June 29, 2006

Dreaming Of Sleep!

I’ve always been an incredibly light sleeper, and I’ve always found it hard to get to sleep in the first place, I don’t think I count as an insomniac because around about 3.30 on most afternoons I could probably sleep standing up given the chance, but it seems that the slightest little noise can disturb me at night. So when I moved from a busy street in South London to a sleepy little village, in Hampshire I thought my problems would be over.

So imagine how I felt when I realised that I’d just moved into a house next door to the local wannabee Rock Star. I inhabit the loft of our little communal home; I thought it was quite cool when we first moved in, my own living room (or should that be lounge?) and a separate bedroom, almost the loft apartment I’d always aspired to when I lived in London – well with a bit of imagination it could be! The wall between my bedroom and his room is paper thin, so much so that we can hear each other cough! (Which makes life a little uncomfortable if either of us have a – shall we say – more intimate moment!) So I was captain happy when I first heard his guitar, drum machine, organ, bass guitar and, wait for it, Violin! However after the first few months of sleepless nights, a bit of banging on the wall, a couple of rants and a letter from the Environmental Health we finally reached a truce and he agreed to stop playing his guitar/stereo/whatever at 11.30pm, and in return I agreed to text him if I stayed at a friends so he could go wild once in a while. And it worked. For a couple of years I managed to sleep most nights. Then he moved out! I crossed my fingers and hoped to get a bookworm with no TV or stereo as a new neighbour, but no – what do I get? A 19 year old hip hop fan, with lots of friends who clearly still live at home because they just love to go round to his place and sit up for most of the night, talking, watching TV, listening to music and generally driving me insane!

We’ve talked, I’ve shouted, I’ve threatened and I’ve pleaded, we’ve come to a similar agreement about texting him when I’m not going to be in but he’s still prone to the odd night of noise, thankfully I also have a sofa bed in my living room, so at a push I can normally grab at least a few hours.

Then just as I thought things couldn’t get any worse, the local Council stepped in and ruined what little hope there was of me ever getting 8 hours of deep, uninterrupted, blissful sleep. They fixed the light. THE light is in an alley at the back of our house, which my bedroom overlooks. THE light is bright enough to give Blackpool a run for it’s money and when it’s on it’s like trying to sleep under a floodlight! It didn’t work for years apparently so some concerned citizen complained about the dangers of walking down an unlit alley in a sleepy little village in the dead of night and they fixed it! Now, I could live with it being on all night, eventually I’d get used to it and get to sleep but it’s not on all night! If only it were that simple! It’s on for about 30 seconds then it goes off, then it comes on, then it goes off, then it comes on… you get the idea don’t you?

So now, just as I’ve managed to block out the sound of The Streets blasting through my bedroom wall and start to drift off to sleep a light comes on outside and casts a very bright silhouette of my bedroom window on the wall. Then it goes dark and I drift off again, then the light comes on and wakes me up, then I drift off again and so on and so on, all f%&*king night! Is it too much to ask to just be able to sleep? I’ve spoken to the Council several times about it now, and a very nice, but obviously ineffective man called Julian from ‘lighting’ keeps telling me that they’ll get someone out there to fix it ASAP! I’ve started to look into just how much the fine would be for damaging council property and if all else fails I find that a liberal helping of red wine makes a pretty good sedative! Anyone got a quiet darkened room I could borrow for about 8 hours please?

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