Horror of the unseen noisy neighbour

Pendie Wasswa is a freelance writer, human rights campaigner and mum of two – who has recently discovered the thin walls of city flats and  noise from anonymous neighbours.

I love music, yes, but I LOATHE noise, however, I hate silence  – it makes me uncomfortable especially in a room of full of people. When I moved to Brighton, I thought I had made the right choice of having a good time within the vibrant, green, and yet cosmopolitan city.

However little did I know that after a few weeks in my new flat, I would be knocking my knuckles on the wall of an unseen neighbour, in protest at  his unwanted music after midnight!

I even liked the music he played, it was beautiful 80’s pop paired with UB40 and some miserable “must have been love songs” (which can be annoying for someone who cares more about tomorrow’s dinner for the children than romantic disappointments).

Having quite enjoyed a couple of the songs, the  tunes repeated again and again for hours. I shouted for him to shut it down but guessed he was enjoying himself too much to hear – and settled in in for a long open eyed bat’s night. Much as I tried to stay calm, I could not believe someone living in a compact flat in a city centre would have no idea of when music can become noise.

Although this happened on Boxing Day, I have failed to find out who my noisy neighbour is and had almost forgotten he’s there. A few days ago having nodded off in my lounge while writing, it happened again. He played the same music, and much louder, after 11pm during the week.

I had played loud music, before but ever since my sleepless night, having realised the walls are thin –  and was determined never to inconvenience my neighbours. I tell my children not to shout, and avoid raising my voice.

On Boxing Bay, I could be forgiving.  But my weekdays start at 6am, getting breakfast and kids ready for school, dropping them at different schools, before getting to work for 8am. The last thing I need is noise disrupted sleep.

Deciding enough was enough I wanted to speak to him.  Braving the rain I rang my neighbours’ bell – which went unanswered. Luckily someone was leaving the block so I walked in – hoping to finally have a word about the noise. With still no answer,  and finding massive muddy shoes outside the flat, door I angrily  banged on his door; he still didn’t answer but turned off the music – for now.

I am still not sure what I would have said to him; maybe he would have thrown me ove rthe wall of the pub garden we both overlook. I am sandwiched between a noiseless pub and a noisy neighbour and still looking out for him!!! What I do know, (apart from his taste in music) is he’s got big feet!



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