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Dean Whitbread 2013

Dean Whitbread 2020

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Written on October 1, 2009, and categorized as Flip side.
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Woke up this morning rested after a night’s sleep. That might seem like an obvious thing to say, but I still vividly recall the effects of my then over-active thyroid which reduced my physical health and took a toll on my emotional health, and this is perhaps why I value sleep, real, deep, blissful sleep so highly.

When I have slept, I am content, full of love, charming and productive. When I have interrupted sleep, night after night, I live in a world of snatched catnaps, dark glasses, and desire for the life of a hermit, deep in a cave, or perhaps by the sea, where the endless white noise of water will wash away all before it.

I read recently that London has become ten times more noisy in the last ten years, and I’d say that was about right. Recently there has been a new addition to my local urban audio environment – someone is running a generator, not every night, but most nights. It could be a loud sound a block away, a medium level sound within the block, or a quiet sound very close. It’s not numbers one or three, ergo, it’s somebody running something in the building – maybe a heater, or a fish tank pump, or some strange illegal activity which draws power enough to make the bricks shake… my mind has had many sleepless hours to think about this.

Noise travels somewhat counter to expectation – if you have ever found the bass trap in a room by standing in the doorway, you’ll know what I mean. It seems that my bedroom – specifically the wall against which I place my pillow – is acting like the resonant skin of a drum, amplifying this annoying but otherwise ignorable sound so that it becomes a sleep-denying torture.

Ear plugs don’t work, because the noise is a mid to low-frequency vibration. It’s not a steady hum, it’s a pulse – that’s why I think it could be a generator. It’s not me, either – I have in desperation at 2am left for my girlfriend’s place, where the occasional knocks and bangs of her highrise block seem like a beautiful lullaby. It’s not tinnitus. Yes, I am sensitive, but I also checked with my neighbours. They can hear it. It also bothers them. It’s not loud enough for the council’s Noise Patrol to find, and if they can’t find it, then they can’t act. Here’s the worst thing – my ultra-sensitive girlfriend can’t even hear it.

What is it? I need to know. I have sabotage ready and waiting.

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One Comment

  1. Posted 13 October, 2009 at 12:05 am | Permalink

    sounds like torture! maybe it's Harvey?

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