Monday, 1 December 2008

Hmmm...

Looks like I've neglected my online diary for a while. November was a very busy month and, outside of work, short of paying our bloody neighbours some occasionally unsavoury visits, nothing much happened. We're getting a sound-measuring device from the town council, so I hope they don't decide to be very well-behaved for the 48 hours this thing will be installed in our flat and finally deliver the evidence we need to make a case either against them or, preferably, the neglectful owner of that property. Home ownership should be a pleasure on some level, but ours often tends to be mid- to long-term speculative. The place is worth quite a lot of money but, first and foremost, it's where we live, breathe, eat and sleep, so it needs to be somewhere we're comfortable. That hasn't been the case since September. Add to that a house management company that doesn't manage (except for when it sends us their bill) and a cleaning company that doesn't clean you can see there are a few areas of discontent. Still, you never get something for nothing in this life and if we don't fight for what we want then no-one is going to hand it to us on a plate.

Our drug-dealing neighbour on the ground floor doesn't appear to be coming back. Various Irish people have been coming and going, emptying the place of his possessions then leaving with a cheery wave, so I can only presume he's been repatriated or is in prison. Maybe the nice man who owns the other studio down there can now buy it up and extend his own place. It would be one concern fewer. One flat remains vacant and the girl in the one above is hardly ever there. When she is, we hear neither sight nor sound of her. Now that's a neighbour!

My Christmas Choir is in great voice. It's hard to think that this time last year we were struggling to get through basic repertoire and now they're trolling out much more advanced stuff as if it were Ducks and Drakes. Bearing in mind we meet only for a handful of rehearsals before Christmas and Easter their achievement is extraordinary. The numbers have swelled, too: I started with 15 and now have 24 regulars, including a strong tenor section. The Carol Service is in two weeks and it'll be a great success; I can feel it in my bones.

Christmas is starting to loom and it's good that we've got all our presents sorted out plus the tree, which got decorated in haste this afternoon by the Fingernails and Mrs. F. All that's left is Mrs. F's present plus the food. My Mum's coming over from England so she'll have a quality week with the girls. I'll be at work in the evening, but that's not so bad; animated evening conversation in our bijou shoebox is off-limits, anyway, at the risk of waking the little ones.

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