petite anglaise

January 9, 2007

tapage nocturne

Filed under: city of light — petiteanglaiseparis @ 7:45 pm

“Scrape scrape clatter SCRAPE!”

This is the sound my upstairs neighbours’ clogs make as they grate against the hardwood floor like giant fingernails on a blackboard, at a volume loud enough to actually wake me from a deep, dreamless slumber. At least I imagine their feet clad in clogs. What else could possibly make that unforgivable noise? Although why anyone would slip on a pair of clogs at 2am, I am at an utter loss to understand. Ditto how anyone can stomp around for half an hour at 2am and then begin again, bright eyed and bushy tailed, at 6.30am. I’m beginning to suspect that there may be more than one culprit. Two clog wearers in the same household working different shifts. Statistically unlikely, I know, but I can furnish no other convincing explanation.

Naturally I was not treated to my first clog concerto until the ink was drying on the deeds to the apartment.

“Whhhhhiiiiiiiirrrrrrrrrr. Grrrrrrrrr. Ding!” growls the microwave five centimetres away from my pillow at 7 am every morning, part of my elderly neighbour’s morning ritual, no doubt warming milk for a steaming bowl of café crème or a chocolat chaud. I try to look on the bright side. At least I don’t have to shell out for an alarm clock, as it would be superfluous, to say the least.

Tadpole’s side of the apartment shares a wall with the kitchen/dining room belonging to the old lady who often smells of urine and affectionately calls me “ma fille” in her sandpaper voice. She also appears to be hard of hearing, as we are regularly treated to bursts of cheerful North African music played at full blast on the radio. Thankfully she is reasonably quiet in the evenings.

But by far the worst noise pollution I have experienced so far were the shenanigans I overheard on Christmas day, when I fell gratefully into the warm embrace of my duck-down duvet after mainlining champagne and foie gras from noon until midnight. The culprits were, once again, the upstairs neighbours. This time the clogs were off, as, I imagine, were most of their garments. And evidently they had discovered a new pastime: sex. With what I can only describe as noisy abandon and great gusto Mr Clogs serviced his good lady wife from midnight until a little after 4 am.

Since I’ve been living here since late July, and this was both the first and the only time I’ve overheard so much as a moan of pleasure, I can only conclude that this was an annual lovemaking session and will consequently not be repeated before the evening of 25 December 2007. Call me an optimist, but I live in hope (but with emergency waxy earplugs at the ready).

I have never met my upstairs neighbours, but I am told they own their apartment. But in today’s post I received the convocation to the (also) annual assemblée générale des copropriétaires for my building which will take place next week. Nothing could keep me away. I need to know what a woman who brays like a donkey during coitus and is capable of upwards of ten orgasms in one single night looks like.

Whether I will feel able to look my neighbours in the eye, or be sufficiently bold to humbly request that they might consider wearing less offensive nocturnal footwear in the future, is another matter entirely. I can imagine the conversation already.

Les murs sont comme du carton ici, n’est ce pas?”

Ah, on vous dérange, mademoiselle?”

Non, non, pas du tout…”

Sometimes I hate my British side.


  1. “Shenanigans” you say Petite.
    I fear your neighbours might be Irish.

    Comment by Carruthers — January 9, 2007 @ 8:11 pm

  2. 4 hours of servicing!? Wow. I can’t imagine. Then again… I wouldn’t want four hours! LOL. Can you imagine how sore you would be the next day? ;)

    Comment by Meritt — January 9, 2007 @ 8:28 pm

  3. Il s’agit de les joindre…

    Comment by Estelle des Chevaliers — January 9, 2007 @ 8:47 pm

  4. Perhaps, when you meet your upstairs neighbour, “Attaboy!” says all that needs to be said?

    Comment by Barry — January 9, 2007 @ 8:53 pm

  5. We had an apartment in the 20th, and a few months in the neighbour from across the way came by. He explained that he was a postman, and thus had to wake very early, and could we please not wash the dishes so late at night. We speculated for some time as to whether he had mistaken noise from somewhere else for us (as we never washed dishes late at night), or whether ‘washing the dishes’ had been a euphemism for loud sex (never, of course, four hours worth though…).

    Comment by David — January 9, 2007 @ 8:59 pm

  6. sleeping tablets by the bucket load ,we know what a bed is for a good long sleep ,,must be getting old ,

    Comment by danny — January 9, 2007 @ 9:05 pm

  7. Can’t wait to hear what explanation you give Tadpole for the interesting noises during the night!

    Comment by ontario frog — January 9, 2007 @ 9:15 pm

  8. Maybe you should give her a straw hat on your first meeting?

    Comment by greavsie — January 9, 2007 @ 10:20 pm

  9. Sorry to be doom and gloom laden but wait until you want to sell and have to schedule viewings in between noisy neighbour times. I’m now an expert at those. Although, I guess, not many people may want to view a possible new home on Christmas/Boxing Day which could help you enormously. Mid Saturday mornings were a definite no go for any potential viewersfor my place. I had to let the estate agents think that I didn’t do weekend mornings at all….

    On an entirely different subject, seeing as Tadpole spent some holiday time in the UK, I’m intrigued (OK, maybe just nosey) as to whether she initially speaks French in England or, also, the other way around?
    And how about you?

    Comment by H — January 9, 2007 @ 10:37 pm

  10. four hours worth?

    where can I find such a man?!

    Comment by gerbil — January 9, 2007 @ 10:51 pm

  11. hilarious – well, for us readers.

    actually, we recently discovered that the floor below us is part of a middle school. where classes with middle schoolers are held. every day. no joke. luckily it’s only during the day that chairs scraping and falling, doors slamming, feet stomping and middle schoolers yelling waft up through the once-charming parquet.

    wasn’t it Sting who claimed to have maintained a lovemaking session for 7 hours? poor Trudy.

    Comment by am — January 9, 2007 @ 11:20 pm

  12. If she brays like one maybe he’s hung…

    Well enough of that. Just look for the couple with big ears.

    Comment by K — January 9, 2007 @ 11:53 pm

  13. V. funny, reminds me of the time when I was living in Japan in a tiny apartment block where the walls were really rather paper thin – I got to share in the joys of my neighbours’ nocturnal activities on a regular basis! So did my parents when they were over visiting, they couldn’t believe their ears…Earplugs worked a treat as did banging on the wall and yelling as the need for sleep was greater than my british reserve and ‘politeness’ by that point! Happy New Year. Hope 2007 brings all that you wish for.


    Comment by Eve — January 10, 2007 @ 12:03 am

  14. We might be neighbors:

    On Christmas day I the Frog
    Put on my nicest clog
    and make love by the log
    ‘Twas I Frog with a Blog

    Comment by frog with a blog — January 10, 2007 @ 1:31 am

  15. Perhaps when you see your neighbour you should enquire whether or not they had a good Christmas?

    A friend of mine used to be kept awake by the noises of the girl above him having lots of sex and screaming rather loudly when she climaxed.(that’s the room above him btw). He was fairly ok with it until he discovered that the person above him was in fact a guy, and that the guys girlfriend wasn’t the one who liked to scream ;)

    Comment by Ignorminious — January 10, 2007 @ 1:32 am

  16. Petite, I had the same incident on New Year’s Eve and the day immediately following. My downstairs neighbor and her mate, a young man I met only hours prior, nearly brought down our adjoined wall with their…affairs – waking me up first thing on New Year’s morning. The next day, the same multiplied by ten. This time, complete with vocal accompaniment.

    Although, me being the curious little fox that I am, I giggled in amusement and embarrassment and plastered my ear to the floor. That is, until my legs and torso, still propped on the bed, began to slide off and I found myself tumbling to the floor in a tangle of sheets, pillow, and blanket.

    You’d think the sound of my tiny self tumbling to the floor would’ve quieted their “vocal harmonies”, but no. It only encouraged them. Sigh.

    I mean really…life in New York.

    Comment by Mlle Smith — January 10, 2007 @ 1:42 am

  17. Perhaps Miss Donkey Clogs holds shagging in reserve to make sure Mr Clogs gets her a decent present each year.

    Comment by Huw — January 10, 2007 @ 3:33 am

  18. Lol, be careful when you meet those neighbors!

    Comment by Please Eat My Pies — January 10, 2007 @ 3:41 am

  19. I don’t like these Western World Walls, made of wood and transporting sound everywhere and of everywhere. I remember getting mad during my first days of stay here. After 15 or so days, I actually got a rod from somewhere, balanced myself on my bathtub and tapped the roof above. Am embarrassed to admit that but a bad case of jetlag, and the full orchestra accompanying me during the precious lil time I got in my room are my justifications.

    Comment by Shruti — January 10, 2007 @ 5:54 am

  20. With a bit of luck, your neighbours will fall on this blog page and then apologize during the meeting… : D

    Comment by Rog — January 10, 2007 @ 6:38 am

  21. Never believe everything you hear.Are you quite sure it wasn´t a VHS or DVD played on very high volume just to brag? I think they can put those things on Repeat, can´t they?

    Comment by tanten — January 10, 2007 @ 8:05 am

  22. perhaps a thoughtful gift of a pair of crocs? at least that would deal with the stampy feet. with any luck, they’ll also reduce your neighbour’s sex-appeal at the same time. (this from an unrepetant croc wearer – they’re just soooo comfortable!)

    Comment by mad muthas — January 10, 2007 @ 10:07 am

  23. My upstairs neighbor has heavy shoes as well which he drops from a great height at 2 AM when he comes home from work. I wonder if he is a waiter? His daughter is a horrible little brat who screams when she is put in bed and when she wakes up in the middle of the night-which often occurs. During the day she practices her routine of pretending to be a pony and thunders back and forth across the floor. I can hear the people next door pee in their toilet too if I am in my bathroom. I guess apartment inhabitants know alot more about our neighbors than we want to know.

    Comment by Linda — January 10, 2007 @ 10:08 am

  24. Don’t be jealous – she was probably faking! I look forward to her description…

    Comment by Amanda — January 10, 2007 @ 10:17 am

  25. … or more to the point, the description of her partner!

    Comment by Amanda — January 10, 2007 @ 10:18 am

  26. Perhaps the satyrs above have hooves instead of clogs. Try leaving a bale of hay at their door with a congratulatory note pinned to the top.

    Comment by anan — January 10, 2007 @ 10:20 am

  27. I’ve met our upstairs neighbours regularly when I’ve stormed up there in a rage to complain about the noise and found they’re willing to discuss the problem in a civilised manner.
    The upstairs neighbours are a couple of young men who live, work and holiday together. Their noisy guests seemed to be almost exclusively young males.
    We’d got the amused impression that they were gay until the other night when all was calm there was the distinct sound from above of a young woman arriving noisily at climax, accompanied by a rythmic banging on the floor and further female moans a few minutes later.
    I don’t think it was Meg Ryan.
    They do have a vi

    Comment by Parkin Pig — January 10, 2007 @ 10:23 am

  28. If you discover any method of quieting your stompyy neighbors, please let us all know. We are actually in the process of selling our apartment, largely due to the fact that I cannot stand to spend one more night lying in bed listening to our downstairs neighbor rearrange her cupboards and clean the house at 1 am, while wearing her high heels (Tap tap tap tap tap, back and forth for HOURS). They bought their apartment about a year ago and constant banging on the floor has only had a mild effect on the noise levels so I decided it would be easier to move than to spend the next 10 years shouting through the floor at them. Our place has been on the market for a month. Sometimes you have to know when to throw in the towel…

    Comment by Nicole — January 10, 2007 @ 11:51 am

    My very best friends while living in Paris.

    Comment by Del — January 10, 2007 @ 1:09 pm

  30. When I was living in Berkeley, California, my next door neighbor enjoyed having sex at the crack of dawn on weekend mornings. Loudly. And a couple hours later she would follow this up by vacuuming, accompanied to very loud, very bad music (often Celine Dion). A very odd ritual indeed.

    In France though we don’t tend to have these problems. However, we do hear our upstairs neighbor peeing on a regular basis.

    Comment by kim — January 10, 2007 @ 1:11 pm

  31. Earplugs are a girl’s best friend. From years of apartment living I bring them everywhere with me. They come in handy in hotel rooms, too, where people are even less discrete with their nighttime rituals.

    Keep us posted on that upstairs couple…

    Comment by BlondebutBright — January 10, 2007 @ 1:20 pm

  32. I stumbled across your blog while searching for something and I have thoroughly enjoyed reading it so far, I have added it to my favorites and will be visiting often.

    Don’t let anyone get you down with bad comments, if you ignore them they will go away……. eventually.

    Keep up the good work



    Comment by Suzanne — January 10, 2007 @ 1:22 pm

  33. Noisy neighbours, tell me about them. I have a permanently coughing bed-ridden man right “behind my bed” who has the TV on all the night and stomping, party-prone students on the floor above me. No sex-maniancs alas, unlike a friend from my book club who had told us about the orgies of her upstairs neighbours until we finally had the privilege of hearing them at it one Sunday morning as we were all having brunch in her living room. We found it hilarious, but the hostess did not as I suppose the novelty wears off when you have been woken up in the middle of the night by someone else’s grunts and screams one time too many.

    Comment by retailtherapist — January 10, 2007 @ 1:34 pm

  34. I have to say that the worst thing to hear from neighbours is arguments. Especially when they appear to involve physical violence, or someone storming out at 3 a.m.

    Comment by katie — January 10, 2007 @ 2:27 pm

  35. Hi Petite, funny post! My tip against the noise: go to Leroy Merlin and buy some construction ear protectors casque by 3M. I”ve bought one for Bangalore and sometimes even sleep in it! Works reaaly well combined with ear plugs.

    Comment by Bangalore Blonde — January 10, 2007 @ 2:56 pm

  36. I used to have problems with a crazy old neighbour which hobbies where to watch old american movies from the 60s in French version (horrible voices, awful music) between 1:30 and 4 am, during hot (“canicule” time) summer nights. Of course, it was so hot that she had all her windows open and so were mine, and we had common windows on the “cour intérieure”.
    I spent some hard nights, tried to talk to here in person (she was really crazy and paranoid, so she thought I was paid by her daughter in law to kill her!), but this didn’t work, so I had to call the Police and eventually, a couple of weeks later, she left (did her daughter in law manage to get her killed?), good riddance.
    My upstairs neighbour is also a little bit crazy, but at least she’s not noisy at all (except for her washing machine from after midnight sometimes), but she used to ask me if I was not bothered by here noise. Was it an implicit way of telling me that I made too much noise and that she doesn’t appreciate my music at 2 am?

    Comment by Chrisos — January 10, 2007 @ 3:16 pm

  37. Just write them a polite note, that might help.

    I got a note from our upstairs neighbour after I wore a new pair of boots in our flat. We have wooden floors, and I was making a right old racket without realising it. She wrote a sweet letter asking me not to and it was fine – I was horribly embarrassed for being so thoughtless though! I always wear slippers indoor now.

    Comment by stressqueen — January 10, 2007 @ 3:24 pm

  38. “Sometimes I hate my British side.”

    “No Sex Please, We’re British.” Now I know this doesn’t apply to you…….;-) (or am I sensing jealousy from you that it wasn’t you experiencing what the neighbor was?) Perhaps a better alternative is to do some wall shaking of your own back at them…..You could look them in the eye and say “Hah! 4 hours and 5 minutes! Beat your record!”

    Comment by Dave of the Lake — January 10, 2007 @ 3:28 pm

  39. Wow – I related to that post so much. My problem isn’t clogs but two rolling (scraping) desk chairs but ditto I’m too British to kick up a fuss. Ear plugs work in bed but surely you can’t be expected to wear them in all other rooms of your flat too?!
    One day I will move to the French countryside and live in a detached house rather than a flat – I don’t know how French people do it.

    Comment by Loopy — January 10, 2007 @ 4:09 pm

  40. Your neighbours will be easy to recognise – they’ll be the narcoleptic pirates – always up in the middle of the night clomping around on their wooden legs.

    The worst case of “nocturnal noises” I know of is The Kingston Screamer. She’s a girl who lives/lived in Kingston, a studenty suburb of Canberra. Kingston is very quiet. She is not. Her wails echo across the neighbourhood – I heard her from a hotel that Mrs Albion and I were sharing down there. She has also been written up in the Aussie FHM, or Nuts or whatever.

    Actually, maybe your neighbours have a wooden bathmat thingy that makes noise whenever they enter the bathroom?

    Comment by Damian — January 10, 2007 @ 4:17 pm

  41. I live through a similar tapage nocturne with only one sligtly difference…upstairs neighbours don’t exist…the flat is completly abandoned!You might say: Elle est completement foulle. Une foulle!

    Comment by Momo — January 10, 2007 @ 4:25 pm

  42. They probably do have a DVD player.

    Comment by Parkin Pig — January 10, 2007 @ 4:25 pm

  43. FOUR HOURS?!!!!! Lucky cow…….

    Comment by suze — January 10, 2007 @ 4:47 pm

  44. Oh, how you must go… if only to see who is so desperately short-changing (and being short-changed) through four hours of love-making a year!

    Pour souls.

    Isn’t curiosity wonderful! :)

    Comment by TryingTimes — January 10, 2007 @ 5:03 pm

  45. All I can say is thank God I am a renter and do not have to go to apartment owners’ meetings. Something is to be said for keeping one’s distance from the neighbors.

    Comment by Lost in France — January 10, 2007 @ 6:54 pm

  46. Oh my God! Are you not slightly unerved by the thought that these guys may read your blog and be waiting to great you at the AGM with clenched fists and gritted teeth???

    Comment by Nicole — January 10, 2007 @ 6:58 pm

  47. I would love to have that audio from next foor. Four hours cannot repeat itself without, as someone pointed out, sores!!!

    Paris and I just met and the noise is affreux! I am on a street that curves 90 degrees and then uphill to meet the “main road”. Every half hour the emergency vehicles, then the mopeds decellerate in my street, then whine their way up another 20 meters to get out of what might as well be a cul de sac.

    But after a week, I seem to have tuned them out?

    Yet, this is only week one so I am still enjoying the honeymoon of living here.


    PS Petite, being a Brit expat (well me too but long story), I have a question for you. When did the emergency services in the UK go from using the two tone sirens on the cars to the American style? I notice Paris still uses two tones albeit it at a different frequency.

    Comment by Chez.Rosbif — January 10, 2007 @ 6:59 pm

  48. Am just hoping that the uni flatmate whose boyfriend liked to make monkey noises during sex never decides to buy a place in Paris….

    Comment by sas — January 10, 2007 @ 7:17 pm

  49. hmmm, I have loud neighbours, upstairs and downstairs. I once met the girl downstairs in the hallway and asked her if she had enjoyed herself the previous night. She’s been as quiet as a mouse since. Bet she stuffs a cushion in it!

    The other problem with French appartments is that they’re often rented “meublé”, and the furniture is by definition chipboard crap, hence an overdose of squeaking, scraping and banging…

    Good luck!

    Comment by Greenmantle — January 10, 2007 @ 7:34 pm

  50. I remember the neighbours in the first flat I had when I moved to London. Like clockwork every Sunday at 6pm they would have a blazing row – in Spainish….

    Comment by Nigel — January 10, 2007 @ 8:35 pm

  51. Your neighbours probably do it every night but the gag only comes off on Christmas day! The worst shenanigans I ever experienced was when on holiday in Italy a few years ago and the German couple in the room next door had a session which must have lasted three hours. It was such a hot night and all the balcony doors in the hotel were wide open, the woman had such a voice on her, it carried all round the complex and believe me it was no holds barred, we thought it was never going to stop.

    The funniest thing was the next day down at breakfast, people were looking distinctly sheepish and had expressions on their faces as if to say “Well, don’t look at me, I don’t even know what tantric sex is!”

    Comment by Sue — January 10, 2007 @ 8:36 pm

  52. Like to think on the positive side:
    1)At least someone is getting some and
    2)At least tadpole hasn’t asked you to explain the “birds and the bees” yet.

    Comment by Sam — January 11, 2007 @ 2:04 am

  53. That was hysterical. Sorry to hear that this invaded your space and caused you to loose sleep. Their 4 hour romp did make for a fascinating story and your meeting them will be something.

    Comment by Diane — January 11, 2007 @ 6:09 am

  54. When it’s your mortgage you do tend to prefer not to be disturbed by your neighbours, presumably they don’t have carpets.

    Carpets and curtains and furniture deaden sound and if you search the net you will find ways to absorb it without much difficulty. You really should pop upstairs and check out the flooring………..and if you get in the mood for retaliation have a powerful HI-Fi amp with speakers and go out leaving CD recordings of Cesar Franck organ fugues playing…………..the low frequencies will cause the floor and walls to vibrate……….you can then smile if you are asked about your “social intercourse”

    Comment by Voyager — January 11, 2007 @ 9:28 am

  55. I remember in New York when I was a student I rented a small apartment for the summer. The woman next door was always going at it and I could hear the details of her lovemaking. One night I brought someone home (the only time) and the next day while taking my laundry downstairs I bumped into my neighbor. “Do you ever hear anything from my apartment?”, she asked rather sheepishly. In what I now know is a British manner I replied, “No, not at all.”

    Comment by Lost in France — January 11, 2007 @ 10:03 am

  56. Trying to decipher the neighbours’ minor sounds is self defeating, even if they are bonkers. Forget it. You don’t want the madhouse and the whole thing there.

    French pseudo politicians, lame poets on clogs and their skinny cafe working would be academic asses though, you poor thing. :-)

    Walk down the stairway with Tadpole in front of you and glower at them in the old Parisian way.

    Comment by fjl — January 11, 2007 @ 11:49 am

  57. There is always the Revenge CD with Earplugs that contains amongst other old favourites an Orgasm (Outstanding), sex not defined (but I imagine included).

    Comment by Fibsor — January 11, 2007 @ 3:14 pm

  58. There is always the Revenge CD with Earplugs that contains amongst other old favourites an Orgasm (Outstanding), sex not defined (but I imagine included).

    Comment by Fibsor — January 11, 2007 @ 3:15 pm

  59. Why is it that the sound of someone dropping a spoon in the kitchen seems to carry louder and further than any other noise?

    Comment by Damian — January 11, 2007 @ 3:38 pm

  60. Nice one petite.
    And you haven’t left a cliff hanger like that for a while.
    Top form.

    Comment by meredic — January 11, 2007 @ 4:20 pm

  61. Once a year? Sounds like my first husband – but 4 hours? More like 4 minutes. . .

    Comment by sablonneuse — January 11, 2007 @ 7:01 pm

  62. I heard about your site from my big brother, and I think it is marvellous. I have just started my own blog and am looking for ideas.
    Your upstairs neighbours sound amazing. I hope you do sneak upstairs and have a look. Really intrigued by the braying noise. Must try it sometime.

    Comment by lorrenzothellama — January 11, 2007 @ 7:03 pm

  63. Having recently bought a house, in part to avoid obnoxious neighbors who owned the apartment below me, I was somewhat disconcerted when both of my next-door neighbors sold their houses to new people. On one side is the person with bass in their car. Thankfully, it appears to be *only* in the car; their house must lack bass-generating facilities. He likes to blast this at 9:00 in the morning – well after I am gone normally, but if I’m home sick or due to weather, it’s a special treat. Also, on his return in the evenings. It goes on for about 10 minutes, just long enough for my blood to start boiling, and then stops. It is so loud, you could hear it a mile away! I thought I would avoid this by owning a house, but apparently not.

    Comment by Jennifer — January 11, 2007 @ 7:26 pm

  64. quid pro quo Petite


    No JPPEG of your melons, no vote!

    Comment by Trevor — January 11, 2007 @ 7:37 pm

  65. my husband and I woke to an upstairs neighbour running the vaccuum cleaner at 7:30am one Saturday after the neighbour had just moved in. husband, problem solver that he is, left a semi-nasty note on his door. they haven’t woken us with the vaccuum again. as for the loud door slamming and boot stomping every night… that’s what the ear plugs are for!

    Comment by prettysparrow — January 11, 2007 @ 8:03 pm

  66. Hi Petite — very funny! One thought: this being France, are you sure that it was BOTH of your normal neighbors? If this isn’t the usual moaning and screaming, maybe it was an extracurricular event only at Xmas while someone else was away. I think that’s why the French are so often circumspect about these things “neighbor” matters… better not to mention it outright, perhaps?
    Best of luck.

    Comment by Polly — January 11, 2007 @ 8:55 pm

  67. i think everyone’s got a story about neighbors and their noisiness and i do, too! one night, i lay in bed reading, when i heard an unearthly scream, directly behind my head, in the apartment next door. i jolted upright and considered possible actions: calling 911, banging on their door to interrupt what sounded like a brutal fight. but as i lay there, the screams continued and i clued into what was really happening on the other side of the wall. i laughed the first time, but quickly grew heartily sick of it. never said anything though…

    Comment by Molly — January 11, 2007 @ 9:25 pm

  68. I’m laughing at the comment by sablennouse…hee

    Happy New Year Petite

    Comment by heather — January 11, 2007 @ 9:54 pm

  69. Our lovely neighbours like to frequently practice their piano playing – needless to say their music isn’t to our taste (certainly not with their poor skills and the high degree of repetition required). It goes without saying that the piano is against the common wall. Annoying enough at the best of times – but when you have to sleep during the day due to working nightshift – it basically happens every “night”.

    Comment by Scoobycat — January 11, 2007 @ 10:01 pm

  70. MDR… a ten -orgasm session… you should ask for the trademark of her sex toy… MDR

    Comment by loran — January 11, 2007 @ 10:46 pm

  71. I think you’ll find Mrs Clogs was away over Christmas and Mr Clogs was servicing someone else’s Mrs. Or rather, you won’t. But it makes the prospect of remarking sweetly to Mrs Clogs about the Christmas present she gave him much more entertaining, don’tcha think?

    Comment by andrew — January 12, 2007 @ 2:22 am

  72. I like all these people who recommend ear plugs. Very clever. Hey, how come Petite hasn’t thought of tis before, hey?

    Except I’m sure they don’t have kids.

    You know, dear childless people, being a parent means being responsible. So it means being ready to rush to your child’s bed when they’re awaken by a nightmare. Or when croup strikes at midnight, literally depriving them from air. Or when they fall off their bed. Or when they wet themselves at night. Or…
    J’en passe et des meilleures.

    But how could you know? No one can blame you. You just didn’t think.

    Still, I secretely feel a lot more grown up than you.

    Comment by Boris — January 12, 2007 @ 3:02 am

  73. great great

    happy new year 2007

    Comment by JEFF DERICHEMONT — January 12, 2007 @ 3:10 am

  74. Boris – you are right about earplugs, of course. They are a luxury I can only resort to when Tadpole is away.

    Comment by petite — January 12, 2007 @ 7:37 am

  75. Very funny!

    Are you not moving though soon Petite- or did I misinterpret something?


    Comment by Sally Lomax — January 12, 2007 @ 10:53 am

  76. Moving again? No, god forbid. I moved into the 2 pièces I bought in July, rented my little studio/office in December. I itend to stick with both for quite some time…

    Comment by petite — January 12, 2007 @ 12:01 pm

  77. Oh Boris! Not that I want to start a “polemique” (hmmm!) but let me tell you that even if I am sometimes wearing earplugs, I am able to hear my little one if he wakes up and calls for me! Mothers (I don’t know about fathers) have a special mega-radar connected with their child(ren) ; )
    Bien a vous…et sweet dreams to all.

    Comment by Del — January 12, 2007 @ 12:07 pm

  78. In my old flat, my boyf and I used to call the chap upstairs ‘Darling’ because he would ring and talk to his ‘darling’ (who was somewhere the other side of the world) at every indecent, ungodly hour possible. I knew the intricacies of their relationship better than my own which fell apart soon after!

    Comment by Sister Louise — January 12, 2007 @ 12:22 pm

  79. It seems that you may be in need of some form of distraction…perhaps I can help out?

    Comment by Terry Harris — January 12, 2007 @ 12:49 pm

  80. No jealousy, petite? None whatsoever? :-)

    Comment by alcessa — January 12, 2007 @ 1:29 pm

  81. I was hammering some nails into a wall one evening around 7.30 pm, not long after moving into my ground floor flat (I live in France). My upstairs neighbour came downstairs to complain, dressed in her pink fluffy dressing gown, pink fluffy slippers and (honestly!) pink fluffy hairband. She said she worked very long hours and needed her sleep.

    I apologised profusely and promised not to do it again. I hate my British side too.

    Comment by Karen — January 12, 2007 @ 2:04 pm

  82. Hello there,

    I just wanted to thank you as I have followed your advice on reading Left Bank (if I remember right you had a picture of the book on your side bar). I read it in a row. Even if I did not like the way it ended…Anyway, thank you for sharing your readings with us :)

    P.S.: 4h !!! Wow, they should be in the Guinness World Record Book….

    Comment by lafadelle — January 12, 2007 @ 3:18 pm

  83. I don’t like the idea of earplugs even if you don’t have children, you could sleep through something very important like a smoke/fire alarm or an emergency phone call. I hate to sound like an old fuddy duddy but my daughter is living in a room on the eighth floor at the moment.

    Comment by Sue — January 12, 2007 @ 3:22 pm

  84. I recently had sex with my downstairs neighbour. I had dropped down to leave in a parcel the postman had left with me for her, and then one drink led to another drink and then one thing led to another. She “who must be obeyed” was out of town of course. Now whenever we meet on the stairway (in the company of the missus), we look at eachother expression of michiefous glee. Hee hee.
    Paris is a great town!

    Comment by Carruthers — January 12, 2007 @ 4:12 pm

  85. erratum

    “with an expression of mishiefous glee”


    Comment by Carruthers — January 12, 2007 @ 4:28 pm

  86. Petite,
    Your best weapon is Tadpole, for as the walls are paper thin, if you can hear them, they can hear you.
    When was the last time Tadpole cried out at night?

    Comment by rohan — January 12, 2007 @ 4:32 pm

  87. Superb post, in fact the first one that has spurred me on to leave a comment, I have been a secret Petite reader for quite sometime.

    Thankfully we’ve never heard upstairs ‘at it’ but they are so heavy footed, I pray to the mighty shoe god that they never, ever, discover clogs. I would have to either move out or cut their feet off.

    Comment by KatieKate — January 12, 2007 @ 4:51 pm

  88. Mr Clogs got lucky and picked up “girl with a one tracked mind” perhaps…
    she is capable of 10 orgasms in that time frame it seems.

    Comment by Sharon — January 12, 2007 @ 5:18 pm

  89. Now, I won’t pretend that the one track idea hadn’t occurred to me. But I’m sure she wouldn’t come to Paris without looking me up, so maybe ten-orgasms-per-session girls are more common that I thought…

    Comment by petite — January 12, 2007 @ 6:20 pm

  90. Perhaps you could ask your upstairs neighbour what her secret is? lol

    Comment by Donta — January 12, 2007 @ 6:27 pm

  91. Sex with your downstairs neighbours and ten-orgasm-per session girls. Fine talk and choice language, I dare say. Nine times out of ten when I post a comment hereabouts, I’m censored (more often than not, for using the c-word or the f-word). I’ll be suprised if this post is even published.
    You people make me sick!

    Comment by Trevor — January 12, 2007 @ 6:30 pm

  92. I suspect Mr & Mrs Clogs were celebrating the spirit of Christmas by watching their brand new porn DVD in a loop.
    Maybe it’s an expression of my own inadequacies, but four hours and ten orgasms seem too good too be true!
    Still, now I know what to ask Santa for, next Christmas.

    Comment by Philippe — January 12, 2007 @ 6:31 pm

  93. My mum once heard her neighbours make… that noise (not the clog one). She got so tired of it that one night she imitated the noise and the neighbours, hearing this and realising that someone had heard them, got so embarrassed that they stopped right in the middle of a busy night. It was the last time she ever heard them. Not a good idea, in theory, but in the long run…well, always an option.

    Comment by Whisper — January 12, 2007 @ 11:45 pm

  94. LOL at #93 – Well, playing aloud a steamy DVD in a loop could do it too. The female neighbour upstairs would be both embarassed and jealous because of the high level of performance lol. Just an opinion :D

    Comment by Froggywoogie — January 13, 2007 @ 12:38 am

  95. Del,

    I’d rather trust my ears than my wife’s radar that seems totally shut down at night. And yeah, she wears earplugs – good thing I don’t otherwise I would have never forgiven myself for the many times I rushed to the bedroom – while missus was still sleeping.

    So much for the mega-radar, let me tell you! Or maybe it’s the fault of her mirrorfoam pillow, I don’t know.


    Comment by Boris — January 13, 2007 @ 2:47 am

  96. Slip ’em some slippers. ;)

    Comment by Sophmom — January 13, 2007 @ 5:24 pm

  97. I think you can still access the first series of Clare in the community Radio 4,where there is an hilarious sketch on same subject.(Clare being a very right on social worker who can,t deal with own problems)

    Comment by Carol Lyn Bouvet — January 13, 2007 @ 7:23 pm

  98. Apols!!

    Misunderstood your rented office space for an apartment. Must have had a brain blip…… I think that it was the time when i was very busy with my eldest daughter and misread it! Now I have re read and realise!

    Re the next door problem, a friend of ours once had a similiar thing and used bookcased as a buffer. Upstairs is more of a problem, unless you want to lower the ceiling and put in soundproofing – which I doubt!!

    Could you offer to dedicate your book to them if they on the other hand put soundproofing under their floorboards?? You can get this wadding stuff which is excellent. We have put it in our house to buffer noise. You need a cavity of some sort though.

    But on the other hand, problems are great for funny blogs!! So you don’t want to fix everything in life!!


    Comment by Sally Lomax — January 13, 2007 @ 8:11 pm

  99. I’ve just read this a few days after the fact and I simply can no longer fathom the experience as it’s been nearly 15 years since I’ve lived in one. But I remember once my wife and I had couple who lived below us who would argue and curse a mean streak. (In fact, I may have learned a few new choice words from this couple.) Well, one day, I ran into one of them on the elevator who asked me “was that you I heard playing guitar upstairs?” I replied that it was me, to which he said, “Well, could you stop. You really suck and it all sounds like noise to me.” It was then that I used one of my newly-learned profanities.

    Comment by Johnny — January 14, 2007 @ 6:34 pm

  100. Oops… Sorry I don’t think I made clear what “lived in one” means. It’s an apartment…or a flat…. Again, my apologies.

    Comment by Johnny — January 14, 2007 @ 6:38 pm

  101. Boris,
    A “mirror foam pillow”, what is that and how does it help your wife sleeping that deeply? Might be a good option for Petite Anglaise too!
    Anyway, the only solution I found to escape the 3 am neighbours pee/sex/heaviestshoes of the century and other things I disliked about Paris was actually to leave the city…and cross the Channel. CQFD

    Comment by Del — January 14, 2007 @ 7:42 pm

  102. Del,

    You don’t know what a good night’s sleep is until you have a mirrorform pillow / mattress! Your employer’s worst enemy, you’ll be late for work every day.

    Sorry, it’s mirrorform, not foam.


    Comment by Boris — January 14, 2007 @ 8:58 pm

  103. Though I know they’re not the most fashionable footwear, you might want to consider buying your neighbours a pair or two of Crocs. They’re like lightweight rubber clogs, and are infinitely more comfortable…and quiet!

    Comment by Tamara — January 14, 2007 @ 10:10 pm

  104. Do you live in my building??? I haven’t seen a nice lady with a three year old coming and going, but the clogs and a few of the others…I’m sure they live here. And the sound of every footfall echoes from above when I can’t hear my spouse across the room. What acoustics!!

    C’est la vie, non?

    Meilleurs voeux!!

    Comment by blueVicar — January 15, 2007 @ 2:56 pm

  105. It is quite normal to do it once a year. That’s what it takes for her to recover. I also have noisy clog wearing upstairs neighbours. They keep dropping stuff, but only from 11pm till 4am. Rest of the day is absolutely quiet. We can hear their sex sessions, but at least they never last more than 30 seconds, and twice a month is a maximum. My downstairs neighbour love french rap. He is single, so I don’t have to worry about any kind of bed noises, but he really loves his music. If possible very loud, and at 6am.

    You hate your british side? Even with hers, my girlfriend is lousing it and stumping at the walls screaming some “shut up” (en anglais dans le texte) at our 6yrs old screaming uneducated neighbour’s brat.

    It reminds me my time in student accomodations. Noise from all the other rooms, but the silly thing was the desks. They were attached to the wall, and joined with next room’s desk. So when you were shaking your desk, your neighbourg had his shaking the same way. It happened a couple of time that I had to jump from the bed to grap my laptop that was about to fall from the desk due to my neighbourg enjoying some time.

    > David : at least he was settle. Imagine how you would feel if he had come to you like “Could you stop having huge sex sessions like this? My wife is jealous!”?

    Comment by Marius — January 17, 2007 @ 9:31 am

  106. What is a “girl with a one tracked mind”?

    And are you sure it wasn’t a CD from the always regretted band “Pussy” (for those who don’t remember, it was the real band’s name in 1995 with their hit “I am sleazy pervert”?

    > Trevor : so why do you keep reading?

    Comment by Marius — January 17, 2007 @ 9:52 am

  107. On the theme of Paris apartment dweller relations you really must see Polanski’s film “Le Locataire” shown on Arte recently.

    Comment by Parkin Pig — January 17, 2007 @ 12:57 pm

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