Tuesday, July 23, 2013

This is a crucial moment...

Him:  (He waves his hands in the air) I'm in the middle of eating my dinner.  I'll put it through your door after the ... (what was it he said?), it's a crucial moment.

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.  

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