I'm a little over seventeen thousand words into the NaNoWriMo thing now and have realised that the IKEA office chair we bought a year ago for less than fifty francs is about as comfortable as being folded in a suitcase for long periods. The back refuses to lean straight, so I end up impersonating a 'less than' sign by the end of the day.
I'm now forty four years old and, in addition to IKEA-acquired back pain was forced to celebrate my birthday a helluva lot earlier than I would have liked thanks to the very uncharacteristic behaviour of the Swiss couple living upstairs from us.
They had a loud party. At this time last year, Guilliame left a prominent note about his upcoming party sticky taped in each lift, entry door and a copy in everybody's mail box. Whatever carousing occurred, it occurred without us hearing a thing.
This year, however, they had different plans. No notice but lots of noise. My guess was that they'd eaten (and drank, clearly) out somewhere and, in the forgivingly warm fug of fondue and booze decided to invite everyone back to their place to continue on.
At midnight, I was driven to the living room. Not by the party (although the girls could have done me a favour by kicking off their heels. Parquetry floors become painful percussion instruments when stilettos are clacking on them), but by Love Chunks.
He was due to leave for the US the following morning and, perhaps to ease my sadness at his absence on my birthday, his ENT system decided to put on a snoring performance not heard - or suffered - for at least a decade. No amount of whispered threats, loud sighs or sharp pokes in the back to turn the hell over made a shred of difference to the Angry Elephant Bellowing at a Whipper Snipper sounds he was emitting.
In the living room, the party was kicking on. Midnight was fine, but at 2am the scraping chairs, loud laughs, screeching giggles and singing Happy Birthday (in English) for the tenth time was officially being classed by my bloodshot eyes as inconsiderate.
My book was fascinating, but not to the extent of blocking out the noise from LC or upstairs.
Then the doof doof started. At 2:30am. It was high time to grab the front door key and take some action.
Ratta tatta tatta went my knuckles on his wooden door. Guilliame opened it to see me with sticky hair, ugg boots and dog breath. "I've had enough mate. Turn the music off and please be quiet."
'Mate' slipped in from god knows where. Guilliame was torn - he looked over his shoulder at the chaotic hilarity occurring in his dining room and back at the exhausted old bag in a brown dressing gown standing angrily in front of him. "Sorry," he said quickly, shutting the door in my face.
Back downstairs, it was a relief to hear the music end. The chair scraping, yelling and parquetry percussion continued until well after 3am.
Love Chunks' alarm went off at six. Drowsily, he whispered, "Happy Birthday, love," before turning on the shower. Milly heard the waking sounds from her bed in Sapphire's room and trotted in to nudge me. "Yeah yeah, I'll take you down for a whizzer."
Passing through the lobby, my aching eyes spied the intercom by the entry door.
BSSSSSSSST BSSSSSSSST BSSSSSSSST!! I hammered Guilliame's button to the world-recognised rhythm of 'Do Me A Favour: Drop Dead!" before scooting outside. If his intercom was anything like ours, it would have drilled through his hungover subconscious and scared the crap out of him. His heart would have required at least ten minutes of deep breathing and checking the fish eye peep hole to get back to less than a hundred beats per minute again. Good.
As for blame, he would have had neighbours upstairs, downstairs and to the left and to the right to consider as angry intercom-abusing arse wipes.
For good measure, I went BSSSSSSSST BSSSSSSSST BSSSSSSSST!! on the way back upstairs.
..... was that wrong?