It seems as if the small street where I live has grown noisier while I was gone. Maybe it’s just that I’m still attuned to the silence of the summer cottage, but it sounds as if heaps of metal and rubbish are pushed by a strong wind up and down, up and down the street all night. The gate to the yard is right underneath my bedroom, and it quivers and roars as if drunken people hammer and kick at the old wood all night. It’s an old gate and it’s a noisy one, nothing new there. It’s just never been this bad before. Is this the summer-party-high season? I’m too old to know. I’m also too old to stay awake all night, listening to bellows from the yard and the jangles of rubbish from the street. I need sleep. I need quiet.

I need to not be thinking about bloody gates.