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New word learnt this week – and new sound added to the lexicon of noise in my brain. Repeated on most news bulletins. Filed under “loud and annoying”.

Mamma mia! Pierce Brosnan definitely cannot sing (he’s the worst of a bad bunch), but hey, it adds to the campiness of the campfest. Filed under “not quite recognisable as singing”.

I’ve been haunted by babies crying emerging above the babble of noise in public this week. Filed under “barely recognisable as human”.

I’m training a new Polish colleague at the moment, who told me that she was originally from Wrocław. I was able to repeat “Vrotswaf” quite confidently – using both lipreading to see HOW she made the sound and listening to hear the sound itself – to get it right first time. Filed under “shall I try and learn Polish now?”

Last night I had a humble supper of bread and cheese, since we’d been out for lunch, and was fascinated by hearing the crumbs drop onto my plate. I dropped crust crumbs, soft bread crumbs, and indeed a small slice of baguette to hear the difference. How childlike was that?!! (I did it again this morning with some brown bread before I toasted it . . . ) Filed under “tiny and fascinating”.

Equally tiny and fascinating this week was a marquetry saw: when I first saw the saw I thought it looked pretty much like a cheese wire, except that the man demonstrating it chuckled and ran his finger along the wire, whereupon I heard a small rasping noise. As I ran my own finger along it, I could both feel and hear the tiny teeth making the noise – of course it’s a saw! – adapted for precision in cutting out minuscule designs. Also filed under “tiny and fascinating”.

Another one in this category last night was a regular sound which almost appeared as a “tick-tock” noise, but it wasn’t. We don’t have a clock in our bathroom – though we do in the main bathroom – so I ruled that one out immediately, and it didn’t sound quite right to be a clock ticking, though it was regular and rhythmic. I walked out of the bathroom and it grew fainter. There were no taps dripping or anything. I stood there, puzzled. Bear doesn’t wait any more for me to ask: he knows there’s a question coming just from the look on my face, and pointed to the cistern. “It’s the drip-drop of water from the cistern.”

Well, it blows me away to hear sounds that I can’t see. I picked out some running feet in the hubbub of a busy city centre yesterday, so was not surprised to find myself overtaken by a little girl rushing along in glee with her balloon. Cyclists on footpaths (how that annoys me!) don’t startle me so much any more when they approach from behind. I can hear the bell ringing (if they have THAT much consideration) or the swish of their approaching wheels. It’s a different note to the surrounding traffic so I can pick it out.

A friend told someone about my tendency to squirrel sounds away the way I do: under “machine”, “rustling”, etc. Apparently his response was that it was a very sound engineer thing to do. I’m a sound geek: a noise nerd, a collector of cacophony!

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