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But I digress. I dumped my drunken needy friends and moved to Newtown.

People familiar with Sydney would find this ironic. Newtown is about 6 kilometres from the city centre and adjacent to Sydney University. It is also the home to every drunken, drug addled mess of old Sydney Town. But it is a haven for eccentrics and bohemians, with a little art house cinema, lots of dark cafes and most importantly, bookshops.

So I bought my little apartment, stacked it to the ceiling with books, found a corner for my lovebirds, Meep and Moop, and tried to settle in my very own slice of paradise, Daisi Malone’s slice of heaven at the Presidio.

My slice of heaven is not only cosy, but noisy. Each morning around 6 the noise of shattering glass bottles echoes through the air, at 7 the first planes roar overhead and by 8 the trains are sounding their whistles and rattling the walls. At night the Indian restaurant patrons fill the air with conversation and laughter and the neighbour’s various party noises ring out filling the cavernous courtyard.

I invested in ear plugs to preserve my sanity.

This was high density inner city living and in the course of my day to day activity I began to meet the neighbours. There was the nice couple with children, Mark and Anna, the maintenance man, George, and the man across the hall.

I remember it was a cool night in March when I first met Madden.

Chapter 2

Even my heavily glazed doors could not insulate the glee club noise. Once a month they sang the worst of the eighties and as the night progressed they got drunker and louder. That night I left my noisy home in a huff and visited the movies for a brief respite.

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