I don't know what it is about top floor flats, but they only ever seem to attract the most marginal of tenants. OK, they're invariably the smallest, least well-maintained and often bizarrely cut, but it really shouldn't mean that whoever lives up there needs to express his/her individuality by being criminally anti-social. Our new neighbours who live in the studio above our bedrooms have about as much civic conscience as drugged woodlice and this evening it's the turn of the bloke who lives in the one above our sitting room. I'll be fair: we've heard neither sight nor sound of him for weeks, but tonight he seems to be celebrating something and the 300-year-old floorboards are creaking under the weight of the merrymaking. He's normally incredibly discreet but he seems to be spending his capital right now...
The odd ones out in the house are us. We're more or less the only owner-occupiers and are surrounded by single students, Syrian somethings, Brazilian dancers (I kid you not) and an Irish chef. We're also the only ones who ever worry about having a bit of peace and quiet after 8pm. The Brazilian girls have a couple of children but don't appear to be concerned about how much sleep their offspring get. In a normal world we'd be living out in the country in a four-bedroom house, spending money on a time-share on the ring road, but we decided to do things differently. I'm still not sure we made the right choice, regardless of how good the schools are, how expensive the neighbourhood is or how close to my work it's situated. There will always be a downside, and neighbourly noise is the one grabbing all the headlines in our little world at the moment.
The birthday party season has started. Fingernail 1 was invited this afternoon and her little diary is filling up fast. Her birthday is just around the corner, too, so somehow we've got to squeeze a few mini friends into our bijou shoe box for a few hours on a Saturday afternoon before next month. Fingernail 2 feels a bit put out by all of Big Sis's activities but takes it all pretty stoically. Until she starts screaming with jealousy, that is.
Time for bed. Sunday morning in France is one of life's joys: all the important shops are open (wine merchants, newsagents, cafés) and I invariably bump into a coffee-worthy acquaintance at the market. It's a welcome semi-colon in the weekend, especially for those who haven't been able to get out of the city. The Fingernails enjoy their glass of mint syrup, too, so everyone's taken care of.