This neighbourhood, like many of the ones we journeyed through on our quest to find a house, is the quietest place you could possibly envisage. On our expeditions to the various estates, roads, lanes, crescents, and avenues across the top portion of Western Australia, we were lucky to see a single soul outdoors. No families sitting on their front lawn sunbathing or playing with the kids.
But at night, God help you if you try to go to sleep.
Yesterday night was probably the worst night’s sleep I’ve had here. For some reason the idiots next door decided to have their New Year’s Eve party the day before. It was a rampant cacophony of boozed-up Aussies slurring obscenities and having dry-heaving contests for what seemed like hours. Oh wait, it was hours – from about midnight until 5 o’clock in the morning, to be precise.
While this was going on there was some kind of squawking avian menace proclaiming the boundaries of its territory from the tree just outside the garden. Endlessly. At random, not-quite-evenly-spaced intervals, and in a tone that was only just out of key every single time, for maximum teeth-grinding irritation.
This also seems to be a neighbourhood rife with people who own dogs. Now, I realize that with these next few paragraphs I might well be antagonizing a whole third of my audience – that is, people who own dogs, as opposed to those who own cats (my people) and those who own neither (sane people). I have nothing against you if you choose to have a dog, but I just find it difficult understanding your point of view when it comes to the undying attachment that many of you hold towards these animals.
How the hell can you possibly feel love for an animal which has no independent streak of its own, will deposit its bio-hazardous leavings just about anywhere regardless of how you train it, and furthermore will bark at absolutely nothing in the wee hours? Please, I need to know.
One dog in particular, a tiny, yapping son-of-a-bitch – no pun intended – was obviously distraught by either something that went past its house hours ago (when it started its vocal cannonade), or something completely stationary it could see that maybe wasn’t there before but any way wasn’t going to be moved no matter how much of a yapping it received. See, dogs apparently can’t distinguish between anything harmlessly out of the ordinary, and genuine threats. Their immediate reaction to either is (1) bark (2) repeat. Cats, meanwhile, just don’t give a flying monkey. Unless it’s another cat, in which case something problematic (and possibly neighbour-awaking) may ensue.
Luckily the bastard thing has shut up for a few days. I like to imagine it’s been eaten by one of those huntsman spiders.
But that has not ended my struggles with sleeping. Apparently the heat here has been as high as 24ºC during the night. It has certainly felt like it. That was keeping me awake even if the dog and the bird and the drunkards had all shut up. Kinda hard to sleep when you feel like you’re drowning in your own perspiration. And the window is open and is slamming the bedroom door – even though it’s closed. Or making the blinds flap about noisily.
I don’t need outward complications, Australia, I’ve got my own and I’m quite happy with them. In a relative manner of speaking.
EDIT: I’m starting to think that this whole neighbourhood doesn’t want me to sleep. That effing bird was at it again for about four hours last night. Obviously I slept in until about 11am as a result and felt like turd. Was incredibly tempted to go outside and throw the largest rock I could find in the garden at it.