Tuesday, April 7


A recent post by ion about noise transmission between tenement flats made we wonder why the neighbours never murdered me when I lived in Edinburgh. They never once complained about my off-key late-night saxophone practice. Even when Vinnie and his moll and Mary Hopkin and I spent several hilarious drunken hours after the pubs closed, dragging an abandoned piano up four flights of stone steps to my place, nobody said a word. One guy in his pyjamas did come out on the landing for a look at the commotion, but then went meekly back into his house. Hungover the next morning, we were faced with the reality of a heavily damaged piano in the living room, too heavy to move when sober. Someone suggested breaking it up into smaller pieces, but how do you chop up a cast iron frame?

To his credit, Vinnie came back the next night with a 4-inch junior hacksaw, with which he failed to make even the slightest scratch in the frame. So after a few home brews we started on something easier, the piano strings. Sawing through tensioned steel wires could be art if you're John Cage, but the whiplash is something awful.

I ended up living with that piano taking up half a bedroom, for several years. When I finally moved out I had to pay a team of guys to carry it back down the stairs.

But I was mostly a model neighbour, apart from the piano and the sax, and the night we launched fireworks out the kitchen window. I was too inhibited in those days to make bonking noises, but the guy in the creaky bed next door used to take so long getting off I felt like banging on the wall, but I didn't. I wouldn't have been so considerate if I'd known he would end up burgling me through the skylight one morning, while I was in the house. Surely that's not neighbourly?


  1. Albert? He burglarised you! He did not, did he? I hope he got the jail!Hotboy

  2. I say!

    "Dragging an abandoned piano up four flights of stone steps." - We've all been there.

    By the way, was Hotters your neighbour?

    MM III

  3. Albert? Would you like to go to Skye this summer? I need someone to speak to someone from America. You can have my room for free as I will be trying to swim to America almost as soon as I get there. You should come to Skye. Bring some young, nubile women with you as well. That would help! HOtboy

  4. I say!

    I believe that the Duneditin 09 Call for Papers will be out soon. The location for this year's convention, as I understand it, is the International Conference and Leisure Centre: Ardvasar Hotel, Skye.

    MM III

  5. Sawing through tensioned steel wires could be art if you're John Cage, but the whiplash is something awful.

    What an appealing sentence. I shall dine out on this.

    Duneditin on Skye? As long as it's not midgie season. In 2004 my dear (and not evil) step-mother was bitten off the island, after my misguided attempt to enamour her with the scenery during the height of the season... we all fled with Hb's of 5.0.

  6. mingers, I'm not sure what you're insinuating, but I have never shared a toothbrush with that man.

    hotters - if I could get some young, nubile women, would I waste my time reading and writing this tripe? But reading between the lines I think you're inviting Lee Ann to teach you the butterfly position. She was state champ, as you may know.

    ion, I'm saving up for duneditin 2010, but have a talisker for me.