I'm sitting in the living room fuming for having been woken up at 6am again by the delivery van for The Pier.
It starts with the beeping of the huge van reversing into the square outside and parking right in front of my building. That's just the opening salvo though.
It gets better when the metallic back door of the van clanks open and he driver starts unloading the heavy bits of furniture onto his metallic trolley. The fact that it's metallic is important. It means that it clanks like crazy, reverberating in the otherwise silent square, as he repeatedly unloads and drags the furniture in front of building. For a whole damn hour.
So today, I did something completely out of character. I opened the window and unleashed a can of premium whoop-ass on the driver. His response: "Don't live here if you don't like the noise."
See, as someone who pays a ridiculous amount of Council Tax (that's what the municipality gets from you here in the UK), I feel I deserve a little better. There are environmental noise laws that state that noisy work should not be untaken before 8am and definitely not before 7am.
I've just written to the council to complain to them and I'm going to call The Pier when they open in a couple of hours time.
And it's not just The Pier either. One of the biggest culprits is Donatello, the Italian "restaurant" (if you've eaten there, you'll understand the need for the quotes).
These guys routinely clean up at past midnight, usually at around 1am or so. And cleaning up includes tipping a dumpsterful of glass bottles (after dragging said dumpster across the square) into the trash bins. (If you're wondering how much noise that makes, I've seen people who actually dump the glass bottles wearing industrial-grade hearing protection.) If you're lucky, it can also involve the crew shouting at each other in various languages across the square. And, of course, their delivery vans sometimes forget what hour it is too in the mornings.
Finally, let's not forget The Druid's Head pub which, on a weekly basis, gets beer deliveries from Carlsberg at around 7am. This involves people throwing empty metallic beer kegs from their basement onto the street, rolling them to the van, and rolling full ones from the van to the pub. It's an amazingly full, rich and continuous metallic sound that needs to be experienced to be believed.
All in all, the combination of all these factors means that you're lucky if you can get about five hours of sleep in between Donatello closing up and the square emptying of loud drunken people at around 1am (or 2am, if you're unlucky) to The Pier van arriving at 6am. Surely, that's just not acceptable!
This noise issue is not just a cosmetic "pea under the mattress" thing either, with reports that thousands of people die prematurely due to coronary heart disease caused by prolonged exposure to excessive noise.
Needless to say, I don't see myself living here this time next year. And it's such a shame because I otherwise love the place.