Thursday, September 27, 2007

generate to irritate

For the past three nights in a row, my little shed on the shore has
woken in the wee small hours to the thrumming and rumbling of heavy
machinery. In the absolute silence of a Shetland night, such sounds
are magnified tenfold. Noisy nights could be expected if this place
was a vast urban conurbation, but it's not, it's a small island where
the sheep probably outnumber the humans. At the first sound outside,
I woke in darkness, wondering what on earth was going on. Voices,
splashes, sounds of metal ringing on stone and under it all, a
generator rumbling and coughing into life. In the pitch black of a
Scalloway night, my neighbour had turned on floodlights and could be
seen hurling concrete into a mixer with gay abandon prior to doing a
spot of recreational wall building and pickaxe wielding. He was doing
this a scant thirty feet away from where I clung to the edge of my
futon and profoundly dammed his eyes.

Monday night, the show began at 2 a.m and finished at dawn. Tuesday
night was a later performance, beginning at 2.40 a.m and finishing at
dawn. Last night it began at 3.15 a.m. and by then I was so sleep-
deprived and desperate, I climbed downstairs and phoned the police.
Curtain came down twenty minutes later. There were no encores.

Yeah, I know. You think I should have gone out and spoken to the
insanely insomniac concrete-mixer and pick-wielder myself. You think
it was a bit...cowardly and mean of me to sic the law on him? You can
see it, hmmm? You would've done that, eh? Got your clothes on,
grabbed a torch ( it's pitch dark out there - no streetlights - the
floodlights are for his benefit, not for community illumination) and
gone next door to remonstrate with a neighbour you've never met. A
very strong neighbour ( you should have seen the vast stones he was
hefting around - phhhwoarrrrrr) with a pickaxe. Yeah, right. Sure you

So. Silence blankets the shore tonight. I'm flailing around in a
sleep-deprived fog, trying to stay awake long enough to draw a
cartoon promoting, announcing and introducing the first meeting of a
Stitch and Bitch group in Lerwick. I hope I have cojones enough to go
back to the shop where I was initially rebuffed for enquiring as to
the possibility of there being such a group already in existence in
Shetland. Go back to the shop and ask if they'll be good enough to
put up the poster that I ought to be Getting On With instead of

The idea behind the S & B being that if you build it, they will come.

But if you build it in the middle of the bloody night, your neighbour
will grass you up bigtime.


Cherice said...

Linked here through Franklin's blog (panopticon). I would call the police on my neighbors if they decided to build concrete things in the wee hours of the morning. Actually I wouldn't have to because the guy who lives behind me (love him) would probably beat me to the phone.

A girlfriend of mine who is living in Holmsfirth (I'm in Colorado, so I have a dim idea as to where anything is half a world away). In her last letter she mentioned Shetland (and a Fair Isle knit class), and Aberdeen. These are not places that one here reads about often, so your blog is a fun read. I shall return after I've run my errands and such.

Alwen said...

Two in the MORNING?

Granted, I grew up next to a railroad track with night-time trains, so I might have leathery eardrums, but even so, the urge to kill would have been strong!