brief lives; senses overload

My neighbours have moved out. There were around six or more tenants living next door with a cage full of gerbils in an absentee landlord house. They’ve vacated a month after their “last ever party”, which I knew would be a killer because there was a knock at the door on the day and it was the first we heard about it, and someone sheepish handed our lodger Ben a bottle of red wine and a note. We didn’t know their names though I always said hello.

Beer January

The note said “Apologies for the late notice and we’ll try not to disrupt too much. If it gets too much give me a bell and I’ll get them to turn it down”. This was at around 7pm on a Saturday evening. It was too late to escape to Beer. I remember thinking at 6am the next morning that the heavy house beat would either stop because no doubt things would be coming to a natural ebb, or that I might go round and say “it’s got too much”. I didn’t in the spirit of not being mean and because I have massive shop plate windows as my house frontage and I didn’t want anyone to come round and smash them in (a fuelled response).

The party ended at 4pm the next day. We were frazzled. I patted the walls of the house and marveled that they were standing. These terraces were built in 1890 before speaker stacks, subwoofers and 16 hours of deep bass. I love bass lines but this was LOUD and we’d been awake in our house all night vibrating in our beds. I’m not so sorry to see them go but better the devil you know…

Life at home is “Okay”. This week is Ben’s one year anniversary living with us. I’ve announced a ‘valuation’ of the house with an estate agent tomorrow which amounts to a quick opportunity for a room inspection.  I’m aware that whenever Ben’s door is ajar an indescribable hum escapes from the crack of air. I don’t really know what it is but it is bitter and dank. It’s too late to worry about now after a year  and I don’t want to rock the boat or hurt his feelings. Occasionally a sudden whiff gets me down, but most of the time my partner D___ tells me that “things could be a lot worse”. At least the door is usually closed. But I wonder if things could be better too.

I have an advert up for the spare room but in four months only a handful of people have come to look around. The wording is very specific. I decided to be honest but it’s probably doing too good a job of filtering out unsuitable candidates. My newest criteria is that the lodger must be over 25 (after the stress of the last lodger aged 24). And today I told a lovely man from Berlin in an increasingly popular  remote ‘Skype room viewing’ that it was strictly a “no cats” room. I’d love a cat. But I can hardly tell his how to behave and a lodger cat would just be… too much.

Turn down the white noise, and someone please turn up the good things. My thoughts turn to property searches in South Devon.

From a great height only do I get perspective.

From a great height only do I get perspective. The top of Lundy Old Lighthouse is worth the climb


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