Monday 4 August 2008

Neighbours, noise and nerves

The trouble with waking up at 2.15 a.m. only dozing off again at 4 to be woken for good by a cat being sick in his usual dramatic way (there's a lot of being sick round here just now; the disruption is getting to them all), then having to get out of bed at 6.30, is that it doesn't leave you very robust to face the coming day.

Cheerful and Smiley arrived refreshed after their Sunday off, which was spent, I'm told, sleeping, walking in Jesmond Dene, and watching action-packed DVDs all evening, and set to with a vengeance. Two radios went on, one upstairs, one down, set to Galaxy Radio, which seems to have a stock of no more than 15 dreadful songs with soul-destroying babble and adverts in between, and there were continuous screeching, grinding, banging, drilling and sawing sounds for the entire day. And they aren't so shy as they were, those boys; I even heard them singing today, and they actually accepted a chocolate biscuit mid-morning, although they shudder at the thought of tea.

Attempts were made to leave the really noisy stuff like the tile cutter till after 8 a.m. in consideration of the neighbours, after snide and nasty remarks were made by one of them the other day, revealing barely-disguised fascist tendencies in all their ugliness under a veneer of "jesting" (his word). The neighbours on the other side, whose house butts up against the rooms being worked on, are away on holiday, so there is only one side to worry about - not that I had actually worried till the remarks were made, as this particular man is astonishingly loud, volatile and attention-seeking, to a degree that elicits a flinch response from other people when he approaches, and his children have to be equally loud simply to be heard over him. Clearly his sensitivity to noise increases greatly when there are foreign workers involved, and there is an immediate assumption of their illegality.

I shall say no more, as I resolved when I started blogging that I wouldn't be really unpleasant about anyone, but believe me, it is tempting today. The Boys, paragons of politeness and good humour, grouted and measured up and restrained themselves from getting the big noisy things out for an hour, for which I was hugely thankful too, and then they made up for lost time, big style. I know, I know, renovation means noise and mess...but my nerves are in tatters, and if I were to hear one of those tracks with the strange metallic voice-distortion effect just one more time today, I could easily indulge in a homicidal
frenzy, perhaps with a tile cutter.

So I'm off to the spa annexe (i.e. Suzy's house) for a shower now, and try not to think about tomorrow. The team and I will sit in silence for a bit and try to gather our thoughts and our collective sanity, and we shall all have an early night, hopefully vomit-free. Today's mantra is It Will Be Wonderful When It's Finished (thank you Shelagh).

And the progress? Amazing. Filthy house, plaster-laden hair and fur, animals throwing up and going off their food, and an owner whose nerves jangle audibly, but from what I can see so far, it really
Will Be Wonderful When It's Finished.

1 comment:

laurie said...

it's funny. your mantra for your bathroom remodel is the same one i give reporters when we're talking about their early drafts. i tell them, 'IT'S GOING TO BE GREAT.'

I didnt even realize i said this until one of them made it is his scrolling screen-saver.

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