Monday, 30 May 2005
We live in a terraced house that we bought six years ago and it's pretty much perfect in every way for us at this time of our lives EXCEPT for the neighbours. It wasn't always like that, for the first six months it was nice and peaceful with only the smell of strong curry drifting through the walls every night being a minor issue. Then the family moved out and started renting the house to a series of the world's worst tennants and we've spent five years or so battling noise polution and generally crappy behaviour.
Along the way we've encountered:
Big Scary Guy who had a penchant for Abba and The Corrs which, whilst vaguely falling into the category of music, is not exactly pleasant when listened to at top volume accompanied by seriously off-key singing. He was also slightly deaf and so had three alarm clocks that would start at 6.15am and go off alternately for about an hour.
Drunk Guy who would come home off his head most nights, stick something on to cook and then pass out. Even the smoke alarm wouldn't wake him so we had to pray that there was someone else in the house that would eventually go see what was going on (thankfully it never got bad enough for us to have to phone the fire brigade).
The Two Couples who shared one room and periodically would have sex in the garden as they couldn't all be doing it in the room at the same time.
The Spanish Girls who would come home at 2.00am and proceed to spend a couple of hours drunkenly screeching at each other.
The Screamer who would row constantly with her Italian boyfriend and when she wasn't getting her own way would scream like she was being murdered. They left shortly after I called the police at 3.00am and they arrested the guy because he got narked that they were interfering and started having a go at them.
Mr DIY who would start sawing and banging at 10.00pm and was so loud that the people on the other side of us complained to us about the noise we were making!
Various Interchangable Eastern Europeans who get louder and louder in direct proportion to the amount of alcohol they consume.
I could go on and on and on with the list, we've endured seriously loud music at all hours of the day and night, bonfires in the tiny back garden, debt collectors and other unsavoury characters knocking on our door asking about people in the house, screaming rows and general abuse when we request they be a bit more considerate.
They've also disturbed half the street with the noise from the house and various car stereos, etc. and we're definitely not the only ones who have complained.
We've complained to the landlord and the council and sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. The problem is that there's four rooms in the house that are rented out individually and so there is a constant turn over of tennants. We can never be sure of who is in there, where they're from and generally whether it's safe to be causing a fuss. DBF occasionally gets worried at me going round and having a go because he's convinced at some point they'll retaliate and damage us or our property.
To be honest, I'm pretty sure none of them would go that far as most of them don't want to draw attention to themselves and the one time another neighbour got mad enough to mention calling the police three of the four tennants vacated within a week. Mainly they don't stay because the house is a dump but I like to think that our moaning at them encourages them to move on as well. The only downside with that is that pretty much every new tennant is as bad as the last so once a new one moves in the whole process starts over.
So this morning I did what I'd said I wouldn't do in my condition and went round to try and talk to the guy making all the noise. I thought that maybe he'd take pity on a 39 weeks pregnant woman and realise he was out of order.
He didn't even answer the door.
He did however turn the music down.
A victory of sorts I suppose but he turned it up again later and we'd endured similar on and off all day yesterday so it's not a victory really. Still, once there's a baby in the house that's it as far as I'm concerned, if there's a continuing problem and he won't even speak to us then it's back to the landlord and if that doesn't work, the council. I can be reduced to tears of despair now but if I'm dealing with a new baby and our lives continue to be disturbed then I think I'll end up cracking up.
We're hoping to move house sometime in the next 12 months and the main reason for doing so is the noise. We've spent six years basically rebuilding our house and we've got more than enough room for this baby and another (should we be brave enough) but we've been worn down so much by the neighbours that I can't face the idea of any longer here.
Next house is definitely going to be in the middle of a field where the only noise pollution is the dawn chorus......
Friday, 27 May 2005
The weather here has been gorgeous, nice and sunny with the temperature around 27 degrees. Admittedly I was a bit hot and uncomfortable when I was out but on the whole it has just been nice and relaxing for me. I even managed to lie on the sofa for a couple of hours and watch hunky men playing tennis without getting The Twitches.
Other than that I went and met DBF for lunch on his last day of work before becoming a daddy. This served several purposes - a reason for me to get out of the house, a free lunch on him and a chance to head to a craft shop just outside Maidenhead where he works for a bit of pre-baby-induction S.E.X.
So I managed to stock up on some scrapbooking materials for the baby book I'm planning and some Anchor floss that I need for some Michael Powell designs I'm stitching (Handmade Houses 1 - 5). I also had some S.E.X. with the postman as he brought me a package of the most gorgeous hand-dyed floss from Polstitches.
So, my total haul was:
14 Skeins of Dragon Floss
1 piece of Hand Dyed Jobelan from Polstitches
8 skeins of Anchor Floss
1 two needle perforating tool for papercraft
10 assorted baby related sticker and rub-on packs
A spring loaded, 3 size eyelet setter
A Paper Pizazz book of 8 x 8 Baby Papers, tags and motifs
A 12 x 12 Baby Girl Paper kit that includes 10 12 x 12 papers, 21 sheets of die cuts, frames and borders and 2 sheets of stickers.
I also pushed the boat out and ordered some stash from the net. Some floss-away bags, a couple of rubber stamps and some gel pens.
I figure that's it for quite a while and seeing as though today was payday (another reason it was a great day!) I figured I'd splash out.
Before the moan starts I should say that I know I've been incredibly lucky with my pregnancy and have endured very few of the symptoms that can occur. For one thing I didn't have any sickness and have not put on any weight at all over the last nine months (don't get too jealous, I wasn't that small to start with). No back pain, indigestion, varicose veins, high blood pressure, nothing.
But what I have been experiencing is what is has become known in our house as 'The Twitches'.....
It started around month four when I'd be sitting quite happily and my right leg would start to feel odd. It's very difficult to explain exactly what I mean by odd as it's not a sensation that I've ever encountered before but the result of this 'oddness' was that my leg would twitch periodically.
Now to begin with this was a source of amusement (especially to DBF) and was cured by either shifting position in the chair or, if particularly bad, getting up and walking around for a bit. It was also intermittent and I could go days before experiencing an attack so it wasn't something I worried about too much. How wrong could I be?
It didn't take too long before my left leg joined in the fun, the attacks became more frequent and I'd have difficulty sitting or lying down for more than 15 - 20 mins at a time. As you can imagine this is not a particularly useful state of play and it certainly curtailed any leisure activities. Worse, it started being a problem when I was trying to sleep as there was no escaping The Twitching. The only good thing was that DBF was finding it less amusing when he was being kicked at random intervals during the night.
Work was also a nightmare as I'm a Web Developer so my daily routine consists of sitting down at a PC. I ended up having to go for short walks about once an hour just to cope with it so my Maternity Leave starting was a huge relief.
So, for the last few weeks the situation has gotten steadily worse. I've managed with the help of six cushions to find a position I can sit in the armchair and cross stitch which has been a godsend but it involves leaning forward slightly so I always have some backpain by the end of the day. I can lie down for short periods and maybe, if I'm lucky, get a couple of hours sleep at a time but for some reason lately when I'm lying down I also get The Twitches in my right arm. This did lead to a rather amusing incident (well at least for me) a week or so ago when I broke the monotony of kicking DBF during the night by punching him in the head but on the whole it's a total nightmare.
I do try to see the funny side and the fact that, apart from walking around, the only known cure is to spend time on all fours (this moves the baby from whatever nerve endings she's squashing) does help but the amusement value of that wears very thin very quickly (and is a killer on the hips).
Still, I have a maximum of four days left of this torture as I'm due to be induced on Tuesday if baby doesn't make an appearance of her own accord so I guess I'll tough it out. The only thing that really bothers me at 5 in the morning is the thought of what life will be like if the baby comes out and The Twitches don't go away......
Thursday, 26 May 2005
Hello and welcome to my new blog.
The main reason behind this blog is the fact that I'm due to have my first baby sometime in the next week and I want a place to store events and memories of this time for myself and friends and family.
I'm going to be experimenting with all of this over the next few days so if you've just stumbled across my site please be patient with me