I am trifle ashamed of my previous flat-mate rant. Well, not entirely.
But we did have a great conversation (admittedly between 2 and 3 in the morning) when in a fit of insomnia I went up to ask him if he was loudly opening and closing drawers (he wasn’t). Among things we agreed on in our rambling conversation (the most lucid we’ve had – I have gravely insulted his English) were that: becoming comfortable with who you are is incredibly important (I cannot tell you how much my view of him softened when he said, “I will never be a great mathematician, but I love maths”); and that if what you like and what you are good at is the same thing, you are incredibly lucky.
So, I guess I think he is now being about as considerate as he can be given: (a) his eccentric working hours; and (b) the structure of the house.
Our walls are just too thin, and our insulation too great. The result is there is no background noise from the outside to mask the slightest creak of floor, door hinge or bed. Some noises I had blamed on the mathematician, were probably made by another flatmate with the habit of rolling over in bed so hard he can hit the wall with a thud.
As a light sleeper, I can only struggle now to find better ear-plugs, or hope to sleep with my window forever open and get used to the outside noises as well.
Also I really don’t want to turn into some parody of sea-side resort town landlady creeping about in the wee small hours in a dressing gown rapping on doors and asking people to “Keep it down please, some of us are trying to sleep.”