It’s one of those rare times when I can’t quite decide what to write. There is plenty to write about, all sorts of things. I was thinking today about annoying sounds – not just irritating noises, but the sort of sound which makes you wince and sets your teeth on edge. Back in the olden days, when I was young, such a sound was described as being like chalk squeaking on what is now called a chalkboard. Other painfully annoying sounds can be heard in a railway station, that ear-piercing squeal that can cause a whole platform of people to grimace , recoil and shudder. Many or most people would agree about these two examples, but there are noises and sounds which can commonly upset and even distress people which leave others untroubled. My boss used to hate the sound of other people eating, the sound of crunching and chewing as well as slurping and sipping. Then there’s the whole range of annoying noises people make when they sleep – but of course what also makes noise in that setting worse is that the listener is usually trying to sleep themselves. There is a name for this annoying condition, or maybe intense intolerance, misophonia and if you look on Wikipedia there’s some interesting information about it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Misophonia , which is described as ‘selective sound sensitivity syndrome, sound-rage’.
Misophonia is only one thing which I could write about, and my own personal idiosyncratic attitude to certain quite innocent everyday sounds and noises. I could also update on our pathetic gardening exploits – I wish it was as much of a pleasure as it is to other people, who find working in their garden a joy and relaxing and revitalising. In our garden – it’s not so much ‘red in tooth and claw,’ as ‘green in root and shoot’; I think we must have an underground water course, the soil never dries and brambles and ivy never die. Today I could have written about Easter when I was young, or the family holidays we went on with my four cousins, partners, children and latterly grandchildren. I could have written about the tomato salad, the raita /tzatziki and the şakşuka I’ve been making.
All these things I could have written about, if only I could decide what to write!
On hearing a snail eating a radish
Dear Ms. Elsden I share your consternation about what to write.
And I would humbly suggest that if the Muse is away from home, do please tell me of your adventures with Polly, Germier, Rusty and Singin on that far away island known to the “Water Gang” as “Dead Man’s Resting Place”.
I of course as you know well continue to go in search of the noises of spring but have yet to hear a snail eating a radish or the long lament by a fallen dandelion for its first burst of flower.
Yours in perpetual confidence that Wagon Wheels will be restored to their former size, Andy Pandy will return to our screens, and Eric Braithwaite will find the love of his life behind the gas works wall hard by Bagshot’s Skin and Bone Emporium
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Thank you so much Mr Nospmis for you kind comments, I sincerely wish that your musings above may appear in the Beech Road ramblings of your associate. Please send my kind regards to Mrs Trellis, and hoping this finds you as it leaves me… or something
Dear Ms. Elsden that is a name I haven’t heard for half a century and comes from a time when I styled myself the “Wordsmith of Old Withington Village”, alas Mrs. Trellis ran off with a second hand fish and chip dealer and now lives on a converted Hull trawler, but speaks fondly of the time the two of you shared a bag of winkles behind the Cambridge Hall of Varieties.