Senses. Hearing, touch, taste, seeing, smell…
Where you live, work and socialise changes the way your body uses those senses.
Sometimes, without realising it, you stop using one or other of your faculties because the situation, circumstance or environment demands it.
Living on a main road for the past three years has meant a constant drone of cars past our door twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.
I didn’t know until I started living here, how sensitive my hearing was. I knew that I had quite good hearing in the sense that I could hear both sides of a telephone conversation from the far end of a small office, but I didn’t realise that that was a skill developed through many years of using a telephone for work, that over a period of time, this intensive labour had given me a sensitivity that suddenly, with the constant traffic noise, became a real problem.
I spoke to the neighbours who’d lived here for years and they didn’t consider the traffic noise something they would campaign against, but I felt really lost as a pedestrian, every morning and evening, going to bed with the drone, waking to the drone and walking along the road trying to cross through a seamless corridor of lorry and car metal to get the 100 bus which might be late or missing or full of people patiently concentrating on getting to their destination.
When notice of the new A612 road began to become a topic of conversation and discussion, the way it was approached and considered was never from the perspective of quality of pedestrian life that might come out of the building but, from the beginning, about financial compensation for local people and an awareness that local motorists might be annoyed at having to lose their short cut along Burton Road because of the bus plug.
Well I love the bus plug because I can hear the birds, have conversations with people who have started to walk down it regularly, as I wait for the still problematic 100 bus service (and its beleaguered drivers).
As I go running along it, I think about how beautiful this area must have been before the encroachment of bypass mania.