I grew up in a world of noise, we always turned up the volume otherwise you could not hear it so well. Dad was the specialist. After 5 years on the heavy canons in the war folowed by many years working in a factory, his decibel quota had been completed. Our telephone would ring at home, but dad never heard it. He would be sitting next to the phone, and in those days there were no fancy songs played on the phone, it was a ring-ring contantly but dad just carried on reading his newspaper. It was not that he did not want to hear the phone, but he was in his noise immune world.
Somehow mum discovered that it was possible to have a extra telephone bell in another room, so we had it fixed in the corridor – halls were not existent in 1884 when our house was built, neither were inside toilets or running hot water. Electricity was only added in the 20th centuary and telehones were not yet invented.
Now we were prepared and when the telephone rang the street could hear it with the additional bell, only not dad.
Although I would add that mum’s family were programmed to loud. Her sisters never actually had a conversation. As aunts they were perfect, but they never actually spoke to you, it was more a shouting match. Of course, mum also belonged to the club, although she always said that dad would not hear her otherwise as an excuse.
Time goes on, mum and dad and her sisters are no longer amongst us, but one thing must be said, I can still hear their voices today, a sort of lingering echo from the grave. Me? I am convinced I have a normal voice, although Mr. Swiss has now and again mentioned that perhaps I should turn down the volume as the neighbours are probably sharing our conversation. I suppose it must be in the genes. Although if you are married to a hobby drummer, I suppose you do not notice the volume eventually.