Location: Village Green, Woodcote, Oxfordshire, UK
Date: 12th May 2020
Time: 08:57 – 09:12
Weather: Sunny, light cloud with a moderate breeze
Average Sound Level: 40.8dBSPL (LAeq)
The deep, azure sky is lined from east to west with a ripple of cirrus-like cloud, arching in a long, vast canopy. Crows silently parade the cricket pitch while a robin’s abrupt alarm calls cut through the bed of pigeon coos and blackbird song. Hollers across the park: “coming in for a cuppa?”. I spot two ladies walking from the village hall, chatting, comfortable with their presence and each other. They call out to a friend “Hiya, you alright?” and disappear behind the school hedge. Two chirping toots from a car horn suggest friendly recognition, more than irritation. The flow of traffic seems evenly spaced, framing intermittent silences in which birdsong and the buzz of insects draw my attention back to the bench. Short measures of hammering, sound in the distance, rebounding off the school buildings behind me, making their origins difficult to locate. Yesterday’s piercing northerly wind has quietened to a gentle, cold breeze, but my hands and feet have not warmed. My mind does not mirror the expanse of the sky, it is not open to context and connection, but stays constricted like the blood vessels in my hands, closed and immanent.