - the students might get a warning letter and be a bit more thoughtful in future

Steve said...

FF: I must admit my thoughts were running along the lines of "must get a contact number for the landlord..." To be fair to them they've been as quiet as mice since then. Dead mice in fact.

Maybe I ought to call the police?!

EmmaK said...

I am so glad that my neighbors are 75 year old angels who's only crime is turning the TV on too loud because they are deaf. Thank you, you have cheered me up. What to do re the students....drink self into stupor every night or smoke a few medicinal cigarettes? if you can't beat em join em?

Steve said...

Emma: Or if you can't beat 'em, smoke a joint...?

You may have a point...!

Mark said...

Only time I ever went to Leamington Spa was to a student party - 30 years almost. We saw UB40 at the Uni (Warwick I think) and then crashed at someone's house. I remember an auburn haired girl....

Enough,... good memories though.

Steve said...

Mark: memories of an auburn haired girl are always good... I'm glad Leamington has been good for something!

skatey katie said...

go on steve. get your weed stash out and go join 'em X

Steve said...

Katie: I think I'd seriously cramp their style... which actually is even more justification for doing it! He he! ;-)

Löst Jimmy said...

Noisy neighbours are my pet hate; in fact I'd go as far to say that I am a magnet for them. It makes me mad...

Steve said...

Löst Jimmy: there's nothing worse than having your personal space invaded by unwanted noise... especially when you're exhausted and just want to sleep... Definitely pet-hate no. 1.