Monday, September 29, 2008

Leonie Writes:

I'm a photographer and a graphic design student in London.

I'm 23 years old and after living in student accommodation for a year I decided to rent a flat of my own nearer to the University. I'm quite aware the place I rented is old Victorian conversion so the ceiling are not the perfectly insulated, so footsteps from the upstairs neighbours are alright at considerable hours.

The block I live in has 3 flats with mine and I live in the middle. The person on the ground floor is the guy in charge of the flats, since the landlady lives in Australia. Upstairs are 2 girls, one which also has her boyfriend living with her. The first few days they were moving in they were awfully loud and the banging on my ceiling was unbearable (dragging chairs, throwing suitcases, heavy footsteps, etc.) which I tolerated since they moving in so its understandable. I thought they will probably be quiet after they gotten installed.

HOW WRONG I WAS! A week later it had not stopped. I was still partly living at my student flat so it didn't bother but my mother was sleeping in the flat and she kept telling me every morning how incredibly loud they were, and that it was impossible for her to sleep. One night she knocked on the neighbours door to tell them to be considerate and that other people lived in the flat and wanted to sleep.

When I finally spent the night myself all I could think was ARE THEY HORSES? It was completely unbelievable! I saw my clock twice it was 2:30AM then 3:30AM. What on earth are they doing just above my bedroom??! It felt like a horse was galloping up there. IT WAS ALMOST 4AM!

I wrapped myself in my robe and knocked on the door at 4am. A guy, breathing heavily and wrapped in ONLY a bath towel answers the door. I explain that I don't mean to bother then but that it was really noisy and it is 4am, etc.

"I was only making a sandwich" he claimed. I explained that I needed my sleep and please try to keep it down and went back to my flat.

A few days later the Superintendant had come by my flat to fix some stuff and I decided to talk to him about the neighbours and the noise. Luckily the "horses" started making the same awful noise just at that moment and I could tell that he agreed the noise was excessive. The Super went upstairs and came back a few minutes later with a strange look on his face.

"Let me guess" I said, "they told you they were making sandwiches?" I found out they tried to complain to him about me complaining, and waking them up at 4am?!?! I'm not sure what he said to them that day but thankfully they are incredibly quiet now.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


In the U.K. a 72-year old "spinster" attacked her neighbour with a spade after a long running dispute over a boundry fence turned ugly. The man has a broken arm, and even worse, will now be teased by his drinking buddies for the rest of his life about getting beat up by a 72-year old spinster.

Monday, September 15, 2008


We hear lots of stories about stupid and annoying neighbours who do clearly crazy and insane things to earn their stripes. We rarely stop to think about the little things we all do sometimes that can add up over time. So without further ado here are some things you should avoid in order to avoid being labeled a Stupid Neighbour.

  1. Mowing your lawn too early in the morning. You may be a morning person but some of us like to sleep in on a Saturday morning. Anytime after 8am is fine. This is still too early in my books (personally I say nothing before 9am) but I am willing to compromise.
  2. Late night construction projects. If the sun has gone down just put the power tools away. Put them down. Thats it. Good. Now open a beer and go sit on the porch. You can admire your handiwork in the daylight.
  3. Poop & Scoop. It is a no brainer that you should pick up when walking your dog. You also need to do regular sweeps of your own yard if you own a big ol' nasty dog. Your neighbours won't want their kids playing with your kids in the backyard if every time they come home they track something foul in thru the back door. To hell with the neighbours kids, what about your own? They deserve a safe and poop-free yard to run around in barefoot on occassion.
  4. Blasting the stereo when doing yardwork. You may love your new experemental Norwegian free jazz ensemble but I doubt anybody else in the free world does. Ditto for profanity laced gansta rap. I find the best choice, if you must listen to music when working in the garden (and that is a separate debate entirely), is something generic. Your local classic rock or pop station. Anything on the FM band is generally safe. If this doesn't work for you buy a damn iPod.
  5. Car parts belong in the garage, not on the driveway. Anything up on blocks is probably not a good idea. Not only does it look like you are running a chop shop it can be dangerous if children are playing nearby. It also just looks plain ghetto.
  6. Drinking beer on the front porch at 9am on a Sunday. Ghetto. At least wait until noon.
  7. Pick up the Flyers. Yes, I know you didn't ask for them and you already got that issue of the Pennysaver twice this week. Yes, I know you have a sign saying No Junk Mail and that you have phoned three times telling them to stop delivering. Ignoring them scattered all over your front yard will not make them disappear.
  8. Put the garbage out on the right day and if you make a mistake, take it back into the garage (or wherever you store it) and don't leave it out until it eventually is picked up. (Read my archives from 2002)
  9. Speaking of garbage. If a racoon (or dog or whatever) gets into it and scatters it all over... pick it the frak up. I know you didn't make the mess, but are you seriously going to just leave it rotting in the sun until the End of Days?
  10. Give everybody a 2nd chance to make a 1st impression.