Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Polly Poses Irony

It's no wonder I haven't posted much recently; the school Easter Holidays started at 12.30pm on Friday and the house seems to be filled with so much noise at the moment. It's not just the boys though, the animals seem determined to join in with the excitement and create more than their fair share of the din that I find so distracting.

At night time the railway; which lies just over the road from us is being maintained. The effect of this is slightly disturbed sleep for most and just over a little bit more than disturbed for me. Because of this both boys are cranky and determined to annoy one another more than normal; in turn annoying me beyond tolerance. To this recipe add the fact that already deprived of sleep; I seem determined to forget to take the plethora of medications required to bring blessed nocturnal release. The toils of day time are thereby adding to the secondary effect of tiredness because of the resulting aches and pains resulting from each omission!

That was last week and so far this week doesn't appear to be much better. So what if the railway has been deserted at night time, the dogs are constantly sounding the alarm during the day; the ever present droning and clanking noises are intruders. Let us not forget that a dog’s territory stretches far beyond the boundaries of our properties; and anyone foolish enough to venture into it will be considered fair game in the minds of our faithful canine companions. It is just such a shame that the blissful peace which I have spoken of so often is been shattered and that I am at my wits end...

Once upon a time, a very long time ago while working night duty at a large centre of excellence in Dublin; I was commuting on a daily basis. Not only was my sleep pattern duly disturbed for each of the seven nights concerned; I was working for twelve hours and commuting for three, meaning that I was well and truly bushed. I discovered that this purgatory coincided with the annual maintenance of the railway line; by day. Eventually I deserted; to my parents house three peaceful miles down the road, in an attempt to retain some glimmer of sanity.

Just as I thought it couldn't get any worse the night shift ended. Followed by a blissful fourteen days off; the powers that be decided to commence the nocturnal off-peak maintenance and kept us all awake at night instead! I had already been absent for a week and I didn't think my family would have tolerated any further disappearances...

Strangely though; except for that annual interruption, thirteen years ago this house was quiet and peaceful. Largely this was because of a plethora of hedges and stone walls which lay between us and the railway barely four hundred yards away. During the intervening years much has changed; hedges have been ripped from the ground and stone walls demolished to allow access to the track during the modernisation of the iron road.

The difference is starkly obvious; not only does the noise carry further but we can also see the trains as they pass us by. Way back then we used to rush to look down over the wall at the top of the humped-backed bridge; marvelling at the diesel locomotives as they rushed on by to far away places.

The answer to my predicament is obvious. Do not buy a house near a railway. It’s ironic then that we once lived in a suburban environment where located in the centre of a triangle, two sides of which were sided by elevated railway tracks and on the other a motorway. Each of these structures were situated over a mile or more away; much further than the railway I live beside now, and yet they each impinged far more on our lives!

Despite all my complaining; I know of one octogenarian who loves to watch the trains as they weave their way across the countryside behind her house. They somehow remind her that she is still alive and offer hope for coming days. Isn't it strange how different people will behold the same situation...

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