As a seasoned loather of all things estival AND festival, today is the nadir of the calendar. Hot, humid, heaving and loud: the first day of the Feesten. Barbra Streisand sang so memorably about wanting to get some life back into her life, before the parade passes by. For those of us who live on the route, it's more about getting to the post office and the pharmacy and back before you get cut off from your front door by the parade. There is nothing symbolic about this parade. It's an actual parade. People are lining the streets like arterial plaque. I needed to climb over people to get indoors. Windows are open because it's 28 degrees indoors and it rather sounds like a crowd gathered for a good hanging.
I'm not what you'd call a summery person. But I wonder what sort of person I am. The police have now been round three times in the last week; different policemen, same questions. Last night they said that it was the woman downstairs who had called them because she was worried and could hear a man and woman shouting and screaming. Every time I tell them I live alone, and no, nobody has been here and no, nobody was shouting and no, I wasn't on the phone or watching an action movie. Innocence is a funny thing because the more you protest it, the less convincing it sounds.
In London I had the rare good fortune to live under a woman who complained about me constantly - and most of the things seemed to be completely fabricated. But gradually you start to wonder if you are who you think, or if you are who they think. Now I appear to live above a woman who is imposing on my quiet and slothy existence some great imaginary domestic ruck.
The noise she hears is coming from the building behind my (and her) bedroom. Since windows have only recently been opened to let the heat out and flies in, none of us have heard it before. There appear to be two brothers, I would guess about 10 and 14 years old, who argue violently and loudly. One has an indignant shrill voice, the other a balls-dropped lower register roar.
After last night, I went down to try to sort it out with the neighbour and rang/knocked for five minutes. She would not open the door. I put a note under her door.
Next time, for I suspect there will be a next time, I am going to record the boys so that I can play it back to the police. If I'm recording it, it is unlikely to be me.