One of my first questions to my prospective landlord was whether there was a mosque in the neighbourhood. He laughed and said no.
On the first night in the house, empty except for two double foam mattresses on the floor, I woke at 4:30 am to the sound of the muezzin calling for the first prayer of the day. He called, called again, then again and again, and … you’d think everybody had heard by now, no? Again? Is he calling each of the faithful individually? Madame Diouf … yoo-hoo!
I got up and fetched a roll of toilet paper, tore off a sheet and fashioned ear plugs by twirling it into an cone. Then I lay down again, stretched rigid on our superior density foam mattress (actually brutally unforgiving on any but the heaviest bodies). The pink paper ear plug stuck straight up from my ear, but who was looking.
The muezzin was as loud as before and seemed to be doing a full live broadcast of the service. It lasted until 6 am, by which time the tremendous dawn chorus of birdsong was beginning to drown out his voice in any case. Tweet bloody twitter!
I drifted off just before Baby J woke up at 7. Groaning, I raised my aching body from the ground to start the day …