Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Penthouse Superiority in my Newbuild Complex

Georgie from 603 is obviously quite posh, but not very bright. I’ve never met her; never seen her, but recently she yelled out her flat number and complete name loftily from above at four am, while guiding party guests. Silly Georgie.

Her luxury penthouse palace exists in a vertiginous otherworld, like Shangri-La, with exclusive access to a private lift. Our paths seldom cross, but even chance encounters make it absolutely clear that they regard themselves as being of a ‘better sort’ than the rental property scum who inhabit a lower level, both metaphorically and in real life.

Middle flats in Dovecot Towers are bog standard newbuilds. We are stuck halfway, sharing a lift with the rest of the building. The other day someone deposited crap (no actual crap) in ‘our’ elevator. Now I resent that private lift even more.

The entire ground floor is owned by one landlord. It’s let short term to the desperate, owing to the danger of having scallies leaping over the balcony, straight into your lounge/diner/kitchen. They are cheaper, fitted routinely with a burglar alarm, and you wouldn’t catch me in one.

My ‘betters’ make a lot of noise. To paraphrase that wonderfully named Swedish band, they are suburban kids with biblical and Victorian names. Flats are twice the size of mine, and often given as birthday presents. One upper floor dweller keeps a teensy dog in her handbag (hence the mess in ‘our’ lift.)

Georgie was hosting a little soiree for Rachel, Charlotte, and the boys, with jelly, cake, lashings of lovely weed and screaming. They all sang Happy Birthday really loud; gawd, they were – like – reeeeeally wasted, you know? Georgie was responsible for the 48 hour party from hell a few months ago (rentergirl passim) and had been warned quite severely to shut up or else.

But, here we go again, fourth Sunday morning in a row. As usual, her poor, simple guests had lost their way. She observed their epic trek from her eyrie, and like a beacon, or a booming, braying satnav, coaxed them over hill and dale towards Dovecot Towers by screeching: ‘TAKE THE NEXT RIGHT!!!’

Patiently, I waited for the lost partygoers to appear. When they came into view, I requested forcefully that they told Georgie from 603 to please be quiet, as we could all hear everything she said (although apparently she can’t hear us remonstrating from below).

The insults flew: I was told to shut up, and mind my own business. One classy lady invited me down for a punch up; pointing out that she had the weight advantage, I declined. Then I was told I was full of shit for not fighting, and ‘....what did I expect living so close to town?’ (Actually, I don’t, but aaaanyway…) Festivities concluded at 8am. My neighbour starts work at nine.

Georgie from 603 and her chums clearly believe they own the place; that they rule Dovecot Towers by divine right. Our flats might be less luxurious, might not have a private lift, might not have been a graduation present. But when Georgie, way up in the clouds in 603, is excluded from the entire area by an ASBO, she’ll fall to earth with a mighty bump.


Anonymous said...

Have you read High-Rise by J.G. Ballard?


It's about a bigger building than yours, but exactly the same sort of class warfare as you describe.

Penny said...

No, but I will now! Thanks for reading, and for the book suggestion!