Monday, May 12, 2008


There's an old saying 'You can choose your friends, but not your family'. I think it needs updating for the noughties, especially for those of us living in London. It should read 'You can choose your friends, but not your neighbours'.

For the third time in the ten plus years I've lived here my upstairs neighbour decided to start running his bath and then promptly forgot, ignoring even the heavy pounding on the door I was giving to alert him to the fact that yet again the moron was trashing my bathroom.

Lights in the bathroom have been fading in and out despite being turned off at the central switch for most of Sunday afternoon and evening, and there was no electricity in the lounge, bedroom or hallway, although the study survived intact. About 7 years ago the flat was completely rewired. I'm beginning to think the work carried out was less than stellar, and the relation of the labelled fuses on the wiring box bears no relation to what actually happens when I get flooded out!

The electricity is now thankfully back on (except for the bathroom), and at least the warm weather means the bathroom should soon dry out. I own my property but my neighbours are tenants so I guess they just don't care about repeatedly flooding me out. The local estate office will no doubt reimburse me for the costs of sorting the mess out (ie the electrician who's looked at the results). But they never reimburse you for the hassle, inconvenience and, more importantly, the day's lost pay in trying to get the mess sorted out.

Alas, I'd like to say that this third 'wash out' will mean the afore-mentioned tenant will be evicted, but given that the tenant below me has happily survived tens, if not hundreds, of warnings about deafening noise all through the night (he has a habit of leaving his DVD player on full-blast menu-repeat all through the night - I know each and every note to the '24' menu system off by heart, having spent so many Saturday night/Sunday mornings hearing it) this looks unlikely.

Oh well. The bathroom was overdue for a refurb anyway I guess and at least it didn't happen while I was away! And compared to the suffering in China (a 7.5 earthquake apparently) this is all pretty small beer. Damned annoying all the same.


Richard said...

You have my sympathies, wherever I've lived there has been some level of annoyance and disruption from neighbours. One of the attractive things about where Beth's parents live is the lack of neighbours - they can run their bath, play their DVD, throw a party or whatever with enough distance that it's not a bother to their neighbours. However the commute to any sort of IT work from somewhere like that, plus the limited and expensive broadband options mean it's not a practical option. Over here anywhere similar (and I doubt it even exists in southern England) is financially a lottery win away so we're stuck. Having said that with improved broadband (Alberta is talking about rolling out wimax in rural areas) and the right employer it might become an attractive option.

Ian said...

Yes. Even when I've had wonderful neighbours to start with Sod's Law says they eventually move on (or in one extreme example, die!) and the replacements turn out to be the nightmare I thought I'd escaped from.

Looking forward to the day where I can afford to move to somewhere outside London without someone above and below me!

Brian Sibley said...

Hope you at least have a DRY birthday... :-)

Steve Langton said...

Really sympathise with your neighbour problems. My wife and I live in a flat and we've had a succession of absolute nightmare tenants in the room above us. Thank God we've never had flooding to contend with, but the noise is often unbearable and mostly caused by visitors who hold no regard for folks who actually pay rent to live there.
Great blog btw. Really enjoy reading your posts, and your beautifully written DVD rewviews.

Ian said...

Thanks Steve. Really kind of you to say so. Alas, the written DVD reviews have fallen by the way side as I try and get the Shiny Discs video podcast up to scratch but maybe in a few months time when I've got the time to produce the video podcast down I can provide the odd review in written form as well.