Thursday, 29 October 2015

Monstaville Book III. Chapter 24


“The beautiful remains so in ugly surroundings.”
- Chazal.

Artwork by Andrew Brandou

Neighbour Notes March to September 2010.

March. From the middle of March 2010 onwards, I did not heard a peep out of the neighbours. Not a peep! It was totally weird. Complete silence! They have all switched abruptly from one extreme to the other. No coughing, no kids, no knocking, no loud talking near the wall, no loud TV…nothing! Well, OK, an occasional morning ‘cough’ from Maltesers (who may be finding it difficult to abide by the family’s new policy) but I just respond by saying ‘bless you.’ El Phaba, too, has been very quiet. She is not stomping around in shoes or dropping things on the floor. But, then, I noticed that her boyfriend is back so perhaps she is keen not to risk involving him (perhaps even coordinated with the Chus next door). How does it end then? Well, hopefully it ends like this but I wouldn’t put any money on it!

Yep, all quiet on the Western Front again, until…

Mid-April onwards. El Phaba: loud television, walking around in shoes and dropping things on the floor, including late at night. Also, the next-door neighbours, Maltesers and Mama Chu have started going outside and coughing during my tai chi practise whenever the weather is nice.

[Retrospective note: I was not going to bother documenting this in my ‘finished’ book, but then from 29 April 2010 the next-door neighbours started ‘coughing’ again. Ha Chu appears to have gone back to Pakistan and the son arrives around 7.15 a.m. straight from work].

5 May. El Phaba walked around in shoes for an hour or so early in the morning mainly on the lino in the hall. In the evening, she walked around in shoes but not on the lino. Basically, she is just trying to pick a fight or ‘put her foot down’ and try to have her own way.

6 May. Evening. Walking around in shoes loudly plus dropping heavy objects on the floor.

11 May. El Phaba was very noisy again (shoes/dropping things on the floor) during the day. In the evening, Maltesers ‘coughed’ loudly at 11 p.m. twelve times like Big Ben was dreaming of Paris! (I don’t blame him!).

12 May. Morning, around 7 a.m. El Phaba walked around in shoes. God, it’s so loud! She is back to her old tricks, hoping to prevent me from getting enough sleep.

I have laughed a couple of times in the hope that these gentle warning shots would be heeded. I even laughed on Friday evening (14 May) as El Phaba arrived home with her boyfriend at 11.45 a.m. I was watching comedy on the box though too. Seemed like perfect timing! They only stayed for about ten minutes. This would happen on Friday nights during the last ‘noise war.’ It wasn’t until the next morning that I realised I had intuitively known that El Phaba had come home to walk around upstairs in shoes briefly just to keep me awake or something. This isn’t something she’s done at any other time. I don’t know, I can’t work everything out. I mean, I can’t even see the logic in any of it. They must surely know by now that I am not as weak-minded as they are or would like to think! Haha. Although, I have realised that if I was more deeply in my own heartspace the noise would probably not affect me so much. Indeed, I seem to be coping with it better than before. It is early days though. Noise torture builds up slowly over time until you find that you’re living in a nightmare. One thing I have discovered is that El Phaba is not very intelligent. I mean, not as intelligent as I once thought. She may or may not be as cunning as the Chus but I can see that intelligent strategies, or more energetic, vibrational responses, are lost on dumb people! I have even been including all these people off and on in the healing I have sent out over the past few months.

Dud (Dudley Moore): It don’t matter anyway. ‘Ere y’are, have a sandwich. My feet are killing me.
Peter (Peter Cook): What’s that got to do with the sandwich?
Dud: Nothing. I just said it afterwards, that’s all.
Peter: Oh, you shouldn’t say things like that together. It could confuse a stupid person.
Dud: Yeah.
- The Best of…What’s left of…Not Only…But Also (written by and starring Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, BBC TV, 1990).

17 May. After a week or more of Stomparama upstairs, I now feel motivated to start getting up earlier. I’ve tolerated it enough I feel, hoping the noise would stop. But she is not going to stop. She’s just getting warmed up! Kindness…well, it is kind of me not to try and make her life hell. Then again, that is being kind to myself since such a drama would simply make my own life worse! I swear, dancing naked to Death Cult and Southern Death Cult is the best way to start the day! So, as of 15 May, I am officially a naked dancer again (on the first day, I danced to Michael Jackson though). The way I see it, El Phaba and the other neighbours use me for destructive ends, to offload negative energy like I am some kind of dumpster (of course, they hope that this will eventually push me away for good). So, I am using them for a more positive purpose – to kickstart my day in a fun and fulfilling fashion!

18 May. El Phaba has been noisy all evening, dropping things on the floor and walking around in shoes. From 10.30 onwards, the next-door neighbours knocked on the wall repeatedly. I went to bed at around 11.30 and I could still hear them as I was trying to get to sleep. I was worried that it would keep me awake because each time I heard them I would become more conscious again. Man, there was even a baby crying again. Where did that come from? It’s the first time I’ve heard it since the last noise campaign. It was not right next to my wall and might well have been crying in protest at all the noise the neighbours were making by knocking on my wall! Haha Fortunately, I was extremely tired by that time so I feel asleep OK. It’s pretty clear now that they are in league with the other devil upstairs!

19 May. Iggy Pop: Fire Engine! Yeah!

20 May. Motorhead: Bomber (although she was up before me today). I was in my head after I woke up! Been very depressed since last night. All my nightmares have pounced on me. Well, not all but inside, at home, and outside, jobs. So much for life improving!

21 May. Friday. Noisy all evening. El Phaba made a hell of a racket before leaving the house at 10.30 p.m., presumably in the hope of keeping me awake. I was working at my desk, however. We are repeating the previous game particularly on Friday nights because she wants a lie-in on Saturdays!

24 May. Next-door neighbours knocking on the wall late at night. And, yeah, well it’s just going on like this every day now, just like before. Darth Slipperless stomps around in shoes, especially in the mornings, when she gets home in the evenings and late before going to bed. And I play one loud song to dance to first thing in the morning on most days now.

“As a lotus flower is born in water, grows in water and rises out of water to stand above it unsoiled, so I, born in the world, raised in the world having overcome the world, live unsoiled by the world.” - Buddha.

26 May. El Phaba arrived home at the same time as the son next door. She got to the door five or ten seconds after he parked in the driveway as though he had dropped her off just down the road. I mean, I would think nothing of it if we were living in peace time rather than during the outbreak of war! 10.34 p.m.: the son started the engine of the noisy old minibus they use in their can business and then switched the ignition off after a couple of minutes. He then drove off in his 4x4. He drove up the road and returned a couple of minutes later with the radio on and sat there with the engine running in the driveway for six or seven minutes.

27 May. Sitting on a double-decker bus, passed an old man at the traffic lights trying to talk to the other few people waiting with him. The sky was overcast after having been very sunny for a few days. He was holding his palm up as though, in a jovial way and with a big smile of disbelief, suspecting that it might rain. He was wearing a showerproof jacket as well. It was as though he was joking about the crazy weather we have in England. Everyone totally ignored him. They were from Asia and Africa. He was just being friendly and repeated himself a few times, it seemed, as though in disbelief about the lack of response, too. Unlike myself, I guess he may not have forgotten what it’s like to live among his own kind. He had spent more years here before it became a ghetto, a foreign land where commonality and response cannot be taken for granted. I, on the other hand, have spent over quarter of my life in this dump! 11.04 in the evening: loud coughing from the next-door neighbours.

28 May. El Phaba dropped a couple of heavy objects on the floor but didn’t walk around in shoes. The Ha Chus knocked on the wall from 10.50 p.m. for a while.

29 May. Saturday evening. Next door knocking on the wall. El Phaba walking around in shoes after 11.30 p.m. and came downstairs and opened and shut the front floor loudly. She was then noisy for 45 minutes before going to bed. Last night she stayed at a friend’s. I went to bed late anyway and tonight I am staying up to watch The Last Samurai so I shan’t be prancing about to Death Cult in the morning! Just such an awesome and irresistible film! [I didn’t go to bed until 2 a.m. It crossed my mind to wake El Phaba up but I’m done with playing stupid games].

“Your emotional body is a field through which energies of particular frequencies run. You generate some of these yourself, and you pick up others using your field as an antenna. So, a particular emotion can be communicated. It is important that you know, first, which energy you generate and which you pick up, and second, that you have control over the energy you allow in your emotional field.
                Suppose that you suddenly feel angry. Where did this anger come from? Of course, something within you may have triggered it, such as an expectation that another person would behave in a certain way and he or she didn’t, or that a situation would turn out a certain way and it didn’t. The fact that your plans are thwarted results in feeling helpless, and the energy of enthusiasm you had is now stifled within the emotional field. You then feel it as anger.
                Alternatively, anger may spring apparently from nowhere. In this case, you may be picking up anger from someone who just happens to be in your field. The anger isn’t yours and you can dump it very easily. You can spin your emotional field to centrifuge it out, declaring that you release the energy back to the universe.
                Releasing your own internal anger is almost as easy. But, first, you must realise that it is only energy and that energy loves to move. It hates being still. Also, realise that this energy is not yours, but only on loan for the moment. Spin your fields and declare to yourself:

‘This anger (or fear, jealousy, etc.) is not me or mine. I release it back to the universe.’

“Emotional energy is neither good or bad; it just is. However, you may prefer not to remove some frequencies like love or joy from your field. If an emotion feels good to you, you are picking the energy up from another source: Spirit.” – Serapis (channelled through Tony Stubbs, An Ascension Handbook, World Tree Press, Lithia Springs, GA, U.S., 1991, p.43).

Pugsley: We don't hug. Gary: Oh, you're just shy. Wednesday: We're not shy, we're contagious.
- Addams Family Values (written by Paul Rudnick, based on characters created by cartoonist Charles Addams, directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, 1993).

El Phaba drops something on the floor every time she comes home now. She stayed at a friend’s house on Sunday night and then came home in the morning and made a real racket all evening before going out and staying there again (30 May).

1 June. Noisy next door late at night including a baby crying.

2 June. Got up late again. El Phaba walked around in shoes for ages.

3 June. Next door – very loud after 10.30 p.m. So much screaming from children egged on by adults until 11.05 when it suddenly stopped.

4 June. 10.55 p.m. Loud knocking on the wall with a solid object next door. This was followed directly by Maltesers talking and children screaming as though encouraged to, like a performance. Yeah, El Phaba walks around in shoes and/or drops a heavy object on the floor every night now.

“God is the Sun and when His rays fall upon your heart, not impeded by the clouds of egoism, the lotus blooms and the petals unfold.” - Sathya Sai Baba.

June. Nice weather means I can’t even eat my lunch in the garden, particularly at the weekends. If I told these people who suddenly turn the volume of their stereos up with the back door open that they’re not welcome here – which they’re not – they would accuse me of being racist. It’s just a no-win situation. But, you know, to me they’re just ‘nasty neighbours.’ It’s not like you can go away for a few hours and come back to a more peaceful setting. It’s constant noise and absolute selfishness. Whether they have the doors and/or windows open or not, they only do it in the summer when people want to be outside. I am originally from the country and love being outdoors so it seems totally unfair – criminal even – to be prevented from relaxing in the garden on sunny days.

OK, the warm weather didn’t last long and consequently neither did the lesser of two evils during that month. Ha Chu came back from Pakistan on 14 June and let me know with a couple of fake coughs and throwing a stick into my garden. Dork.

13 June. Evening. El Phaba was even banging on the floor with a solid object! (Bear in mind, though, I am getting up before 7 a.m. and playing one loud song to dance to in the mornings on most days again. She can do as she likes and so will I. And, sticking to this one simple daily ritual is sufficient. The rest of the time I simply ignore or bless her).

“To dance is to be out of yourself. Larger, more beautiful, more powerful.” - Agnes De Mille.

15 June. Evening. El Phaba was noisier than ever by far. I was trying to get to sleep and it sounded like a herd of elephants. Just dropping things and banging on the floor, on and on and on.

The enemy living upstairs uses the earth element to harass their victim living below. They are in a dominant position because they need only use their bodies and rely on gravity to generate noise. In addition, they can get away with claiming that these sounds are ‘natural’ and part of everyday living. For example, walking and dropping objects on the floor. In order to balance the scales and achieve justice and equality in the area of neighbour harassment from a flat above we must apply the principle of the air element which is to generate sound that is carried upwards in the airwaves. There is no other remedy, no other method of deterring the person from turning into a power-crazed monster. So, we must find instruments or equipment to aid in this endeavour, this defence manoeuvre. We have music that we can play on a stereo and we have metallic objects we can bang together and tin cans we can throw at the ceiling! I was even considering making a mobile out of them! But we may also contemplate the use of musical instruments such as cymbals and gongs or something. Kind of crazy though when you think about it. I mean you can’t con yourself or anyone else that these are natural, everyday sounds in a one-bedroom flat! And, yet, of course, the truth is that this response is way more sane than the unprovoked attacks of hostile banging and bombing going on upstairs!

Needless to say, the rest of June and continuing into July have included daily performances from Elf-in-Boots, morning and night. I have only gotten out of bed early enough to fulfil my side of the arrangement on a few occasions and, quite often, she is up by then anyway!

El Phaba’s flat has been infested by cockroaches however! I found about half a dozen in my flat this year but very occasional and I assumed that the family next door were spending a few months in Bangladesh and would be back to clean their house. It seems odd that food left lying around in a vacated house should produce cockroaches in the flat upstairs. One would have thought they’d have entered our house through the cellar or ground floor. Anyway, yes, she asked the landlord to do something about the cockroaches a few weeks ago and they appear to have gone now.

4 July. Sunday. 11.25 p.m. El Phaba arrived home 20 to 30 seconds ahead of next-door’s 4x4 with music blaring out although the driver did switch the engine off this time.

5 July. The incident last night was like a red flag to a bull. I woke up early and couldn’t resist getting up to dance to ‘Moya.’ Ha Chu ‘sneezed’ loudly at 9.30 a.m. and his wife then coughed a lot in the garden while I was practising tai chi. Ha Chu issued another of his fake sneezes again while I was still doing tai chi. I just ignored them (or I may have muttered ‘bless you’ under my breath as usual, I can’t quite recall on this occasion).

Email to the Environmental Health section at my local council, 7 July 2010:

‘Dear Sir/Madam,

                    I wish to report an environmental health issue/file a complaint.
                    I live in the ground floor flat at…The house next door at No.29 has been vacant for several months now. I was expecting the family to return from a stay in Bangladesh so I have not raised this issue before. However, I have recently learned that the house was sold a long time ago and yet still there are no occupants.
                    Apart from the huge number of flies we have had in this area for the past 4 or 5 years, our house has been infested with cockroaches which the landlord has had to try and deal with. The cause of this, I believe, can only be that the interior of the house next door which was vacated so long ago must have been left in a dirty condition, probably with food lying around.
                    That is one issue. The second one is that since the people living in No.27 had a fire in their kitchen (which required the Fire Brigade to extinguish), there has been a huge pile of rubbish left in the driveway at No.29! Another neighbour has informed me that he observed them throwing the rubbish there and it appears to be stuff that was damaged in the fire and is no longer of any use to them.
                    A week-and-a-half ago, I cut the hedges on either side of our front garden and decided to cut the hedge on the side of No.29 as well to keep it tidy and manageable. I also filled three bin bags with rubbish that had collected by the hedge separating our front gardens mainly because some of it kept being blown through the gaps into our garden.
                    At the time, I happened to see the father of the family who live at No.27 and, without accusing him directly, just gently mentioned to him that the enormous pile of rubbish (which stretched the entire length of the driveway) was unkempt and I asked if he had thrown it there because it was right next to his wall! He told me that none of it was his and that lots of people had come by, seen that the house was empty and promptly thrown their rubbish there. I just smiled.
                    On Sunday evening, I heard the rubbish being moved. I thought perhaps someone was taking it away! When I walked past the house next door the next day I saw that someone had simply dragged three quarters of the rubbish over to my side and dumped it right next to the hedge which I had just cut and cleared of rubbish a week or so earlier!
                    Hence, I am now writing to you to ask if something can be done with this rubbish. It's truly disgusting and now it has landed in my court so-to-speak!
                    Thank you for considering this situation as part of your environmental concerns for this area.

                    Yours faithfully,

                    Antraeus de Herschia’

A couple of days after I sent this email, I arrived home around 3.30 in the afternoon and noticed someone in my garden, at the back near the cherry tree. I went over there out of an innocent curiosity without really giving it much thought. As I approached, I realised that the woman who was there was probably after some cherries…which seemed a great idea to me (mind you, I probably wouldn’t have thought that if they had gotten there a week ago and they were stealing cherries when there weren’t enough to go round!). So, like a sweet little boy I offered her some cherries because I had already removed most of them from the tree myself earlier in the week. ‘Ah, you want some cherries?’ or something, I said. As I spoke, however, the woman scrambled frantically up the compost heap and over the fence as another young Asian lady helped her from the other side! I had not meant to cause her to panic and regretted going over to her. I should just have left them to it but I couldn’t see much from near the house. I had only stepped outside to greet my cat and then I was just trying to get a better view. Only this week was I explaining to someone that I have a slow, ponderous brain rather than a quick-witted one. They left an old wooden step ladder behind which I placed on top of the compost heap leaning over the fence for them to see and fetch easily later. The compost heap was easily fixed but she must have entered by climbing round the back of it because the slanted fence which my cat uses to climb up is broken. The fence needs replacing but that would cost money of course and there ain’t much of that in these parts! I have a feeling that the two cherry pickers are sisters who live at No.27 because I have seen girls wearing tons of make up there!

8 July. I was trying to get to sleep but the Asian family across the road (a couple of doors along) were having yet another party. Consequently, I just lied there putting up with it. One of the daughters got married a week or so ago and they partied for three or four nights in a row. On the first occasion, I asked the son and his mates if they would kindly talk more quietly because they were standing in the street keeping everyone awake. I mentioned that it was getting on for midnight and I was going to bed (late for me these days). Consequently, I expect, their parties ended at about midnight on the following nights. I just stayed up late and went out on one of those evenings. As the party was ending on this occasion ALL of the guests left the house at the same time and congregated in the street for a loud farewell party. In other words, up to 30 people were talking very loudly around midnight and they were evidently in no hurry to go home. After about ten minutes, I’d had enough and got out of bed, put my dressing gown on and walked out of the house barefoot. I wanted to shout ‘Shut the fuck up’ but courtesy got the better of me. However, I was in no mood to be too polite since I had already spoken to them about talking loudly in the street late at night. I looked at them all in disbelief at their ignorance for a few moments and then called out, ‘Oi! Shut up! SHUT – UP!’ Just like that. Too fast and thoughtless and then very slow and deliberate. One word followed by a clear distinction between the two words in slow motion. Nothing in between. I then went back to bed and they all started to get going, the younger ones making loud noises as they drove off.

From my message to the Council’s reply, 11 July:

‘I have spoken to the people living at No.27 now because they have cleared the remaining rubbish they left on their side of No.29's driveway. They said they have cleared their side because the rubbish smelled bad and they want the path in front of their gate clear. No concern or apology RE: dumping it all on my side after I just cut the hedge and cleared it! They say the rubbish is not theirs and they did not move it. They claim that someone just appeared from nowhere and moved all the rubbish from their side to mine (just as, apparently, lots of people came and dumped the rubbish there in the first place). LOL. I told them they're lying and that the rubbish belongs them and was moved to my side by them as well. I said I'm angry but have notified the Council and that you will deal with it. So I would appreciate some action soon! They seem very confident that they can get away with behaving this way.’

Yeah, I haven’t seen the people (who appear more Middle Eastern, possibly even Turkish, than Asian) at No.27 for a while. They were away for four months and just left the grandfather on his own it seems unless he has a wife who never leaves the house! There are three generations living there, including two sons and two daughters (the cherry thieves). They moved here about 18 months ago.

The year 2009 was full of promise. It felt like walking up the sunny side of the mountain of life with the promise of reaching the Sun only to find myself coming down the dark the dark side of the mountain, feeling like shit again and seeing life get darker and darker. New Year’s Eve was when I appeared to stumble right at the very summit and immediately make my troubled descent as the clouds gathered above my head and turned everything dark. It ain’t over till it’s over though. There is still half of the year left!

It’s worth noting that there were a few noisy people outside my window during the week following the powerful solar eclipse on 11 July (there were a few trouble makers knocking around online as well). One, a well-built, rough-looking Eastern European guy, was talking to someone on his mobile outside my house at 12.30 a.m. He was so loud that I got out of bed, put a few clothes on and went out and asked him to go away and he did.  One day, in the middle of the night, a group of young men made their way down my road playing football, talking and laughing at the top of their voices. They sounded Eastern European as well. On Saturday morning, two young African men were arguing in the street from 5.50 a.m. The smaller of the two was yelling and swearing in the other guy’s face, clearly upset about something. This went on for 20 minutes until they gradually made their way past my house and out of hearing range. Then, at 8.30 a.m. an African lady talked so loudly and angrily on her mobile phone as she slowly walked the length of my road. She even crossed the street to the opposite side from my flat but I could hear her from the start almost up to the other end of the street. To top it all off, a white car passed and white truck outside the house at 12.14 p.m. A passenger in one of the vehicles shouted something out in cockney followed by ‘You fucking idiot!’ I assume that he was accusing the driver of the other vehicle of hogging the road since it narrows nearby to slow the traffic down.

On the actual day of the eclipse, it was very quiet upstairs. I popped out at about 5.30 p.m. and found a note from El Phaba which she had pushed through the letterbox the previous evening. It was a request to call her so I could let her in because she had forgotten to take her key with her. I probably should have called from my landline but I texted her instead because it was cheaper. Anyway, I didn’t think…but ‘they’ probably have my mobile number now (she had my old number).

24 July. An English guy in his 50s who lives at the end of the road above a shop was shouting angrily at an Asian man who used to have a shop there. He was accusing him of something but I couldn’t make out what. The Asian guy is a very gentle, friendly soul but the (white) English man was being very aggressive and then he lost his temper, calling him a cunt and making his body appear even bigger, pushing his chest out and spreading his shoulders wide like Pigsy did in a posture to overpower a smaller person (evidently, this would have no effect if it was the other way round!). He said he had let him off before but was now going to call his mates in Canning Town (a rough area of East London) to come and get him. The Asian guy (I always think of him as being a Hindu/Indian but I don’t know for sure) tried to quietly explain and, finally, the guy calmed down and took him to one side, telling him to explain the situation to him. I believe, personally, that the English guy had been drinking because I saw him outside a local pub one afternoon at the weekend, last summer, with a few friends (one of whom I see drinking in town regularly) and it looked like a custom. I think he was a somewhat drunk and was angry and took it out on the guy. In other words, he overreacted because he did not feel inhibited and probably enjoyed the rush, the release of his own pent-up shit. It is possible that when he finally turned nasty, however, he suddenly realised it wasn’t him – as though something demonic had taken over and he regretted it and went in the opposite direction. Where it went from there, I don’t know. I was just walking past and all I felt I could do was send a little love. I should have asked the spirits to help too but it seemed OK by the time I had turned the corner.

26 July. Another argument in the street at 6 in the evening. A young Asian man and woman were shouting at the tops of their voices. I never say the girl but the guy kept walking away and then returning because he was so angry and couldn’t let go of it. It sounded like the guy was angry about something and was saying a guy was going to get beaten up again. He was being hateful and she was distraught – as if it was her brother in danger because of something she’d done and he was going to grass on her or get her brother beaten up. I don’t know. It went on for so long that I eventually took a stroll up the road to take a closer look and possibly ask him to quieten down. The girl was at home by then and one of the windows on the front door had been smashed. I passed the guy on the other side of the road and looked at him a couple of times to show that he was drawing attention to himself. He shook his head as if to blame someone else or something and show that he was trying to sort it out. By the time I arrived back home they appeared to have settled down, which was my quiet intention.

2 August. There was a lot of shouting and arguing from young men speaking in a foreign language (either Asian or African) during the middle of the night. It woke me up and prevented me from getting back to sleep for a while. I am including these incidents because it used to be very quiet around here. We never had anything like this. Even last year, although it may have been starting to get worse.

Om mani padme hum (the jewel in the lotus)

"’I am the being, who in spite of my miry surroundings, have remained untouched and stood up to be the exemplar of beauty and purity’…Lotus symbolises Life ever renewed and revitalised when it peeks out of the muddy waters every morning…Modern life is an eternal quest to know what an individual really wants and emerging successfully from the war waged with one’s own self. A lotus tattoo can imply one such successful emergence or life in general as to grow from the earthly mud and arrive as something more meaningful than just beautiful. Lotus tattoos are also popular with people who have seen hardships in life and have come out successfully.” (

9 August. A sunny day at last. I spent much of it working in the garden. In the meantime, the rubbish next door was cleared away and road signs were erected on the pavement – something to do with the drains.

11 August. The two young men in their smart suits and ties promoting the Church of Latter Day Saints down the road on the pavement outside both darted hastily towards a young black lady as she walked past. I’ve never seen them do that before. It was like their lives depended on it. Naturally, one got to her first and said whatever he says to trying and lure people into the church. I found it most amusing. She stopped to talk to him. I figured it was because she looked African and they know she probably goes to church somewhere so she was a potential punter! It was too good an opportunity to miss although it kind of reminded me of lions in a jungle waiting to pounce on their prey. Apparently, the Latter Day Saints believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet who had a direct connection to God through a ‘moronic’ angel (Moroni). Haha. No, I have no respect for people’s beliefs, it’s true. It’s time to wake up and know now!

13 August. It’s Ramadan and large Pakistan flag has gone up in the ‘car repair centre’ over the road, covering the whole bay windows. The guy who lies there has a beard but he is from Pakistan, not Bangladesh, I now realise. At first, I didn’t realise it was Ramadan, and wondered if it was for my benefit. I was thinking ‘Oh! You shouldn’t have!’ Well, how was I supposed to know? I hardly even know when ‘Christian’ holidays take place. I regarded it much like my cat bringing a dead mouse in as a gift! He was talking to Ha Chu and two other, older Pakistani men in the street, in a heated discussion during the afternoon. It’s also mosque day (Friday). It would be interesting if they have taken my polite request to reduce the noise as an attack on their religion or country or something! The default of patriarchal institutions is fear and control. Basically, this area’s going down the toilet and I just have to accept that a lower quality of people is gradually taking it over, lowering the tone even more. I mean, I notice that in the local supermarket there are a few people who talk at the top of their voices on mobile phones which never used to happen. They tend to be ‘African’ and ‘Asian.’ They are so loud and yet oblivious to anyone’s sensitivity to the noise they are making. I find it totally bizarre, to be honest!

Basically, there is loud talking in the street opposite and outside my flat at various times of the day from about 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. The guy running the show is loud and his customers often talk so loudly (African and Bengali men mainly). Actually, I have now noticed that everyone around me has double glazing. Every house except ours. So the housewives and retired people are not as bothered by the noise as I thought. Even if they were people are generally afraid to say anything in situations like this. You speak to them personally and they agree, even complain. But they will not speak up or back you up because they’re too scared.

I am now besieged on four sides! They said this summer would be challenging rather than relaxing as a result of the Grand Cardinal Cross (an astrological configuration) in the heavens. My flat is a cube so it has four sides and a top and bottom. I have the Ha Chus to the right and, now, to the left, I also have an empty house but with the mechanics using the drive way to fix cars and there was that huge pile of rubbish outside for ages of course. And, not forgetting the cockroaches from that house as well!). I have El Phaba above me and rats in the cellar beneath me! And I have the car mechanics out in the street in front of me while, behind me, I have the friendly black guy and his wife who is just noisy sometimes in the summer but hasn’t been this year really because we didn’t get any hot weather. So, at least I have had my garden to enjoy even though the weather has not been favourable to spending much time in it anyway!

Something or someone, perhaps part of myself, put me somewhere surrounded by people who would have a coarser vibration and make me as miserable as possible by not respecting my right to peace and quiet at home. This is a war zone and when it’s war you just have to fight.

So, the remainder of August was Fabadelic, particularly Friday 27th when she and her boyfriend came home at 11.50 p.m. and walked around in shoes upstairs very loudly which was followed by loud noise in the morning, hoping I wasn’t up. She then walked around in shoes again during the evening.

"Through my love for you, I want to express my love for the whole cosmos, the whole of humanity, and all beings. By living with you, I want to learn to love everyone and all species. If I succeed in loving you, I will be able to love everyone and all species on Earth...This is the real message of love." - Thich Nhat Hanh.

29 August. ‘Fuck the Monsters’ – Marilyn Manson (a message from his mobile phone to his band page on Facebook, which I just joined this week).

Ramadan ended. Then…

1 September. The phone rang and no one answered.

2 September. I was woken up at 5 a.m. by a woman talking loudly on the phone for ages, probably to relatives in Pakistan (the connection may have been faint). After that, the Ha Chus were noisy until about 11.30 a.m. so I couldn’t sleep. In fact, not only was I woken up early this morning but didn’t get a good night’s sleep last night either. El Phaba was very noisy for an hour or so, walking about in shoes and dropping things on the floor.

4 September. Maltesers ‘coughed’ loudly at midnight.

Every time El Phaba comes home and every time she goes out she drops something on the floor now, something heavy and loud! That’s easy to do when you live in the flat above. You hardly feel like you’re doing anything wrong I guess. In addition, before she goes to bed each night she walks around heavily in shoes just briefly. It is for this reason that the firm measure of loud music early in the morning is justified. Otherwise, it’s not only a no-win situation but one may sink into despair because one feels so utterly helpless. The same applies if, living in a ground floor flat, the neighbours stay up late partying and prevent you from getting to sleep.

El Phaba has also been playing loud Asian music (although I think she is decorating up there at the moment) and dropping things which are much louder than before. Now she is also ‘sneezing’ loudly which sounds hilarious and comical because it’s both so fake and so far from my ceiling that it cannot penetrate my nervous system.

The house next door is quiet at the moment because the son is in Pakistan and the father does not feel safe (he showed some wariness and feigned ‘respect’ one day).

And, so, on and on and on and on…El Phaba walks round in shoes and drops heavy stuff on the floor every day, morning and night. I just have to breathe deeply and feel love in my heart. Take my mind off it. I have to admit though, a few times I really felt like exploding and killing the bitch!

5 September. Sunday. 11 a.m. Ma Ha Chu and Maltesers I suppose coughing repeatedly together for 15 minutes. Then again at 1.45 p.m. and 6.30 p.m.

6 September. One fake cough at 7.10 p.m. plus young children screaming next to my wall all evening up to 11.05 p.m. Then someone shouted at 11.08 p.m. After that they knocked on or near the wall. This was followed by more fake coughing at 11.38 p.m.

8 September. A loud fake cough by Ha Chu in the afternoon followed by another at 7.30 p.m. El Phaba has been making loud fake sneezes this week, including this evening.

“…suffering arises to the extent that you identify with that within which feels the discontent and is compelled to change things. As the Buddha might have said, attachment to the process (of discontent and the subsequent need to meddle) causes the very pain which originally instigated and now perpetuates the process. How do you know when you’ve become attached like this? When whatever’s occurring in your mind is causing you to feel agitated, your belly (and bowels) to subtly tighten, your breathing to become shallow and irregular. And how do you know when you’re in the superhuman, Buddhalike model? When you merely notice the discontent and accompanying physical state, but instead of feeling compelled to do or change something, you mentally release the constriction in your body, regulate and deepen your breathing and allow yourself to relax and be happy.@ B Barefoot Doctor (Dear Barefoot. Taoist Wisdom For Everyday Living, Atlantic Books on behalf of Guardian Newspapers Ltd, London, U.K., 2004, p.50).

9 September. 1.19 p.m. Maltesers’ fake coughing sounds particularly loud and vile now. I can really hear the venomous hatred in it! In the evening, El Phaba made some more loud fake sneezes. She just does two or three all evening. She also engaged in some very loud stomping upstairs at 10.45 p.m. (exactly) followed directly by a very loud fake cough from Maltesers next door.

I have been quiet for a few days, researching and going to bed late. Perhaps they do this out of fear, as a warning to me not to start playing loud music in the mornings again. But it’s only when they are quiet that I start feeling so compassionate as to consider retreating from the battlefield. As soon as something like this happens, I’m right back defending my territory, my space again.

10 September. Friday night. Noisy get-together next door which started off at 7.35 p.m. with some ceremonious fake coughing involving a couple of daughter who were visiting! I hadn’t meditated and decided to make them suffer for their mistake by making lots of loud overtly and hideously fake coughing, puking and sneezing noises off and on until 9 p.m.! El Phaba then came home at 10.30 p.m. and dropped something heavy on the floor as usual. Later on, there were kids playing and yelling loudly and banging around until 2 a.m.

11 September. Fake coughing from next door at 12.10 p.m. Then El Phaba did the same at 12.29 along with some foot stomping. Chez Ha Chu again at 1.24 p.m. and the family were loud all evening which would be perfectly reasonable if it weren’t for all the demonic statements and hateful vibes. At 11.05 p.m., Ha Chu laughed with the children but that guy doesn’t really laugh! It always sounds fake and part of his noise arsenal. Children screaming all evening but that’s life. Then some loud fake coughing at 11.15 p.m. and more fake laughter from Ha Chu up to 11.28 p.m. There was still loud talking and laughter up to midnight. I guess some of it was genuine but they were putting on a show. This was all topped off by banging on the wall at 12.09 a.m.

13 September. Banging on the wall at 9.58, 11.34 p.m. and 11.42 p.m.

14 September. A loud fake cough from Maltesers at 11.11 a.m.! Haha. I turned the radio on in the kitchen. More fake coughs at 5.25 p.m., 8.44 p.m. and 8.53 p.m.

Love is…being merciful towards one’s enemies and not inflicting the more despicable acts of warfare upon them but setting limits within the bounds of compassion and relative kindness. I did something mischievous, not wicked (oh, a voluminous fake cough as I write. Lovely! Thank you kind neighbour!). I’m just not in the space to take negative action anymore. It’s not for want of ideas sometimes though!

“The result is that your ordinary daily life is the most perfect ashram you could ever be within. It is the holy city to which it is wise to make pilgrimage every day, which means to bring awareness and commitment to exactly what you are experiencing. To be thankful for it, to bless it, to embrace it, to be vigilant and to be mindful:
What is this moment teaching me?
Having given that as background and foundation, remember that you do not experience anything that is called an ‘ordinary moment.’ In each and every moment, extraordinary things are occurring. Extraordinary things are occurring in which the whole of the universe is conspiring, which means to ‘breathe together.’ The universe is conspiring with you to awaken you and to heal you. Trust it! Love it! That these things are true - and I assure you that they are - means that your life, the very life you are living is equal in power and majesty and effectiveness to any life that has ever been lived. It means that your very life is equal to the one that I lived. For it is bringing you home, as my life was my pathway home to God.
                To build on what I shared earlier, the third axiom or principle could be encapsulated in this way:
  • I do not live any ordinary moments.
  • With each breath, my experiences are the stepping stones laid before me of God to guide me home.
  • I will bring awareness to each moment and allow it to teach me how to forgive, how to embrace, how to love and therefore how to live fully.”
                -          Jeshua (channelled through Jayem, The Way of Mastery, Lesson 3 - The Power of Forgiveness, p.31, Heartfelt Publishing, 1997,

“Listen to your inner voice. Don't listen to the superficial voice that makes you angry. Listen to that deeper voice that is going to guide you from now on, the voice that is laughing. Listen to it! And laugh with it. Laugh! Laugh!” - Carlos Castaneda (The Active Side of Infinity, HarperCollinsPublishers, London, U.K., 1998).

Galaxy Song - Monty Python's The Meaning of Life


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