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.
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.
Come back Mr Cling Film – all is forgiven!