Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Wednesday, 17 June 2015
Alone in a crowd
I have finally bought myself one of these - a 4G iPod Mini. When Green-Eyes was a child, these were the must-haves, but now, of course, the phones have taken over.
I am going to wipe all the music off it and replace it with the complete series of 'On Mardle Fen', plus all sorts of other audio dramatisations which I will spend bleak Winter nights listening to in bed as a blissful form of escapism.
Mine is second-hand from eBay, and I came upon it - having just decided to get one - about 3 minutes before the end of the sale, so I got it for £10.50 including postage. Most of them sell for around £25 - £40, so I am quite pleased with myself.
When these things first came out, you had to be very careful not to kill people stepping deafly off the pavement when driving through town, and these days I spend most of my time walking through town, trying to avoid the 50% of fellow pedestrians who cannot leave their phones alone for more than a minute, and who cannot walk and use their thumbs at the same time. I feel a rant coming on.
You can blame these iPods for the sole reason why Ambulance, Police and Fire sirens are ear-splittingly and dangerously loud these days. They have to be set to that level so that they cut through the loud music being played in the ears of their users, but I reckon it would be a good - if a little drastic - way of teaching others that it is not appropriate to walk around permanently surrounded by 125 decibel concert-level music. If they were to survive being hit by trucks, they are going to deafen themselves anyway, so will only be hit by a truck later, even when they are not listening to music.
I almost got killed the first day I walked through Amsterdam, because I didn't associate the rather melodic bell chimes with the 50 ton tram which was bearing down on me with no intention of stopping. I was pulled out of its path by a local, but I was too shocked to thank him properly.
I don't know about you, but I hate being isolated from ambient sound when I walk around town - or, especially, the countryside. Never mind the safety aspect of it - to get the best out of any walk is to hear birdsong, dogs barking, people's snippets of conversation etc. behind the traffic noise. It's all part of the experience, isn't it?