Saturday, November 24, 2012

Noisy neighbours....


Since my daughter has been living on my barge and we have an interim, lock up and leave flat, we are down south more often than not at weekends. Reason? I still feel the need to get away from the noise in my neighbourhood. 

But now, instead of drunken students throwing bikes and tables into the harbour, it's the old duck upstairs who is so obsessive about cleaning that she's bashing around with her broom and hoover in hob nailed boots every morning from about 5:30. Even worse, after she's done hoovering, she goes and starts cleaning her balcony in the same hob nailed boots but this time with a yard brush for extra amplificiation. 

Her final pièce de résistance is hanging her washing on the railings while making sure to beat a tattoo on the steel, the result of which sends Sindy into paroxysms of fear and teeth rattling for the rest of the day....okay slight exaggeration, but only slight, I promise! Maybe the boots aren't actually hob-nailed....But I have to say it's hardly an edifying sight to watch her 'nighty and nickers' waving around over my geraniums for all the hours of sunshine that we are lucky enough to scrape in this part of the world.

A few nights ago, though, I lay in bed totally stymied. I woke to hear this sort of whining noise. Puzzled, I couldn't place it for a moment, so I looked at my watch to see if was the street sweepers. My reliable timepiece told me it was 3:30 a.m. Surely not! I listened again and heard tapping noises and then a scraping that sounded like a stick being dragged along the skirting boards. And then I 'twigged' it. My industrious, compulsive obsessive cleaning neighbour was hoovering (yes hoovering!) her flat at this ungodly hour of the morning! Convinced I was wrong about the time, I got up to look at the kitchen clock. Still 3:30 - well, 3:40 by then. I looked at the ceiling in disbelief. The whining and scraping whined and scraped on. I suppose I should have been thankful she'd conceded to the hour enough to forego the hob nailed boots, but even so... 

I started thinking all sorts of uncharitable thoughts about yanking her nighty off the line next time I saw it waving over my balcony, or worse, playing my violin under her bedroom window. What a riveting thought. I'm still at the blood curdling, cat strangling stage in my musical development, so I had visions about serenading her at midnight, just to get my own back.

In the end, though, the whining stopped, the skirting boards were left in peace and the next morning, she sweetly offered us a replacement for the flickering TL tube on our landing, so what does that tell me? Is it my neighbours and those in my neighbourhood that are noisy and compulsive obsessive about everything they do.........or is it simply that I'm just a misanthropist - intolerant, hyper sensitive and unsociable? I'm in denial of course, but it's food for thought, isn't it?

19 comments:

  1. Zóó herkenbaar (Sóó recognisable ;)) I heard it too, bless her.

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  2. Val, your neighbor is obsessive compulsive and neurotic. Or sleeps all day and has energy at night, either way, it rude and disrespectful. I don't know how I would be able to remain silent towards that behavior.
    Maybe change your Violin practicing time, for sure!!

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  3. Ah washing on balconies ... my smalls were draped over the chairs on my balcony in Goa when the wind blew, too purple knickers into the garden. No worries, I'll go out that way. So down I went, and they were gone!! So I carried on as if I'd just been smelling the roses. The next day one of the men working there knocked on my door and handed me my knickers - neither of us able to look the other in the eye - so we both held out hands out while looking at the ceiling ...

    (And in Varanasi it was monkey on the balcony ... and a confrontation with a big male clutching my undies ...)

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  4. Ohhh, I can't stand that type of noise, I agree with Grace. I need a good nights sleep and if someone has a hard time sleeping, they shouldn't make the rest of the world aware of it.

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  5. Herkenbaar inderdaad! :(

    Grace, if it happens again, I will!

    Jo, love the purple nickers story :)) how lovely! My neighbour wears snowy white ones of a very comprehensive size :)

    String, thank you. It probably doesn't help that I'm just not used to neighbours. Hopefully, I won't have to be for too long!

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  6. Have you considered vacuuming the ceiling?

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  7. Not vacuuming it, Dale, but I have thought of beating the rugs on the ceiling - at night! I have also thought of wiping my dirty hands on her clean towels as they float into my balcony and all sorts of other, suitably petty and petulant reactions :)

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  8. I often wonder at the chorus of uncharitable thoughts that march through the deep, dark night - while I lay awake.
    Things certainly take on a different perspective in the light of day!
    Why not surreptiously remove yon duck's fluttering smalls as you sweep the ceiling of your balcony?

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  9. it's hardly an edifying sight to watch her 'nighty and nickers' waving around over my geraniums - whahahahahahahahahaha - this had me in stitches!

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  10. Always glad to make you laugh my Jo xxx

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  11. Hi Val we left the Rotterdam Haringvliet because of the noice at night and early in the morning, Gouda is better, but anyway we are leaving for the lakes sometimes especially in winter it is very quiet. next Christmas we are at an Island on the Kaag, lovely, we only hear geese (a lot of them)and other waterbirds.
    so may be you can try that fot a while

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  12. How long before you're on a boat again. It's so re-assuring to know that if the neighbours are 'difficult', it's possible to move on. xx

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  13. I don't think you are hyper sensitive or unsociable. I think they are unsociable. I can't believe they don't think about the other people in the building or realize how much noise they are making.

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  14. They probably grit their teeth every time Sindy barks, Stu, so I guess I can't complain too much - in fact maybe she's getting her own back for that...hmmmm hadn't thought of that :)

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  15. I truly sympathise. There is nothing worse than noise from neighbours. It's not so much the actual noise as the fact that you're out of control of it and it's invading your space. Could you invite her down for coffee and talk about it maybe?

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  16. Do you miss living on Vereeniging?

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  17. Thank you, Ros. I haven't plucked up enough courage for that yet! If it happens again, maybe I will.

    Dale, in a word...yes...in two more...a lot.

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  18. How about hoovering the ceiling when you know she's asleep? How about asking her to cut it out? Daylight is 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Hoover then. Cut the dust bunny stir up. (tell the neighbor I said this.)

    Or, enjoy the south :-)

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  19. It sounds intolerable. Aren't there some rules in the apartment block? I don't like invoking "rules" usually, but I am assuming you have told her pleasantly that you are kept awake by her cleaning and she hasn't responded pleasantly. No wonder you aim to go cruising on the barge! what a difference!

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