noheadphonesThis morning, I realised just how much I dislike the sound of London. Most of the time I wander around in blissful ignorance of most things going on around me, aided and abetted by my mobile phone, last.fm and my lovely Bose headphones. I choose my soundtrack, and it makes the noise of the city easier to ignore.

This morning was another thing entirely. I left my phone at home. I can handle being without my email and twitter (she says knowingly *twitch*) but living without music makes me entirely too tetchy. This mornings journey was sound tracked by a man who kept making weird sounds and somehow sucking a cough sweet far too loudly, and clacking it against his teeth (ugh), someone ‘tutting’ at me for not having enough credit on my oyster card (I didn’t hold up the bus any longer – twat!) and a very loud pensioner, who, admittedly, wasn’t saying anything annoying, but he must have been slightly deaf so was shouting in order to hear himself…..which is probably what I’m going to be like when I’m his age for spending as many of my waking moments with headphones attached to my ears!

The general sound of London is everything that makes my toes curl. Even the windscreen wipers over frosted bus windows sounded like something that Boyd Rice would sample! Every sound I heard was out to unsettle me and all because I left my chosen sounds at home….yet some of the stuff I listen to, most people would classify as noise, so why do I find actual noise so irritating? Maybe it’s that there is a sense of order to my choice of noise? or that I choose to hear it – it’s not like I can create a sense of order in the sounds the world makes – if we could, it would be brilliant! Like having a giant remote control, so babies made lovely noises when crying, and you could change the sound of a pneumatic drill to that of a 42 piece orchestra, but no.

What do I get out of all this though? Is it that I am starting to find living in London a bad idea, and that I long for an area of utter silence where I can choose what I hear, or that tomorrow, I should remember my phone? I think it’s a mixture of the two!

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