Tuesday, November 20, 2007


I'm not happy. I had 5 hours sleep on Saturday, eventually going to bed at 8am. It had been a fun night traipsing through London and ultimately walking 2 miles home because Steve was about to throw up all over the nightbus. Back at the flat, I carried on drinking while Steve began to lose consciousness on the sofa.

Then a mouse ran past us and into the kitchen.

Perhaps that's why my landlord is upping the rent for the first time - three of us live here now.

I got up early on Sunday to see Steve off, and on Sunday evening I attempted an early night except my new neighbours upstairs, the two elephants, stomped about til 2am, meaning I got no sleep. I went to work on Monday, forced the searing pain of tiredness out of my mind as much as possible as the phones rang endlessly while a continual procession of customers walked in to interrupt my intense concentration.
I left to go home as soon as I could.

I was in bed by 10pm again last night. I assured myself a modicum of peace by speaking to my new neighbours to inform them, in my dressing gown and slippers, that they're 'stompers', although I made it clear with a sleepy smile that I felt awful for ticking them off simply for walking.

At 10:02pm, I bedded down for the night.
Then the bass started. That fucking selfish cuntbarge of a French neighbour in the block next to me just had to whack his music up.
'Til half past one.

Large Northern Flatmate and I gathered in the lounge and talked. We discussed moving. We considered buying a house together. Neither of us are in a position to buy with anyone else (i.e. future wives), so this may be the best option. I called my neighbour's landlord and left a screaming answerphone message along the lines of him doing fuck all in two years as his tenant continued making his neighbour's lives hell. I then phoned the local council's noise abatement line and gave them my details. Then, cringingly, I dialled 999 and asked for the police. As much as I didn't want to waste their time, I bit the bullet and called. My plan was that if it took more than three rings to answer, I'd hang up.
But they answered so quickly the phone didn't even have time to ring.

'Police Emergency?'
'Hello. This isn't really an emergency, but my neighbour is playing music again and...'
'Let me stop you there. That's nothing to do with us. Phone your local council.'
'But he's a habitual drug user and dealer*'
'That's irrelevant. Phone your council.'

(*I am more than aware of the hypocrisy of telling the police that my neighbour uses drugs. The difference between him and me is that a) I'm not habitual, b) I don't deal - not for a living, anyway, and c) I sometimes take drugs at weekends, realise that my life isn't really benefiting from it, then go to bed. I don't whack my music up to 11 in a crowded block of flats, thinking 'Fuck you all.')

So I went to bed as I listened to the dull throb of bass emitting from the other side of my bedroom wall.

When my alarm woke me up at 7am, I called my boss. He's a decent guy. He'd give me the morning off to recuperate. But it went to answerphone. I didn't have the balls to say I was staying in bed. Instead, I just whinged, and left it at that. Now I'm going to be late for work.


Peach said...

aw darling, move!

fancy a (calmer, less pricey) drink in the next few weeks?

bittersweet me said...

'vaguely content' didn't last long. I think you should move.

Anonymous said...

Mate, I'm still looking to buy, so even if LNF isn't up for the move I am!


londongirl said...

I suggest you buy "bioears". Officially the best earplugs in the world. Ever.

I have noisy neighbours too and they've changed my life.

Vi vi vi vooom!!!!!!!! said...

Go for it, if you can afford to buy with a friend, do it, because that really is the only way you'll get on the ladder!

actonb said...

I second (or is it third) the buying-with-mates option. My step-cousin bought a flat with a friend a few years back, and it wokred out great. Just make sure the contract is water-tight.

luna said...

I can't believe it! You shopped him!! He thinks you're his best friend !!! You ARE a grass!!!!

Did the council show up in the end?
Normally they turn up pretty quickly to witness the noise.

So are you going to collect eggboxes now? Or buy a couple of carpetmats from the fleamarket for your housemates?

I advise against the buying.You might want to move far far awy from here and then you'll be stuck.
But move by all means.
And give a whisky logged pringle to the new tenant from me.I'm sure you both scared him.

fwengebola said...

Peach ~ I am considering this. But I can't move a few doors away. I would have to leave this town. Or buy. That would thoroughly bankrupt me.
BSM ~ I am still vaguely content with frissons of anger.
Anon ~ Excellent! I'll just rob a bank for the deposit.
LG ~ I'm looking out for them, then. I bought wax earplugs on a recommendation and they're bloody horrible.
Vi ~ I think you're right. If I wait for a fantastic ladywoman to buy a house with, I'll be 90 and the prices will probably go up.
Act ~ Yes, but they paid Australian prices, and I have it on good authority that you still take beads for land purchases.
Luna ~ Another huge, rambling comment. The council never showed up, and apparently Frenchie and his brother are back in the Parisienne ghettoes blasting out bad music.
I'm not sleeping in an eggbox room. But I will have to buy eventually. Or win the lottery. Yes, I'll do that.

londongirl said...

Wax earplugs are HORRID. Bio ears are silicon, so a bit of an odd sensation but sticky as hell so don't move around, fall out or otherwise be annoying. Definitely block lots of noise though.

They are hard to find - only the bigger Boots stores do them. But also available online. Buy them. They're ace. and no, I don't work for them.

actonb said...

Oh. I forgot the 'in London' bit...

Does that make a difference?

fwengebola said...

LG ~ Ugh, sticky. It would be nice if we didn't have to put sticky anythings in our ears just because we live in boxes with people in neighbouring boxes kicking our box.
Never mind.
Act ~ Ah, Yes. Is he a multi-millionaire?

actonb said...

It was a shoebox.
But it was their shoebox.

fwengebola said...

Stop leaving comments on a Friday night. It's still Friday morning here and I've not even done an hour of work yet...

Anonymous said...

I can't believe that you dialed 999with a noise complaint! That number is for emergencies only. Either buy yourself some earplugs or move. sheesh

Dave Fishwick said...

Anon has clearly never had to deal with noisy neighbours. Plus, moving, at a few moments notice and at an ungodly hour, is quite difficult, so I'm lead to believe.

Anonymous said...

Who is talking about moving at a moments notice? Please read for content. This guy has been whinging about his neighbour forever. Why doesn't he just move already?

Sabine said...

Just reminded me of a Father TEd episode I watched last night with a jungle/bass listening priest.
I used to have Bollywood DVDs each Saturday night beginning at midnight under my window- thankfully they moved out.
Now we just have the mad man on the corner and his periodical shouting and upsetting of the rubbish bins.

fwengebola said...

Anon ~ I was at the end of my tether and had to try 999, if ony to scratch it from the list.
DF ~ It's certainly pretty easy to imagine living next to a noisy neighbour and assume that earplugs will merrily solve the day.
Anon ~ Yes, I whinge about a lot of things. But I think you're being over simplistic in saying that 'all I need to do' is wear earplugs or move. Well have you considered Why?
Yes, I know, the neighbours, but Why? Why should I fucking use earplugs? Have you? They're uncomfortable. You know they're there. You can even hear your heartbeat. You have to adjust to this sensation. And you have to set your alarm clock to a deafening roar so you can hear the fucking thing in the morning. Rage at having to wear them makes it hard to fall asleep, and, as months go by before another 2am rave on a Wednesday, you're frequently caught out when he does it again and you've reverted to not wearing earplugs. I could search for new places, make arrangements with my boss to visit properties when appointments necessitate, hand in my notice with my current landlord, hire a van and walk everything I own out, move house a month later despite the fact that it's considered one of the most stressful things in life, and assume it's going to solve all your peace and quiet issues at your next place - and all because some selfish cunt is physically incapable or too stupuid to not play his music at a sensible time and volume?
It is far more sensible and logical to tell said neighbour that he's waking you up. Weeks or months then go by til he does it again, so you tell him again. More time passes, then you're woken up again, so you get more forceful in your protestations. You leave notes on his door. Then he does it again, and in your sleep-deprived funk, you find yourself snapping, kicking his door down, pushing him about and smashing a pair of his speakers.
Trust me, I feel stupid about dialling 999, but it felt like I had to at least get that equally selfish matter out of the way as my final recourse would be serious violence; to go round there and actually hit him. I'm not joking. I understand he's definitely moved now, so that will never happen, but I promise you everything I've done short of moving house was all I could do short of actually going round there to physically rough him up. I seriously felt I had to do all I could before resorting to that.

But gone, he has. Too bad my new neighbours upstairs stay up til 2am stomping about, and I had to bang on the ceiling with a baseball bat early this morning again.

fwengebola said...

Sabine ~ Ah, that's a great episode. I'd like to draw your attention to three minutes into the clip. Pretend it's 2am and you were fast asleep.

Peach said...

hey, there might be an opening at my house soon - January time. It's a double room in a 3 bed house, zone 2. The neighbours are one v elderly sweet guy and his girlfriend who are just sweet and look out for you, and on the other side is a bunch of upperclass toffs who we haven't had a peep out of since they moved in about 6 weeks ago. I'm out a lot and when in am in my room mostly... One of my guys said he might move because he's just got a new job the otherside of town and the commute would be a bitch. Downside though is that I can't give you a mates rate as I have a huge mortgage hence why I'm letting two of the rooms out... it's around £750 all inc...

Anonymous said...

Update this, you lazy bar steward!

Anonymous said...

He moved.

fwengebola said...

Peach ~ Hey, now that's an offer. That would be cool except I'm probably staying put here now and my next move will hopefully be into my own financially crippling house. But your offer is tremendously appreciated. I owe you beers for that at least.
Anon ~ I have.
Another Anon ~ Ahaha. No.