Wednesday, 2 May 2007

Urban Living

Neighbours. Europeans love to hate them. Not me, I was always one of those who believed in tripping round there with some cookies to introduce yourself and offer to water their plants when they are on holiday. However after being in my new apartment for two days I must say that some of my new voisins are singularly inconsiderate.

Now, it may be that the walls are much too thin in this concrete bird-cage of a building. But then, I would have expected the neighbours to have caughtebned on to that fact some time ago. So between upstairs 'faisant la fete' until about 2am last night and some other sod getting his hammer out at 8.30 am (and on a public holiday, so it can't be any workers they've hired) only to FINISH what he was doing at 9.30, my zen state went out the window and I found myself screaming "SHUT UP" at the walls in general. I'll purchase some ear plugs and see how that goes.

However it got me thinking. Either I was much too spoiled by the sound of silence (and occasional birdsong) at my parent's place when I was growing up. Or urban life just isn't good for you. All boxed together in these concrete shacks, surrounded by constant noise, from the wailing of sirens to screams in the night - not to mention the fact that everytime someone flushes the toilet it reverberates around the building. Is this the kind of progressive society we wanted to build? What happened to dreams of space, privacy, calm? Of home as a retreat? Or even of home in general. So many people I know treat their apartments as somewhere to sleep (though even that is kinda difficult) and spend all their time out the house. I guess it's cos we all live on our own these days.

I think it's sad. If I had the choice I would live in a big house with a courtyard, lush gardens and fountains. With my family round about me, somewhere on the outskirts of town. I'd have friends round regularly for dinners, games, and simple pottering. Their kids could run around the grounds safely, rather than being boxed in in front of the TV. I'd grow vegetables and cook. Learn to draw. Maybe even play some more tunes on the guitar. What is funny is that, despite the simplicity of all I've just outlined it seems unattainable. My current life gives me (some) money, status, excitement. But it also traps you in a vicious circle. Maybe I should think about trying something completely different in a year or so?


Thekla said...

You know, I quite agree with you. Nature does seem a bonus these days - my guess is that the simple country living will only be available to the rich in future (except for those who have always lived there, of course) as status will be measured more by the room you can afford to give your life. Living pressed together in a concrete cube makes me feel slightly claustrophobic, actually. (I grew up close to nature, as well.)

Good to see a blog with some real content.

Have a nice (rest of) May!

Consider This said...

hey there, thanks for your comment, that really encourages me. I agree, it's no good that now the rich are buying up all the countryside as well as second homes so even the locals can no longer afford to live there. The Welsh, I have heard, are taking their revenge by setting fire to aforesaid properies, in an attempt to drive the settlers away...revolutionary times ahead??