Saturday, December 27, 2008

'Twas the night after Christmas and all through the house...

Our old neighbours moved out a couple of months ago, which we were quite relieved about: they were noisy; shouted at their kids a lot; parked outside our house after making a fuss about our friends parking outside theirs once - and in some way connected to local gangsters and involved in a shooting incident a few years ago.  No, we weren't sorry to see them leave.

A new neighbour moved in a month or so ago - we hadn't really seen or heard much from him.  Until Christmas started.  On Christmas night at about 1 am Matt was woken by screaming and arguing on the street from people at next door's.  I sleep through earthquakes so this was no trouble.

And last night we were just going to bed at 10.30 when there was a knock at the door.  Our neighbour says he is having some friends round.  It might be a bit noisy.  Would we like to come round?  We decline, explaining that we're just going to bed and, as Matt has to be up early for work, ask him to keep the noise down.  He goes away.  We don't feel very confident.

So we go to bed and there is some noise but we manage to sleep.  Until 1.30 am, when we're woken by screaming and laughing from next door.  It's loud.  And it's not stopping.  I go round and knock on the door.  Nothing.  I knock more loudly.  Still nothing.  I do my 'baliff' knock.  Someone comes to the door, our new neighbour behind him.  I explain that it's 1.30 am and we're trying to sleep.  He looks sorry.  I ask if he has people upstairs.  He says he does so I ask him to move them downstairs.  He says he will.  He says he's sorry.  I go back to bed.  There's still a little noise but nothing like it was.  I lie awake wondering if it's going to get worse.  Fortunately, it doesn't.

I'm considering treating this as research in understanding what my tenants deal with and claiming overtime - double time for the bank holiday, of course.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

No. 1

I think it's fair to say I'm not an X-Factor fan.  I don't really have anything against it, I just can't be arsed.

I am, however, incensed by their plans to appropriate 'Hallelujah' for the winner to do a cover version of.  It's just wrong.  'Hallelujah' is dark and powerful and conflicting and speaks to those painful times in life.  The original version was written by Leonard Cohen and then covered by Jeff Buckley, the epitome of angsty musicians.  I'm not saying no-one should ever cover it, just that it should be done by people who understand the song and have chosen it because they can do something new with it, not someone who has won it as a prize in a talent show and who has had it chosen by a company aiming to wring as much money as possible out of the public using the hauntingly beautiful* melody.

So, if you are also unhappy, there is something you can do.  Buy the Jeff Buckley version.  Currently it's at number 3.  Links to where to buy it from are here (not Amazon, apparently , as this doesn't contribute to the charts).  I'm not sure whether it's really possible to stop the X-Factor version getting to no.1.  I do know Sony will be laughing as they own both versions.  But I honestly think it's worth making a little stand against the overwhelming triumph of the commercialisation of culture.

*Yes it's a cliche.  No, I don't care.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Last train excitement

We went to Sanctus.  We went to the pub.  We ran (sort of...) to the station to catch the second-to-last train home.

We missed it.  A man had collapsed outside the station so Matt did the off-duty paramedic thing and made sure he was ok until the ambulance arrived - the ambulance he usually uses when he's not off-duty!

So we got the last train home.  

I don't often say nice things about my husband in public.  But I was very proud of him.