I’ll keep this one short and snappy rather than my earlier long rambling on this topic. I’m surprised how few memories I have of specific incidents as I always thought my auditory memory was reasonably good. I remember taking an evening walk with my parents on family holiday on the Isle of Wight when I was probably about 9 – and surprising them by commenting on the mournful cheeping of the birds going to bed. I’d heard birds settling down for the night before (the dawn chorus never woke me up) but something about that dusk altered the quality of the sound. Perhaps it was the fact it was a still evening by the sea. Perhaps they were tired birds. Perhaps I was a tired – but happy – child.

Another incident I recall was when I was 11, at home time from school, and about to pass through the school gates. All of a sudden I became aware of the sound of my name being called. I scanned in front of me, and from side to side – nobody was taking any notice of me – so I deduced the sound had to come from behind. I wheeled round to find a schoolfriend running up to me with something I’d forgotten. To me hearing didn’t get better than that – to pick out my own name being called from behind. Maybe it helped that I was the only child with that name in the whole school, so it was easier to distinguish my own name, and the urgency of my friend’s call probably had something to do with it too, but it still remains the pinnacle of my hearing achievements!

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