Written Saturday evening.
It is a momentous, even monumental day. January 18th will live long in the memory of all Strangely Park residents, especially those in 2C and more especially for those on the first floor of that glorious edifice. For the first time since moving to our apartment we will have an across-the-hall neighbour – yes, Starbuck is moving in!
For those who have not been keeping up with the adventures of Strangely Park, which will be all of you, let me explain the code. Strangely Park is my name for the residential estate we live in. If you look over on the right and select the Strangely Park category you can read all about it. Posts have been intermittent but there are 36 of them since 10th November 2012. Starbuck is my name for our new neighbour, chosen because we are led to believe she works in a high level position for a well known coffee company, but not Starbucks. Names of all residents and workers here have been changed to protect the innocent and in a pointless attempt to avoid being sued for libel. That said, the names do have some relationship to the people they represent. The Fitness family are fit, the Chemicals own a drug store, Hemingway is a writer, Hagrid looks like Hagrid…and so forth.
Anyway, today is a day we have been waiting for for far too long. It was on November 22nd 2012 that Starbuck first got a mention here because that’s when she started the renovation of her apartment and the noise was hard to miss. Work (AKA noise) has continued on and off since then despite the builders assurance when they started work that they would be finished at the latest in May that year. Still, 14 months is about right for a Polish style remont of a 150 m2 apartment. Actually, I think the apartments on that side are slightly bigger, about 160-165 something like that, but a slightly awkward layout compared to ours.
She has not spared any expense. The whole place was gutted and built anew in what appears to be a very high standard and she has not even constrained her enthusiasm to the interior of her apartment. She has renewed all the windows, all the railings around her balcony (neither of which needed renewing) and even been influential in making improvements for the whole building such as an improved bicycle storage room, a drying room (into which she has installed her dryer), an additional storage room, new doors for the basement rooms, new rails and panels for the staircase and we’re told the staircase will be painted next week. I must say it is nice to see so much money being lavished on our building and to see that we are not the only people who have confidence this is a good place to live and worth investing in despite the problems.
My imagination is of a formidable, highly organised and proper, German style, business woman. There is a German connection and almost certainly she speaks the language so as far as I can see she’s got all the right qualities to be the people’s champion going head to head with Palpatine and Darth Muller of the Evil Empire. We shall see on which side of the force her loyalties lie although Florence Nightingale seems to like her a lot so I doubt she will succumb to the darkness.
I think our neighbourly relations could go either way. She’s been the catalyst for a few good things as I’ve said but she’s also complained already even without actually being here. Whilst the lobby area outside our front door was not being used – no Starbuck and Penthouse + Slightly Dangerous always use the lift – I have, on rare occasions left bags of rubbish in the lobby prior to moving them on to the trash room up by security. Rumour has it that her builders made a comment about this and then she complained which resulted in a special notice on the front door asking people (no names) to take their rubbish straight to the trash room so as not to encourage the rats. Rats! I’ve never seen a rat around here. This complaining was a bit premature methinks because I’d never do such a thing when she was resident here and given that we’ve not said a word about the 14 months of noise….well, not a great start. If true. I shall reserve judgement until we actually meet the lady.
No signs of anyone knocking on the door and asking for a cup of sugar or a spare bratwurst yet but there is more noise as the removal company wheel stuff in.
Interesting times ahead.