Dear universe: quiet please!


Diary of a liver out 8 300x20How do I know that it’s autumn? It is 8am on a Friday morning, and there is a maniac with a leaf-blower outside my window. This is my one lie-in a week (and not for much longer since my labs start soon) and, although I am not a violent person by nature, I am extremely tempted to go outside and give leaf-blower bloke what for. But I won’t, because it is too damn cold out there. Instead, I go to the window, to see how long the noise is likely to go on for. The man with the leaf-blower (who, unlike me, is wearing ear protection) happily whizzes away, blowing leaves off the path that no-one uses. Once he has finished one pile, he stands back, admiring his work, and the noise stops, if only for a moment (oh, but what a glorious moment of respite that is) Then, satisfied with a job well done, he moves on to the next path; as soon as his back is turned, the wind blows all of the leaves back onto the path again. This repeats for nine million years or until I start banging my head against the wall, whichever comes sooner.

It’s fine though, I tell myself, gritting my teeth as the whirring cacophony starts up again, This is a huge improvement on living in a house full of noisy builders. You’d think that, wouldn’t you? Read on.

When leaf-blower bloke finally leaves, I’m about to start work for the day, on a hideous data analysis project. I’ve got the perfect working environment sorted out, with plenty of snacks within grabbing distance and a bucket ready to catch my tears of frustration. Then I hear it.


Are you kidding me?!  At first I think that it’s my neighbour’s ironic alarm clock. But it’s not. There is an actual, genuine, real-life rooster crowing happily away somewhere near my room. I come from a small country town surrounded by farmland, and one of the many reasons I moved to a city is so that I’m no longer assaulted my animal noises at ungodly hours of the morning. It’s so loud that I suspect it can be heard several miles away. Every time I think it’s finished, it starts up again. Mr Rooster seems to be absolutely jubilant to be surrounded by so many lady chickens and is perhaps under the impression that he could become the 6th member of One Direction if he practises his singing hard enough and trims his feathers a bit.

Noise like this is a pretty regular occurrence in my college room. The plumbing in our building is so old and decrepit that it makes a terrifying screaming noise whenever anyone turns on a tap. This was very appropriate on Halloween, but now that I’ve lived with it for a few months, the novelty has rather worn off. I am now painfully aware of how many people on my corridor decide to shower at 3am because I am awoken by ghastly screeching on a regular basis. I always wonder what they’re doing for the rest of the day that means they can’t shower at a reasonable time.

But I digress. The real point of this article was going to be explaining that I’m moving rooms, to a slightly nicer, and most importantly, quieter building. Joy! Rapture! The prospect of dragging all of my belongings up three flights of stairs fills me with so much excitement I can barely contain myself. I would tell you all about it, but there are people chanting drunkenly outside my window and I really can’t concentrate…


Protips for livers in and out this week:

  • Make sure that you have a quiet working environment. Go to the library. Failing that, invest in noise-cancelling headphones.
  • If you’re living in college, there should be rules about noise, and you can usually complain to the porter if someone keeps you awake all night with their music/phone calls/loud sex.
  • Of course, always remember that when you’re on a night out, we don’t want to hear you all over Durham. If you stay quiet at night, I’ll stay quiet in the morning when you’re hungover.


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