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The Diary of Anne Ku
21 May 2000 Sunday rainy, windy, cloudy
This morning as soon as I woke up, I instinctively started playing Schubert's sonatas. As I thundered happily on the the powerful chord progressions, I wondered if my next-door neighbours, who get up late, would retaliate by cranking up their stereo later? I don't care. Ever since they moved in last August, my daily life has suffered.
All day yesterday, they had the television on full blast. What could possibly be so interesting to watch the entire day? Since there are three of them at times, it isn't unusual to hear their TV, stereo, radio, and what-not going on simultaneously. Sometimes there are huge arguments, shouts and blasphemations at three in the morning. Other times, hysterical, shrieking laughter. As the weather gets warmer, the sounds would blast out through their open windows. This means I would no longer be able to read peacefully in my garden.
I have tried to ask them kindly - at 1 am in the morning, in my bathrobe. I have knocked on their door several times in the early days. Initially they refused to answer. I have called and written to their estate agent. I have contacted the council, who simply asked me to keep a written record. Short of contacting the owners who are working abroad, what can I do?
Why can't they be like my other neighbours, quiet and considerate and helpful? Unless they are owners themselves, why should they be concerned about bothering me?
It is of no use to dwell on my helplessness. Instead, I look forward to pounding away at more exhuberantly loud pieces: Bach's Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue, Saint Saens Piano Concerto No. 2, Chopin's Piano Sonata in B minor, and best of all, Moussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition. I doubt anyone who smokes three packets of cigarettes a day and watches TV until 3 in the morning would be a connoisseur of classical music, especially lousy piano practice at 8 am.