Summer sounds abound
AH SUMMERTIME, the days are longer, the flowers are blooming and, gloriously, traffic is lighter. One might assume this would be a recipe for relaxation, especially for those on leave. But not so according to some of the reports I’ve been hearing.
Asking friends about their Christmas periods has revealed just how fraught the school holidays can be. And I’m not talking about the ubiquitous family row here, I’m talking about noise disputes.
Friend A described what she considered to be a complete over-reaction by her next door neighbour to her two children splashing around in the pool.
This neighbour allegedly erected an ugly fence and a speaker to drown out the offending sound of laughter.
She also reported litter being thrown into the pool, including a burger, apparently to express disgust and perhaps to discourage summertime swimming. Down with that kind of thing.
In the end, my friend felt intimidated to the point of calling the police who had a nice long chat with Mr Disgruntled about his behaviour.
A seemingly genuine apology resulted but the peace didn’t last and music was blared into my friend’s garden all day on Christmas Day, even though Mr Disgruntled wasn’t even there. Bah Humbug.
Friend B sits on the other side of the fence, figuratively speaking. Her holiday tale of woe saw hopes for a quiet and restful time dashed by the family next door comprising two young boys and a dog. This terrible twosome had access to a pool, a basketball hoop and a soccer goal, all of which caused my friend distress over the holiday period.
Bounce-bounce-crash, she complained, was the unending chorus to her time off and a polite chat to the dad only made matters worse. “You live in a city, get used to it” was his response, and he has a point, but he should take a dose of his own medicine too.
Despite many people acting like they would rather avoid all neighbourly contact the bottom line is that we all have to live together in this thriving metropolis.
Excessive noise is annoying and can be stressful but most of us live in proximity to others so it is at times unavoidable.
But does that mean compromise is impossible? For the sake of my friends’ sanity I hope not. Of course there are official channels in place to deal with noise disputes and guidelines can be found on the Brisbane City Council website but we all know using them is protracted and arduous process.
In 2018, there were 9599 residential noise complaints. Surely some of those could have been avoided if the complainant had a little more tolerance and the perpetrator a little more consideration.
Call me a sickening optimist, but I can’t help hoping that in 2019 we can lower the indignance levels enough, get down off our high horses and talk to each other. And maybe even listen too.