Tonight I am going to move bedrooms. I shall abandon my beloved little white airy attic room and move down one floor to the room that the Lovely Son uses, because it is at the back of the house. This will mean changing over the bedding too, as his bed is kept in readiness for a short-notice visit. Tonight I am going to try for an uninterrupted night of sleep.
The reason for the move is that the universities are back in action, and the temporary hordes of young people of ample means, those who prefer to move into quiet residential areas because their cars are less likely to be vandalised and the houses are bigger, are also back, with a vengeance. Night after night, from 2 a.m. till much further on into the small hours, they whoop and shriek, laugh and shout after each other on their return home from alcohol-fuelled, parent-free, uninhibited nights in town. Stragglers beat on front doors with excessive force till someone lets them in, and the permanent residents, who have been dreading this time throughout the summer, are woken to fume, enraged, till dawn.
This year, the main perpetrators are a group of five well-educated middle class girls with penetrating voices, sharing a house where their parents have helped to settle them in, running up Laura Ashley curtains to make it homely for their darlings before returning home confident that the same darlings will be safe in their nice home in a nice street with nice neighbours.
All have cars, and all, it would seem, have boyfriends, which makes for a great deal of traffic in and out of one house. Their curtains remain closed till the afternoon, and with most people either at work, at school or elderly, the street is quiet while they sleep. And we see them later in the day, trudging off to lectures, barely able to return a civil greeting. And what do the darlings actually do at university? They are third year medical students. The doctors of the future. Our future. It doesn't bear thinking about.