Listen, can you hear it? No? Me neither. The neighbours have gone away for a few days and the peace and quiet is wonderful. OK, I haven't been to crow-bar the boy out of his whiffy pit yet and I know that once he's showered the zombie mode away the mere notion of peace and quiet will be a distant memory as he'll either be playing crap music or shouting abuse at other players on various online Xbox games. Or both at the same time.
So I'm pacing myself this morning. I'm not going to launch myself at jobs like yesterday when the need to do something about the six foot featherboard garden fence that was blowing around at worrying angles resulted in taking the whole thing down, leaving just a four foot chain link behind. Bit of a bummer as I only put up the extra tall bit to get some privacy from the olds next door about seven years ago. Can't be arsed to do anything more with it now though as we'll probably be moving house this coming year.
The downside of the way so many people live their lives at full volume, combined with a general lack of consideration for others, is that true peace and quiet is hard to come by. Is it really too much to ask to be able to sit and read a book without ending up reading the same sentence ten times before giving up because some bugger's distracting you with comedy sketches on YouTube in the corner of the room or some old fart is shouting loudly down the phone next door. What is it with old folk that they assume that just because they're deaf everyone else must be? Especially on the phone because they're a long way away so you have to shout if they're going to hear you all the way up in Scotland... And now the bastards have got themselves a speakerphone. Great, so now we get to hear BOTH sides of the conversation. AAARRRGGGHHH!!!!
In my dreams I'd be able to live in a detached house with no neighbours for at least a quarter of a mile. Obviously this would bring about the need for major security involving high steel fences topped with razor wire and a pack of very hungry dobermans if the thieving parasitic f***ers are to be kept away. And some of those automatic sentry guns like they had in 'Aliens' would be cool too.
The reality is though, that we're likely to end up in the midst of many other people with the risk of summers filled with family garden parties, screaming kids, and teenagers playing their music loud with the windows thrown wide open so the rest of the world can appreciate their music tastes too. All things we don't get here, where we could just spend a couple of grand putting up a soundproofing wall and maybe not hear the neighbours at all, but next door isn't the only reason for moving house.
It could be that old age is when you finally get your peace and quiet. You've done your bit for the country by working, paying your taxes and national insurance, and it's time to get something back. Time to relax, have a nice cup of tea and a HobNob, and read your book without any distractions because now you're the one who's deaf.