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The search for silence

(54 Posts)
thatbags Fri 21-Mar-14 11:28:21

The search for silence in the modern world. The author asks if we have become inured to unnecessary noise. Answering for myself: no.

jinglbellsfrocks Fri 21-Mar-14 11:39:08

I think it is possible to hear the silence underneath the sounds of modern day living. Sometimes anyway.

jinglbellsfrocks Fri 21-Mar-14 11:39:57

Perhaps that is being inured!

Mishap Fri 21-Mar-14 12:22:58

It is wonderful here in the summer - you can sit outside and all you can hear is birdsong and the occasional cow fart. This is why we stay, in spite of the fact that the house is entirely unsuitable for two old crocks. That and the view.

penguinpaperback Fri 21-Mar-14 12:31:31

I'm sitting here listening to the comforting tick of a large wall clock. I turn off TV, radio as soon as a programme is finished. We have a mother and adult son next door and soon it will be BBQ and music every weekend during summer. Moan over.

MiceElf Fri 21-Mar-14 12:53:47

I'm not either. But living in a city it's often hard to escape.

Interestingly, the church I attend is extremely close to one of the Olympic venues. During the games we had a team of volunteers who kept the church open just for silence.

We put a poster outside inviting anyone to come in for rest, silence and peace. Nothing else. It was astonishing how many visitors from all over the world came in, sat for a time and then went about their pursuits clearly refreshed.

TAB12 Fri 21-Mar-14 13:06:43

PENGUIN I too find the ticking sound of a clock comforting, the rest of my family truly hate it--nice to know I am not alonesmile

bikergran Fri 21-Mar-14 13:11:08

I too do not like the sound of a ticking clock, if I sleep in the other room, the first thin that is done is the clock off the wall and the battery out.

Galen Fri 21-Mar-14 13:12:44

Mishap I'm very much the same. Very little traffic in this road and in summer when I sit outside I can hear the birds singing and the bees humming in the lavender bush and smell the perfume of my citrus trees.

Nelliemoser Fri 21-Mar-14 13:37:09

I live just less than 2miles east of the M6. It was only when I went to DDs new house on an fairly busy and tightly packed estate to the west of Sheffield did I notice how quiet it was up there. The reason for this peace and quiet was just the lack of the constant Motorway tyre noise. We are never really free of that here

annodomini Fri 21-Mar-14 14:39:18

Our first house was less than a mile from a major interchange on the M1. It was surprising how quickly we developed selective deafness and never really noticed the noise.

HollyDaze Fri 21-Mar-14 15:22:54

I used to tut and huff about the volume of traffic on my road between 7.30am and 8.30am and then 5.30pm and 6.30pm - the sound of cars used to irritate me when sitting in the garden. Then I went to London for a few days - it put things into perspective.

janerowena Fri 21-Mar-14 15:28:30

I wonder if it's what you are used to, growing up. I was brought up in deepest countryside, and whilst I could cope with town living as a young newly-wed, after a few years it started to get to me and if I have to stay in a city, I have to take sleeping tablets and/or wear ear plugs.

dustyangel Fri 21-Mar-14 15:39:14

I too am lucky enough to live in a place similar to Mishap and Galen.
One of the fist things that visitors comment on is the peace and tranquillity.

grannyactivist Fri 21-Mar-14 16:03:52

I used to live quite near to a railway line and very quickly tuned out the noise of trains passing by. I now live on a busyish road where the traffic can be heard at the front of the house, but again the traffic noise doesn't permeate my consciousness. What I can't cope with is TV/radio/music as background noise. I don't have anything switched on unless I'm actively listening to it.
I love the natural sounds I hear though; the rooks fighting for nest space in the tree opposite, the sounds of sea and river, and the wind in the trees.

annodomini Fri 21-Mar-14 16:09:51

The road I live on is quite busy but I have put in good double glazing which helps to shut out the noise. We had a quiet cul de sac in our Norfolk village but the peace was often shattered by low-flying jets from the nearby RAF and American bases.

granjura Fri 21-Mar-14 16:21:18

Cow bells and tractors - I can live with that smile

Nonnie Fri 21-Mar-14 16:24:17

I have lived near a railway station (steam trains!) in a suburb and in a noisy area. In each case I was able to tune out the particular noise but hear anything unusual no matter how slight the noise. Now we live where the only sounds are nature and if the wind is in the right direction a distant neighbour's wind chimes. I love living in the peace and quiet and won't go back to anywhere with noise.

mollie Fri 21-Mar-14 16:26:11

I have tinnitus so am bombarded by white noise the whole time. I do notice almost total silence (apart from the tinnitus) when we go on holiday into the countryside and are miles away from a town or a major road - bliss. Can't imagine what life must have been like hundreds of years ago - now we have things buzzing and bleeping and whizzing and whirring at us all the time. And I see that last week there were complaints that the new quieter F1 engines weren't noisy enough! So next race they'll be deliberately louder!

cazthebookworm Sat 22-Mar-14 09:27:53

Unecessary noise!! Like the horrible man downstairs to me giving huge belches several times a day, caused no doubt by the 2 litre bottles of cider he consumes regularly. Plus he has a dog called "Boo," whom he calls out to 20-30 times a day. I suppose it could be worse, at least it is quiet during the evenings, I think he is crashed out!!

jinglbellsfrocks Sat 22-Mar-14 09:37:13

mollie that is so "boys' toys" isn't it, about the F1 engines. hmm

merlotgran Sat 22-Mar-14 09:51:20

We live very close to a railway line and like ga, we only notice the trains when somebody else points them out.

We lived alongside a busy A road for seven years and I hated the noise. I slept in a small back bedroom which helped a bit but when we moved back to the farm I rejoiced in the peace and quiet. There's something about the sound of distant church bells accompanied by a tractor working in an adjacent field. smile

Lona Sat 22-Mar-14 10:04:14

I love sitting in silence with my old wall clock ticking (and chiming!) and the sound of sirens from the police station and fire station just up the road!


Dragonfly1 Sat 22-Mar-14 10:20:21

Mishap, just read this thread and have to say the image of you and Mr M sitting in garden chairs being serenaded by farting cows has made me chuckle. Love it! grin

ffinnochio Sat 22-Mar-14 10:24:44

We moved from the SE of England which was busy and noisy - but we were a busy and noisy family at the time - so it seemed to fit the bill somewhat. Then we moved to this part of France, where it is very, very quiet & calm. At first I found it unnerving, but after a couple of years the silence became the most marvellous gift, and now it's as necessary to me as breathing. It is one of the reasons we've decided to stay here after all.

I do miss, at times, the buzz and energy of city living, but I can get that in short bursts, knowing I have this here.

Certainly my tolerance to noise has diminished considerably.