I love singing and sing choral works quite merrily, immersing myself in them totally, but here is a conundrum...I also love silence and I have noise intolerance.
I have never lost my startle reflex as completely as I should have done – I am sure there must be a picture of me covering my ears like the woman in this picture if only for some imagined emergency ahead, a ball coming towards me perhaps that I am supposed to catch. Mostly though I cover my ears to block out fire, ambulance and police sirens in the street and for a small market town we seem to get a lot of them – and cut to me the only person with fingers in her ears trying unsuccessfully to block out the high pitched searing through her head.
It took me ages to stop worrying that the landlady of the bed and breakfast I once stayed in wouldn’t know where I had stashed the clock that was in the room – the ticking was driving me demented. I had wrapped it in a towel and put it in a cupboard...middle of the night of course – why not take out the battery?
I am equally intolerant when radios in the house are above a certain level, when the central heating tithers in a way that only I can hear and when fan heaters are on and I can feel my body relax as the sound level is reduced and the jangling can stop.
If I want a blast – and I sometimes do – I have to be in control. Driving alone up the motorway for instance singing loudly to Tina Turner perhaps. Then I am perfectly OK!