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Sounds like …

EarA old mechanic friend of mine told me that once in a while it’s good to drive along in your car for a few minutes with the radio off and just listen to the noise of your vehicle – as if you hear any strange sounds it may be the first sign that something is about to go mechanically kaput.

Well I wasn’t in a car, but I did find myself sitting very quietly on the loo [toliet] in the early hours of the morning the other day, and in doing so it enabled me to hear noises which I might not have normally heard otherwise, and – I think – will remind me of Charleston in years to come.

The trains. Now I gather that passengers services used to run into Charleston many years ago – but I can’t find any history (anyone?) on when they stopped. Charleston Amtrak railway station now is several miles uptown in North Charleston, but there are still tracks which wind their way down south for freight trains. And there are more than you might think – huge diesel locomotives, sometimes doubled up pulling a length of wagons as far as you can see and beyond from the docks in Charleston away into the heartland of the USA. And at night – always at night it seems – or in the early hours of the morning, they sound their horns as they pass slowly through rail road crossings. At 6am in the morning when the rest of the world is quiet, I can hear the horn of the trains from a mile away, and I like it.

The Citadel. Charleston’s Military College. I’m not sure what to call the noise, but I’m guessing it’s a bugle of some description. Normally I’m asleep at 6 in the morning, or have got the TV on or am playing music at 11 in the evening, and I don’t hear it – but being up for once and when the rest of the world is quiet, I could hear that days wake up call from several blocks away, and I liked it.

The birds. I incorrectly observed on my blog here many months ago that there didn’t seem to be the same amount of wildlife and animals out there that I was used to seeing back home. Maybe I needed my ‘quiet moment’ then to appreciate the beautiful sound a bird chirping which made me get up – flush – and then go and stand at the window and pick out the mottled red avian animal perched in the tree in back yard several feet away. And that, I really liked.

* Listens intently * … aaah, Charleston.

(And if you go quiet, what can you hear right now?)

18 responses to “Sounds like …”

  1. Bob H says:

    My girlfriend watching a badly dubbed Japanese cartoon on the other sofa. An airplane overhead and the oven fan cooking dinner.

  2. Paul Webb says:

    The surprisingly loud tick of my watch (a Elgin Pocket Watch dated 1919, thanks for asking – I gave up wearing a wrist watch some years ago).

  3. Yorkie says:

    My computer fans, the central heating boiler trying to light, my housemate upstairs on his wheeled chair, a struggling Peugeot 307 panda car going up the hill complete with siren.

  4. Yorkie says:

    Funny how the siren wasn’t loud enough to drown out the groaning engine as it passed the window.

  5. Simon says:

    I can hear the tube (going underneath), planes (overhead), eurostar (passing outside) and a load of 5-a-side football. All that drowns out the hummm of not much else.

  6. Ross says:

    A fridge behind me, TV in the next room (cartoon network), people walking down the corridor, monitoring machines beeping occasionally, the hum of the air conditioning, and the backgound rumble of Auckland traffic outside in the distance…..

    (And yep – Max is doing great – might be off home this weekend 🙂 )

  7. David - Lightwater - In Oregon says:

    San Francisco/ Berkeley, CA : Cars and trucks and other general road traffic. The bells from the UC Berkeley Clocktower, and the trains as you said geoff. Oh and also my first earthquake, a 3.4! http://www.usgs.gov

    Portland, OR : Trains again, more so than SF. Rain, rain, rain! Oh and my friends band practicing in the basement!

    London : Sirens and Big ben!

  8. David - Lightwater - In Oregon says:

    Cool, someone blog about the exact same earthquake! Thanks Geoff, nice research!

  9. Jono says:

    Matthew, gurgling and playing with his toys.

  10. Julia says:

    The whir of the fan in my laptop and the hum of the air con. Some filing 3 offices along

  11. ClaphamCommuter says:

    I think we get so used to noise, it’s really good to turn off tv’s/radios/stereos once in a while, and just
    have QUIET.It clears your head, and you can hear your own heartbeat if you’re lucky. Yoga and meditation devotees will
    know what I mean. Trying to empty your head of noise is very difficult. I like to sit on my morning train
    and do NOTHING.(I must be getting old, most young people seem to have to be plugged in to a gadget constantly)

  12. Wayne says:

    I hear a week-long theme developing 🙂

  13. leigh says:

    I was thinking about noise this morning as I was walking down East Bay St. I’m not a fan of loud, banging noises or big diesel engines- and they were all around me. I also find loud music distracting. All I can hear right now is my little heater fan going… ahhhh, white noise.

  14. geofftech says:

    #14 – Have a gold star sir!

    But can you predict in which order i’m going to do them all in? (And if you could find a piece if clip art that represents ‘touch’ that’d really come in handy, coz i’m struggling)

  15. ClaphamCommuter says:

    You could use the old Oyster ‘Touch in touch out’for your picture (If TFL will allow it)

  16. Philippa says:

    someone else’s music, someone yelling, and people chattering.. I live in halls.

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