Thursday, June 18, 2009

Living in the Back Pocket of 8 Million People

Life in a big city has lots of benefits: the sheer amount of things to do; the diversity of its inhabitants; and the fact that you'll never get tired of exploring. But it also has one major drawback: noise.

I live in a row of Victorian terraces that backs onto another row of Victoria terraces, parallel to ours, with only small gardens in the middle. This means we have a perfect conduit for all the sounds of the neighbourhood to travel, ricochet and echo their way up and down the red-bricked exteriors of the buildings, straight to my ears.

There's the neighbour who lets his dog out three times a day to bark, endlessly, at God knows what. There's the American couple who live somewhere nearby, having a BBQ in their courtyard. The family torturing their children with French lessons; the birthday party with 50 screaming kids; the graduation do where for some reason, they just couldn't seem to stop playing Deacon Blue... and on, and on.

It's interesting, these slices of life that seep through our window. It heightens the feeling that we live in a community, that there's people around us, even if I still don't know them after five years of living here! The mingling of accents, of customs and traditions, is right there -- we don't even need to leave our flat.

I could do without the barking dog, though.


Nancy J. Parra said...

Nice evocative post. thanks for sharing!

Kim Kasch said...

Ohhhhh I wish my parents would have tortured me with French lessons, or piano lessons or . . . so many things.

I too live in a Victorian house. It was built in 1890. I grew up in the house and then my husband and I bought it from my parents when they couldn't keep up with the up-keep.


JStantonChandler said...

Hello Marsha!

I popped over from Rachelle's blog party!

Your Victorian house sounds fabulous, even with all the extra noise. What a wonderful conglomerate of story inspiration to glean from. Though I value peace and quiet, it's always interesting to tune in to what's going on around you. The barking dog, however, has got to go! :)

Happy weekend!


Carol/Careann said...

Aspiring authors are a varied lot. Some of us flourish with lots of stimulation from the local scene; some need seclusion in order to hear those voices in their heads. I love the description of your neighbourhood community but I choose to live in a rural suburb of Vancouver, Canada where the birds are the only ones chattering.

It's nice to get together with other writers occasionally and 'compare notes'. I've just hopped over from Rachelle's blog party. Wasn't it fun?

Happy writing.

KimB said...

The dog is calling out for you to come visit. Preferably with treats. :)