Sunday, 7 August 2011

A Quiet House

Not that long ago, I wrote here about how noisy my neighbourhood can be during the day.

On the last weekend of July, the young family downstairs moved out; I'd known about their upcoming move for a while, but they had always been saying it would be the middle of August, so I was quite surprised when it happened two weeks earlier.
The parents of the young man who live upstairs also left at about the same time; not to move out, but to spend the next half year in their home village in Turkey.

That left me and the cat on our own in the whole house, and I can not even begin to tell you how much I enjoyed the peace and quiet! Even outside, now that the school holidays have begun and a lot of companies have closed down for two or more weeks, it is much quieter; less cars, less lawn mowers, less hedge cutting and so on.

One morning, I took my camera round to the back of the house, where I usually do not go, since I consider this to be the downstairs family's garden (in truth, 1/3 of it belongs to me, but I never sit there).
It was all very green and quite overgrown, and very quiet, with all windows and the glass door to the patio closed and with no curtains on them anymore.

Even just looking at the closed door of the downstairs flat, although the door itself looks exactly the same as always, made me feel how quiet and empty the house was.
Was, I say - because yesterday, the new tenants for the downstairs flat have moved most of their furniture in already. I met them when I emptied the bins, and we had a quick chat; they are a couple, a bit older than I, and have a cat (who was of course not with them just yet). They do not sleep here yet, there's still some stuff they need to sort out, but the quiet period is as good as over; I am quite sure I will get along with my new neighbours fine, but I wouldn't have minded to be on my own in the house for a little longer.


  1. Oh, I so understand you enjoying the quietness of the empty building. Here's hoping that your new neighbors will be good ones! Here's a thought... it's wonderful to have nice family and friends, but for your mental health, it is MOST important that you have considerate NEIGHBORS. In other words, those who live in close proximity affect your daily life in so many ways...believe me, I am speaking from experience.

  2. I agree with Kay. We had the original neighbours from hell before we moved here; arguments over boundaries (we really didn't care); those awful cypressus trees, the lot. And they would only communicate through their solicitors. In the end, having been happy there for years, I couldn't wait to get away. Very good luck with your new neghbours, Lirarian!

  3. Hope your new neighbours also like peace and quiet and are neighbours from Heaven - they do exist I'm glad to say.

  4. Hope they both work during the day, have a quiet evening meal and read (no TV!) before going to bed early. That way you will have uninterrupted day-light hours for your working from home and a peaceful evening.

  5. Thank you - they need to be neither from hell nor from heaven, just normal people who have a normal day and night rhythm of work and play and sleep.
    This morning, I heard the front door quite early, so I guess they are out at work now. And so far, there was no hammering or drilling to be heard.
    They both smoke, though; when they sit on their patio for a fag, the smoke comes up into my bedroom if I do not notice it in time and close the window.
    But that's a minor thing and actually not even worth mentioning.

  6. I look forward to hearing more about your new neighbors. And I don't think the cigarette smoke coming up from below is such minor thing.

  7. Mark, they are entitled to smoke on their own patio. I can hardly tell them not to, can I!
    As suspected, today was all quiet. There is nobody in yet, so I guess I will keep having quiet working days here in my home office.

  8. Hello,

    I've had the most wonderful neighbors whom I've never forgotten. There's been pipe smoke wafting , which i loved, and classical piano music, a wonderful Italian lady who taught me to make homemade ravioli while we sipped her elderberry cordial. Even a jazz saxaphonist!
    Now if only an ornithologist or French Baker would move in next door ;}}

  9. Isn't that lovely to have a bit of a break. I know what you mean, we live in a very lively building in the downtown area & there is always something going on inside or out. Enjoy the peace & quite.


    p.s. I like you blog, very cute.

  10. Julie, how about an ornithologist AND a French baker? :-)

    Elizabeth, thank you! - of course, I instantly went to have a look at your house mouse blog :-)

  11. I have always been grateful for the fact that I live far enough from my neighbours (who are absolutely wonderful) not to disturb them or be disturbed by them even if they (or I) were noisy. Rural life has its price but also its perks.

  12. GB, I like my home town, and I like my flat; rural life would possibly be a bit difficult for me without being able to drive, and I enjoy being so close to town center that I can be there within a few minutes.
    Hopefully, I do not disturb my neighbours too much... I always make sure my dancing lessons in the living room end at the latest by 10.00 pm.

  13. Yes. Rural living without driving is difficult. It is, I suspect, one (of many) of the reasons the French countryside is losing it's population because as people get older and can't drive there is little or no public transport in rural France.

    I once had the idea that when I was old I would live in a small house near the centre of a small town and go to my local café for my lunch and sit at 'my' table. The price for me? Too many people who would be strangers. Rural life has a cosiness to its relative solitude.

  14. GB, there's still time for that when you are really old ;-)

    My aunt and uncle live on an island off Denmark. They used to live on a converted farm, miles away from the nearest neighbour, not to speak of shops, doctors, and so on. A few years ago, around the time when my uncle turned 80 and had to have heart surgery, they decided to leave that wonderful, paradisiac spot and move into the biggest town on the island, where everything is close at hand. Now, when I say "biggest town", it is about the size of one of the suburbs of my town, but for them, it was a big step and made a huge difference to their lives. It was a sensible decision, but I guess they still long for their old place every now and then.