Sunday, August 17, 2008

Grumpy Old Man

That would be me. Or what I'm turning into. I don't like being waken in the night. Two times this week. And there's not much I can do about it. But I can blog.

Rogue campers seen from my window.

Over the past five years there have been a few instances of somebody spending the night out in the vineyards behind our house. I've seen the occasional RV out there early in the morning, or a discreetly pitched tent. Usually the rogue campers come in late, spend the night quietly, and move on in the morning, trying to be very inconspicuous, obviously on their way to someplace else.

But this time it's different. These people keep coming back. I think they're pretty young, and they're loud, and they're making a camp fire and leaving empty bottles on the ground. They've been out back at least two nights this week, and I'm pretty sure there was a third. They pack up around ten or so in the morning and leave, then come back after dark (and after midnight) and set up again laughing, partying, and making fire.

Camping among the vines. Arrrrgh!
Actually, it looks like fun...

Their noise woke me up at 2 a.m. on Thursday morning and again on Saturday morning. I took my camera out Saturday morning but I couldn't get close enough to photograph their license plates because one of the campers was actually up at 8 a.m. milling about. But I did notice on Thursday that they were local - the license plates are from our department. They might even be the kids (and their friends) of the people that own the vines.

I can't believe that I'm reduced to wanting to photograph their license plates. What the heck would I do, take the pictures to town hall and complain like a lunatic, grumpy old foreigner? No. But now that I've blogged about it I feel much better.


  1. After your Newsiness of the other day, I was about to suggest to check out the license plates ... I'm surprised they are locals, as they should be aware of the fact that camping out there isn't allowed. If I were you, I would try to take action by putting down a complaint at the townhall 'against persons unknown'. That way the local police could sent out a patrol in the evening to stop them coming again or pass by in the morning before they leave to verbalize them. But you'd better check with M. Denis first whether he has given the authorization. Otherwise you taking action would be quite embarrasing :(! Martine

  2. The next time they wake you up, put on your bathrobe, grab the dog and a glass of wine, and stroll down to join the party. Be cheerful. Talk a lot, tell lots of rambling stories, and old, old, jokes. Say you're looking forward to joining them again.

  3. What a drag :(( I bet they're relatively young... I think we get a better perspective of our place in the world as we get older. I see my teenagers in my classes sooooo often being totally unaware that their loud loud loud behavior actually affects people around them! One very nice but very rambunctious young lady asked me in class last year, "You teachers really don't like us to talk during class do you? I don't get it... what's the big deal with talking?" [and by "talking", what we mean is constant blurting out of whatever is on their mind to a friend halfway across the room, right in the middle of my presenting things up in front of her... or, during time when they should be working, just getting into loud conversations with their friends.] And, they don't understand why, when THEY have finished THEIR work, they STILL need to be quiet :)) They're in their own little world. But... I was guilty of this, too. I remember being 16, and wanting to sit outside to tan in our backyard. But, heaven forbid I should be without my music (and this was before personal music players), so I hauled the stereo speakers over to the sliding glass doors and blasted my Springsteen on them. This was just in a small back yard, in a subdivision. I was appalled when our (very nice) neighbors phoned and (very nicely) asked if I could maybe turn down the stereo a bit. It just NEVER occurred to me that my little world might affect someone else.

    Well, none of that changes your frustrating situation :)) Maybe it will at least help you feel like it's nothing personal :)) Chrissoup's idea is a great one, too :))


  4. martine, good ideas, but I'm just letting it go. No harm done.

    chris, also a good idea, but that would mean going out into the chilly night. I'm a wimp!

    judy, sounds very familiar! Oh well, such is life.

  5. I live with a grumpy old Frenchman (well, younger than me, but no youngster) who calls the police on a regular basis to complain about musicians and noise on the street. I was panicked because he was making noises about moving to the countryside. Now I can show him that it won't make any difference. He's safe nowhere. Why does that make me giggle?

  6. Your right about letting it go!! Just hope it doesn't continue for too much longer, otherwise you really will be a "grumpy" old man :-) I know what my husband would be like!!

  7. papa, glad to have helped ;)

    anne, they haven't been back. I'm no longer grumpy (about that anyway)!


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