I wrote this piece back in 2012 – before Carl and I were even married let alone hatching our Sydney escape plan – but as you can tell, I was already struggling with the giant share-house that is big city apartment living.


Big city apartment-living

I woke up this morning – Saturday: 6:30am – to the dulcet tones of someone in my building playing a glockenspiel…

Now, I know that sentence sounds bad enough in and of itself, but what if the musician in question is playing the same four notes, over and over AND OVER again? I’m not a fan of repetitive noises at the best of times… and let me tell you, there ain’t no snooze button on a glockenspiel.

I’m assuming the culprit was a child, which excuses the apparent lack of musical finesse, but it does beg the question: Where are the parents? Doesn’t the responsibility for not waking your neighbours at an ungodly hour (this lady with cotton wool stuffed in her ears as she types no less) really lie with them? And when you’re living in the close quarters of a block of flats in Sydney’s Inner West, how do you keep your kids quiet in the mornings?

And it’s not just the kiddies who are guilty of noise-related offenses (though I am also an involuntary subscriber to the Life and Times of baby Oliver, AKA “Olliesaurus” who by the way doesn’t even live in my building – but noise sure does travel from the block next door…). Living in apartments can sometimes feel like a Guinness World Record attempt for the Biggest Share House. People jack hammering during renos; midnight Skype calls to relatives overseas; cats on heat; karaoke parties; that teenage boy who’s probably nice as pie to his teachers, but tells his mother to ‘F-off’ every morning because he doesn’t want to go to school….

I’ll admit it. I, too, have indulged in the occasional girlish giggle as I squeal at my boyfriend to “Stop it, stop it,” during a tickle fight (and, no, that’s not a euphemism), but it doesn’t stop me from yelling out my window like a crazy lady at someone indulging in a late-night Harry Potter marathon – in surround sound.

So, as a seasoned unit-dweller, here are some suggestions for parents trying to stop their children driving their neighbours bonkers at 6:30am:

  1. Take them for a walk.
  2. Read them a book.
  3. Give them a bowl of cereal and a pair of tiny chopsticks and tell them to eat each piece one by one.
  4. Let them watch Saturday morning cartoons (these still exist, yes? I probably should have done some research here – it’s been a while since I woke up that early on a weekend).
  5. Teach them how to play that elusive fifth glockenspiel note…

I’m not asking for the world here, people, I just want to stay asleep ‘til after 8am.