There’s an eccentric in our midst, more specifically in the adjoining flats; one who, for no sane reason, had decided to put a partial sheet of corrugated fibreglass shed roofing stuff along the foundation of the building. I understood the haphazard addition when the pipe above (two floors up) drained like a tap, that perhaps bedding plants might have been suffering. Fair enough, but rather than address the landlord about the problem this person got a 2’x4′ chunk of plastic to prop against the wall, channelling the water away. Now, I expect that from the trashy Wisconsin neighbourhood I last lived in, but come on… this is affluent England. You ring the appropriate person and have it taken care of. So that’s what we did. Though not technically our problem, the water was a nuisance noise all through the day and night whenever the boiler it was attached to decided to overflow. Trust me, you don’t want to hear a couple of gallons of water hit plastic sheeting from fifteen feet at three in the morning.
Now- the story resumes. Fast-forward to this past week, where, for unknown reasons and lacking sane argument, the offending shed roofing has been laid flat on the ground, covering presumed possible bedding plants, and water from the pipe – now at a pleasant by comparison ‘drip’ – hits that sheeting like a drumstick on a stew pot. All. Night. Long.
A quick diversion into my sleep history: I can typically sleep through anything. Fireworks (even when attending them), gang fights (you should’ve seen my last neighbours in the states), sirens (unless I feel the heat from my own burning roof, I won’t stir), loud vehicles, construction, college hip-hop parties in my room (my roommate was a social creature) – you get the picture.
But dripping water hitting plastic from two storeys up – a cacophonous hammering that echoes in the public stairwell and penetrates even the closed, insulated window glass of the flat? No. I’ve got my limitations.
So last night, around four thirty in the morning and after having bouts of watery insomnia for several days, I took action. I crept downstairs, careful to put on clothes and quiet shoes, sneaked out into the grass, and moved that duct-tapian, ridiculous, butt-ugly 2’x4′ chunk of fibreglass out of the line of drip fire and to a safe leaning position against the shrub not two feet away. I’d had enough sleeplessness. Surely the owner of such a rudimentary chunk of home improvement would understand…
At just past 6 AM it was in its original, loud position. I woke within minutes of its return. I was not thrilled. (Especially since my alarm was due to go off in twenty minutes.) I had to take action. This sleeplessness would drive me insane. Rather than complain to the landlord about the problematic plastic, I wrote a note. No sense getting all official over such a simple disregard. In as kind a words as I could muster (and you can see me say ‘thanks so much’ if you look hard enough in the corner).
Here it is:
“Please don’t let the water drip on the plastic – it sounds like a hammer from our bedroom (even w/ window shut) and echos* in the stairwell. Thanks so much”
And here is the offending, drippy pipe in the wall:
The adorably nosy old lady on the ground floor has had a look at it, but she is not the owner of the sheeting. She straightened it – in my haste to bulldog clip a note to it and return to bed, I had left the fibreglass roofing askew. I think the old lady might be OCD**.
I took a couple of quick photos from our window, just in case there is any dispute, but I hope this is the end of it. Hopefully the fibreglass panel will be removed (it looks so ghetto in the garden anyway) and sleep will return to its normal, comatose bliss.
Unless the person tries a bucket down there… I’ll be writing the next update from a mental hospital if that happens.
*Yeah, I know. I misspelled ‘echoes’. I was tired…
**obsessive compulsive disorder