Telling Stories & Sevenoaks Kaleidoscope Gallery
Monday, September 23, 2013
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Me: No (emphatic) NOW. What can I do to help (me trying to be forgiving/diplomatic)? Him: he points upwards and mouthed something at me. Me: It cannot continue.
The first conversation with my neighbour of 5 years.
Today started at 2.38 am. With an intermittent high pitch beep. I looked out the window, nothing but black and the beep which seemed to move around the garden space so that I couldn't be sure of its source.
Man-made beeps are not nearly so beautiful as birdsong. The day before I was woken by birdsong at 4.38. Man is behind the times clearly. Or aggravatingly before. The birds today remained silent or went elsewhere - the ugliness of the beep drowning out any possibility of joy.
After 12 hours - what took me so long? I called the council. They could hear the beep during the call. Them: We don't normally hear it over the phone. Me: Can you help? They came around. The beep mysteriously stopped on their arrival. Sod's law isn't it.
A little later, after 5pm - beep. Then more and more and more. It was back.
What to do? The council are shut. Deciding on a plan - that is: to visit each of my neighbours to see if they've heard it and know it's source - I go next door. There are no door bells. None. The wires are all hanging out of the frame in a huge bundle. But I can hear the beep loudly through the door. Aha. I call loudly through the letterbox. HELLO. HELLO. HELLO. HELL-O. A light goes on and a door along the corridor opens. A woman appears: Yes, Yes, Yes? The beep is ringing in her ears. It's a neighbour's beep not hers and she is so tired of the incessant sound.
She lets me in and I climb the stairs to the freeholder. He doesn't answer my knocks or my hellos through his letterbox.
I go home. How would you get hold of a neighbour 1 storey up with no doorbell who won't answer his front door? I'm elevated too. I get a pole, write a note, attach it then wave it in front of his window while calling out his name very loudly. KEVIN. It worked.
I could see him through the window with his headphones on - he turned around with surprise and gestured through the window at me - a hand to the ear - a moue - then that shrug that people do from their shoulders to their hands hopelessly. I carried on waving the homemade flag and pointed downstairs. He knew why I was waving - his headphones gave him away.
Damn beep is still beeping away.