Wednesday, 14 March 2012


On my lunch-break yesterday I found the last of the dwindling sun and, resisting the urge to curl up like a cat and fall asleep in it, I closed my eyes and opened my ears. At first I was struck by the quiet, so uncharacteristic of this place, then I began to notice a cacophony of different sounds, rising in almost-harmony like an orchestra tuning before a performance. For once I stopped and listened, and this is what I heard:

footsteps clattering down a side-street; the squeak of an opening door; the rustle of plastic as a man opened his lunch; a child's laughter to my right, and a child's complaint at my far left; the harsh call of a crow overhead; the distant echo of another's reply; the sweeter, shriller call of a different bird in the trees ahead of me; the click of a car door; the wind rustling through the leaves; a joke from the men eating their lunch (deep laughter); the plastic wheels of a child's toy rolling awkwardly on stone; someone sweeping the dusty ground below (there will be water there in summer); a train rumbling in the distance; the station jingle bouncing off the platforms; and finally - voices from long ago, in a memory that felt much closer than it had for some time.