Wednesday, 12 September 2007


The morning started very quietly today, there was very little wind and everything seemed still.

This is the first full week of the autumn term and so we are all settling back into our school-time routines. The quietness of the morning seemed to emphasise the return to a more structured time-table.

I took a detour on the way home from dropping off at school to pick a few blackberries. Just half a mile outside the village there was little sound, apart from the cawing of some birds pecking for grain amongst the stubble of the harvested fields and in the distance, across the fields, the sound of the children at the primary school that my children used to go to, playing outside before the start of school.

It was misty and slightly damp, it seemed as if I could almost feel the countryside beginning to slow down in preparation for winter.

I like quiet. When I am driving or when I am in the house by myself, I rarely listen to music or to the radio preferring to lose myself in my thoughts in silence.

As we have become more aware of our energy use and have not replaced appliances as they have worn out, I find that there are more moments when there is complete quiet in the house. No longer any whirring of a dishwasher or breadmaker, often the only thing switched on in the house is the fridge.

Until recently this must have been the level of noise in most homes. A couple of generations ago there may not have been a fridge.

Electricity came to our village in 1936. According to a local history booklet,

"The Wessex Electricity Company installed three lights and one 15 amp 3 pin plug free for each new customer."

-not much scope for a lot of electrical appliances then.

I wonder if the continual background noise we are subjected to, aircraft, traffic, etc, apart from the noise we generate ourselves, contributes to the general level of busy-ness and stress that many complain of today.

Perhaps in the future as we are forced to cut back on our energy use, amongst the many disadvantages will be the benefit of a quieter,calmer environment.

The photographs were taken during my blackberry picking walk this morning.


Heather said...

Oh I loved your pictures! They were so restful and it is the next best thing to being able to experience that myself. I agree with you on noise! I used to love listening to the radio, but not find it very hard to tolerate the noise, or the noise of the fan going, etc. Even the noise of the fridge is irritating at times. :) The sounds of nature are lovely though.

Jill said...

What beautiful thoughts and pictures. There is something about a beautfiul misty English morning, who said rain had to be bleak.

the flour loft said...

Good morning Willow. Loved this post and the last one too. Thank you for making me take time to think... i love quiet.. it makes me feel peaceful and gives opportunity to reflect and to think. I have a day to myself today after walking the girls to school, so i am going to grasp the opportunity of having some 'quiet' time. Beautiful misty photos. Autumn feels like its going to be a 'proper' season!

Alison said...

The countryside is lovely when it is like this isn't it.
Take care,

Rowan said...

This is such a lovely post and beautiful photographs too. I came here via Tash at Vintage Pretty. I so agree with all that you say about noise, one thing I hate about the modern world is the constant bombardment of noise especially canned music in every store and even the banks and the doctor's surgery. People seem almost afraid of silence these days. I've put your blog among my favourites and will be back.

Jenny said...

What beautiful autumn pictures. I too love the quiet but we are in the middle of school holidays now so the only quiet is early in the morning. I think peace and quiet is a rare commodity in many busy lives.

Wild Rose said...

Hi Willow

What a delightful post. Thank you for sharing a moment of quiet.

Living in a city, I am all too aware of the constant noise that bombards us every day. In fact, the last time we escaped to Nova Scotia for a holiday, it was so quiet the first night that the silence was deafening! My ears were buzzing with the road noise of a long journey.

How I long to be greeted by the sound of silence in the morning.

Marie x

tash said...

Such a lovely post. I love misty Autumn morn. When I lived in Lincolnshire, fogs would sometimes last for over a week, which could be a bit bleak, but beautiful.

As for your points about electricity and noise, I don't think we're as happy as many people used to be - but for such different reasons than imagined. We have less to do because we have things like washing machines and vacuum cleaners to do it all for us, but what we've lost is the care and love of doing things for ourselves. We seem so reliant on our jobs to keep us in cars and washing machines that we've lost sight of being able to live, to really live.

Though there were and always will be money worries, they have changed - money was to buy the basics, whereas we now have to "compete" which is as insanity-making as one can get. I'm all for smaller footprints, less things and a quieter, simpler life. Amen!

Miles Away In France said...

great post, you really made me think about the noise in my house.
My laptop makes a constant noise from the fan inside it so that alone is something continuosly in the background. Noise is very stressful so I bet it is a big part of the reason that life is so stressful nowadays and also the increase in depression sufferers.

Racheal x