Questions asked, answers given, meetings arranged and meetings attended.

People talking in person and people talking in email, phone calls, mobile calls, answerphone messages.

Talk, talk, talk.

It reaches a crescendo at certain times of the day and then quietens only for the volume to be raised a little later.

There is a lot of noise.

Not a lot of silence.

It’s hard to slow down, to withdraw and refresh in the average day.

This is the job: People. So noise is not going to go away.

In fact I like noise, I like people, I like listening and I like talking.

People to listen and people to talk to.

But, and perhaps this is getting more acute as a I get older, I also need moments of quiet.

My strange lust for noise, with its irresistible pull means I create more noise, even when I don’t need to.

When I come downstairs I turn the radio on and Chris Evans talks to me from the DAB in the corner.  I then get in the car to travel to work and John Humphries begs for my attention.

Talk and more talk.

I crave and fear silence. I am stuck in stasis between wanting to be part of the conversation  and wanting to disengage from it.

So this morning it will be different.  I’ve heard Chris and I switch on John in the car, but only briefly.

The news tells me of developments in the coalition government’s health bill and some story that the media have, in my opinion, inflated to make it newsworthy.

The tarmac hums beneath my tyres and the gear stick clunks as I shift into fourth.

I’m suddenly more aware; the work that my ears have been doing means they are still alert, only this time to other sounds.

My car engine, the noise of the road; we move from older to newer, smoother tarmac…

My ears talk to my eyes sneakily without me knowing. Numskulls at work?

I notice the trees and colours invade my consciousness.

This silence, brief though it will be has brought presence; an awareness of and engagement with my here and now.