I've a funny feeling in my stomach, and it's not because of the Château Coutinel. It's because we have a new neighbour upstairs. I started riffing on this a few years back when we got a small, young family of Syrian Kurds living above our bedrooms. It was murder, as their floor is not even remotely insulated, and our exchnges could have actually turned into homicide had they stayed any longer. They left and were replaced by a Turkish Kurd (no, they didn't know each other - my arse) who turned out to be very good, but still prone, as was his right, to come home from nightclubs at 4am and wake my entire family. It didn't happen too often, but often enough for me to contemplate manslaughter. He eventually moved into a two-bed flat in the Roseraie, but I bumped into him accompanied by a lawyer (yup, we live in 'Legal Street', here in Toulouse) recently. Judging by his embarressed expression and reluctance to engage in conversation, I can only assume he was on his way to a residency hearing, rather undermining his persistent claims that is papers were in order. I always found it strange that he never fixed up his letter box to receive post and that his boss, by his own admission, paid him cash, no questions asked. It's bizarre; you can talk to someone almost daily for two years, yet your suspicion that you're never really being told the truth will eventually be born out.
Anyhow, back to the point. This guy finally moved out in August, 2010, and his flat has lain deliciously empty since that time. The owners/agency renovated the bathroom and did some band-aid decoration in the sitting room, but the bottom line was that we had uninterrupted sleep for a number of months. However, a new tenant is in the process of moving in. Mrs. Fingers has met her: she's about 50, divorced, and has two birds, a dog and seven cats. She'll be up on the third floor with ten animals; God only knows how that's supposed to work. She's promised to be careful about how she walks about, but we'll see how it pans out with half of Noah's fucking Ark above our bedrooms. Apparently, she's very nice (they always are) but the floor is the floor and the agency stubbornly refuses to do anything about it. In the meantime, otherwise civilised human beings start behaving like Neanderthals because those who are responsible ignore their responsibilities. Anyone interested in more sordid details on this subject need only consult my posts starting in September 2008. I honestly hope it'll be OK, otherwise there will be blood.