Sunday, 6 September 2009
My smoke alarm went off this morning. When I say my I don't mean one fitted to my person but one fitted in my house and therefore belonging to me. But I'm sure that you knew that's what I meant anyway.
I'd already been alerted twice to life in other places by the ring of my telephone. The washing machine won't stop yelling at me when it's done its stuff until I switch it off. I usually open the door and take out the washing and am walking away when it emits its next yell because I have failed to throw that switch (actually turn that knob). My cellphone vibrates in my pocket and gently comes to life to remind me that I have a call to make, a pill to take, an appointment to keep, a TV programme to watch or record and a myriad of other things my memory may otherwise fail to recall at the correct time. Timers tell me when the pasta has had it's 11 minutes, my Christmas cakes have been in the oven for 6 hours - I shan't go on about timers. The breadmaker beeps loudly on two separate occasions during a cycle. The fridge yells if it gets too warm. It's been a really noisy morning.
I don't use an alarm clock - there are three in the house - unless I'm going off on the early ferry. I don't have a doorbell - people just walk in. Sometimes they knock first. Usually they are halfway into the hall before they yell 'hello'.
Oh for life in New Zealand where, apart from the occasional use of a cellphone reminder and phone calls, the only thing that has ever foxed me was a quiet beep which the dishwasher emitted every so often when I had emptied it but not switched it off.
PS. Since I wrote the above several hours ago my computers have made all sorts of noises at me and the world in general as has my camera. What next?