So, Wednesday night, after a long day at work and coming home, cooking dinner and going out again to do some tutoring, it was time for bed. Andy had experienced a long day too, having done a veterinary shift at Margate which is over an hour's commute each way and that's if the traffic is with you. Suffice to say, we both needed our sleep.
At a quarter past midnight, we were woken suddenly by a loud and persistent hammering. At first I thought it was someone bashing on our front door but I soon realised it was coming from next door. More precisely, from next door on the upstairs shared wall next to our bedroom.
Well, you can imagine what I thought about THAT. After a while, and with me cursing quietly and listening to my heart pounding in my chest, the hammering stopped. I lay awake, concocting selected acts of revenge because the previous morning I had gone to let the hens out and found a load of rubbish in our back garden which can only have come from next door and this nocturnal DIY was just about the rat atop the compost heap.
Eventually, I dozed off. Only to be woken again by more hammering, this time accompanied by scraping.
And so it continued, on and off, on and off, until around 3 a.m, culminating in a loud metallic crashing noise akin to, oh, someone removing a large metal radiator from a wall and dropping it down the stairs.
I was on the point of getting dressed and going next door to ask them EXACTLY what the HELL they thought they were doing. But then I thought, 'What will I be walking into? I mean, people who crash about like that in the small hours are clearly people of the most unreasonable and inconsiderate type. What if they get violent? What if they are building a clandestine cannabis factory? What if, because they were arguing about overdue rent with their landlord only a few days previously they were, indeed, removing radiators from the walls in preparation for a midnight flit to the scrapmetal dealers? What if the landlord, in a fiscal rage, was in there NOW nailgunning the tenants to the wall?
I decided the safest course of action would be to keep me and my pounding heart safely behind a locked door and try and contact the letting agent next day because after two hours of sleep I reckoned I could voice my displeasure about anti-social tenants in a very forceful and succinct way.
Needless to say, the estate agent I thought had next door on their books denied all knowledge, and so Andy and I braced ourselves so that if the same thing happened again on Thursday night we would march round, possibly armed (weapons available - rolling pin, lampstand, a variety of gardening implements, a bee smoker if only we could light it successfully) and tell them to hush their noise.
Luckily and thankfully, all was quiet. And has remained so. Not a peep of noise this evening. Not a bang of a door nor shriek of a child. An outside investigation has revealed an empty driveway and dark windows. Maybe they have done a midnight flit? Maybe the landlord has performed an eviction? Maybe, for the first time in a year and a half peace has returned.