{03/05/2012}   Neighbours

I live on the top floor of a detached Victorian converted house, my neighbour below is extremely old and seems to confine herself to one room, below my spare room, and I can hear her radio, nothing offensive at all. But that’s it for neighbour noise.
In my previous flat, the neighbour was called “shouty man” for his loud phone voice, but also you could hear his TV. But only from the living room. It was also under a flight path, though SE London not near LHR, and the morning flights would often wake me. Prior to that, I lived in a basement flat below a well-known DJ and his girlfriend. Both kept unpredictable hours. You could hear them padding about and occasionally he would play music (there is probably a hip term I should use, spinning discs or whatever!). Really loudly. I mean really,really loudly. After they moved out (having first sold a job lot of 2000 “spare” records), a quiet-seeming couple moved in. They would regularly do karaoke, largely to the likes of Celine Dion and, no kidding, Christian music. Also really loudly. Prior to that, I lived on a middle floor of a Victorian conversion. The woman above was quite old and largely drunk and eccentric. She listened to the radio above my bedroom throughout the night. It was quiet but you could hear it, annoyingly. Below was an unsuccessful DJ with occasional work who would spin discs (or whatever) at various times. Always rubbish music played very loudly. They were a couple and would sometimes complain about my foot fall. For some reason, I never complained about their music or occasional parties, which left me high on cannabis due to the large number of guests smoking pot.
Prior to that, I lived in a purpose built block of flats. I could only hear light switches, plugs going in and out of sockets and a vacuum cleaner being used above me. Prior to that, a whole Victorian house with friends, noise only from them. Before that another purpose built flat and I don’t recall noise from there, except that it was by the Thames and you could hear gulls. Before that was my first London flat. I had a pokey bedroom with no double glazing, by Tulse Hill. At all times of night and day I could hear traffic, sirens and unsavouries.
While the flat I’m in at present is fine, I do now have a list of things to avoid: away from a road, no flight path, no DJ neighbours and certainly no drummers (I have heard a budding drummer from a friend’s house, misery), no alcoholics (this also makes for noisy bottle recycling at unsociable hours as well as slightly too frequent singing and occasional smashing), no karaoke lovers, no children (sorry,but I had some above me once and children stamp about and young ones cry), no dogs (nails on floorboards and I’ve-been-abandoned barking and whining), no Celine Dion fans, no one who has weekly Christian music singing sessions, no train lines behind (you kind of get used to it but I used to live behind the entrance/exit to a tunnel and there were tooting noises at times) and, well … do you know what, I want to live in a detached house in the middle of nowhere … but then I’d get scared of every noise I’d hear, however quiet. You can’t win, eh?!


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