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It's Oh So Quiet

2007-02-07 kitchenWell, the place I'm staying at here in Leeds might be a student house (and therefore, by implication, something of a dump), but once my housemates have gone to bed, boy is it quiet. So quiet, in fact, that I can hear the blood circulating in my ears - an experience which I can last remember having during a trip to Greece in the 1980s - late in the afternoon, just before dusk, we visited a hilltop temple to Zeus on the Western Peloponnesian, some time after the last tourist group had left. Whether out of a sense of the sanctity of the location, or for other reasons, no birds were present anywhere in the surrounds, and I could hear my friends breathing quietly from metres away.

Here in a workers' suburb of Leeds, of course, it's probably not the fear of Zeus, but the fact that any migratory bird worth its beak would have hightailed it down south long ago which is responsible for the stillness, as well as the fact that most of the students don't seem to drive. But whatever the reasons, this quietude is most unexpected, and takes some getting used to. Much preferable to the alternative, though...

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