It is one in the morning.

It is one in the morning. Howls ring across the street like the wailing of a banshee. Few words are determinable amongst the yowls and yelps; the sound is incoherent, like the gibbering and whoops of chimpanzees. A shopping trolley skids along the street, accompanied by shrieks.

Sometimes, in my kinder moments, I imagine I was similarly afflicted by a kind of exuberant incoherence when I was a student. Then I remember that even as a student I felt somewhat embarrassed by association with some of my peers. Not to imply I would have been a perfect neighbour, just that I tried to be somewhat more considerate than some in the neighbourhood.

It is their first week back, however, so I must extend the benefit of some doubt. House-parties and excited late nights were noticeably present during the start of my second year, so to expect less of current students would be outrageous hypocrisy.

Still, I hold out hope that this year’s neighbours will be better than last; there are few things more grating than the loud, neighing, nasal sound of public-school girls standing outside your single-glazed ground-floor bedroom window at three in the morning discussing utter nonsense for twenty minutes.

There is always the bedroom in the basement, our modern shelter.