Listen carefully

Today was the fourth World Listening Day. And I don’t mean the American one that happens the day after Thanksgiving and is for old timers to vent their spleens about what happened to them in the war. No, this World Listening Day is, in part, so people can take the time to listen to the soundscape around them.

It’s like what I do every morning: As I walk into Farnham, through the park, I listen to the birds, the wind through the trees, the sounds of dogs, faint traffic noise…the sort of things that people who constantly wear earplugs, could never understand.

The problem is that we don’t just take a few seconds to actually listen to the world. To be fair, we probably never have but, even so, it doesn’t stop a load of hippies deciding it would be a good idea to make everyone stand in a field with their eyes closed and their ears open.

The whole thing is a (sort of) homage to R. Murray Schafer, a Canadian composer who turned 80 on World Listening Day…so, today. He was also one of the founders of the Acoustic Ecology movement. He sounds exactly like a hippie, living in a Yurt and smiling a lot.

If you want to know more about World Listening Day, they have their very own website and it’s right here.

Most of my day, in fact, had the result of other people listening to me. Yes, it was a Talking Newspaper recording today. I was on the middle shift (Haslemere and Liphook) and, as usual, it was a lot of fun.

I was lucky enough to have Liz on my team this week. She is one of my favourites and she’s not been on with me for ages. Margaret was also on the team and she’s always good for a laugh. The third member was a chap called Chris who I’ve never worked with before. He was, obviously, quiet, particularly when you compare him to the two ladies and me.

Everything went smoothly and hilariously, though somewhat stuffy in the studio and I made it home in time to:

1. Listen to the last session of the cricket; and
2. Plant geraniums.

The cricket was far more exciting than the geraniums…however, they had to be planted while we’re in the middle of such a lethal heatwave or they’ll cark it. So, I prepared the bed outside the office and dotted the twelve plants around where the tulips recently bloomed.

I picked them on purpose in pinks and purple, blending in with the office. The three varieties I planted were: x riversleaianum ‘Russell Pritchard’, x oxonianum ‘Wargrave Pink’ and ‘Ann Folkard.’

Only two of them had flowers on them. These are they:


And the second one:


And speaking of small delicate flowers…Here’s a Nicktor health update…

The doctor said it was highly unlikely to be a stroke because stroke victims don’t vomit. ‘Probably nothing more than fainting – probably blood sugar dropping or something similar.’ He had blood tests, an x-ray on his foot and an ECG to check if his brain is still switched on. Of course, he was far more concerned about missing the cricket.

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