X

Create an account to continue reading.

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles
For unlimited access to The Spectator, subscribe below

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles

Sign in to continue

Already have an account?

What's my subscriber number?

Subscribe now from £1 a week

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
 
View subscription offers

Already a subscriber?

or

Subscribe now for unlimited access

ALL FROM JUST £1 A WEEK

View subscription offers

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Login

Don't have an account? Sign up
X

Subscription expired

Your subscription has expired. Please go to My Account to renew it or view subscription offers.

X

Forgot Password

Please check your email

If the email address you entered is associated with a web account on our system, you will receive an email from us with instructions for resetting your password.

If you don't receive this email, please check your junk mail folder.

X

It's time to subscribe.

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access – from just £1 a week

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
X

Sign up

What's my subscriber number? Already have an account?

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Your subscriber number is the 8 digit number printed above your name on the address sheet sent with your magazine each week. If you receive it, you’ll also find your subscriber number at the top of our weekly highlights email.

Entering your subscriber number will enable full access to all magazine articles on the site.

If you cannot find your subscriber number then please contact us on customerhelp@subscriptions.spectator.co.uk or call 0330 333 0050. If you’ve only just subscribed, you may not yet have been issued with a subscriber number. In this case you can use the temporary web ID number, included in your email order confirmation.

You can create an account in the meantime and link your subscription at a later time. Simply visit the My Account page, enter your subscriber number in the relevant field and click 'submit changes'.

If you have any difficulties creating an account or logging in please take a look at our FAQs page.

Dear Mary

Noisy neighbour? Just download a crying baby from the internet...

Also in Dear Mary: how can I stop my artist husband sketching during concerts; advice for one-eared insomniacs

18 February 2017

9:00 AM

18 February 2017

9:00 AM

Q. My husband and I like to go to concerts and recitals but he is an artist with a very annoying habit of sketching the musicians in performance. The scratch of the pencil and his hand movements are distracting and I worry about his annoying other people nearby. Sometimes it is too dark for him to see what he’s doing, but not always. When I ask him to stop, he insists no one else minds (even though people have, on occasion, voiced their irritation). What can I do to stop this annoying habit?
—S.T., Chirton, Wiltshire

A. Make a point of always buying three tickets rather than two. Give the third ticket as a present to a series of acquaintances unknown to your husband. Your guest should travel separately to the performance and make no attempt to greet you as he takes his seat beside you. The deal is that, in exchange for the free ticket, once the sketching starts he will lean forward to politely signal that he finds it distracting. In this way you can achieve the desired result by proxy while sidestepping any Punch and Judy-style unpleasantness between you and your husband.


Q. My next-door neighbour has the most extremely noisy keys. I live in an apartment block and every time she comes and goes (incredibly frequently) she locks and unlocks all five locks, which can be heard all the way through my apartment to the living room. When in my bedroom, which is adjacent to the front door, it sounds as if there is a home invasion and someone is coming in at my door. How best, without being rude, to ask her to somehow reduce the noise or perhaps lock fewer locks?
—A.M.B., London SW

A. Start by spraying the locks yourself from the outside with WD-40. If this fails to reduce the noise then download baby-crying noises from the internet and play them at full volume for ten minutes each time your neighbour comes home. After two days take flowers next door and apologise as you explain that your occasional baby guest wakes when the locks are turned. You’ve tried moving him to other rooms but the noise carries right through the apartment. Coax her to the conclusion that she should have her locks reconditioned and rendered altogether more silent.

Q. I have begun to suffer from insomnia. Too tired to read with
a bedside torch, I have discovered LBC’s Steve Allen show. This hilarious three hours of extemporisation and commentary on the news-papers hits the spot to dissipate night terrors. I wear headphones so as not to disturb my wife, who sleeps like a log, but these are uncomfortable and if take one out the noise wakes her. How can I resolve this without sleeping separately?
—Name and address withheld

A. Single earphones exist and cost from £3.20. Put one in the ear you are not lying on.

Subscribe to The Spectator today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator for less – just £12 for 12 issues.


Show comments
Close