One of the great joys of growing old is watching the bits fall off.
It’s a bit like an old car, where you begin to notice the bearings knocking and the odd bit of piston slap.
Considering my mileage, I’m not in too bad a shape, but there is one thing that causes some problems, and that is tinnitus.
I don’t know if any of you are familiar with this delightful little phenomenon, but it is a whistle. A quite loud, high frequency whistle. And I hear it all the time.
I don’t know exactly when it started, but I have had this whistle whistling in my head for quite a few years now. The Doc says it could be down to not wearing ear protectors when I’m out shooting. He could be right but I’m not going to lower my standards now. Ear protectors are poncey. I might sue myself for damages though?
I have long since learned to ignore the whistle, so it doesn’t bother me much, but it does have some weird side effects.
One is that I can’t listen to something if there is another noise. I can’t talk on the telephone if the television is on, and I can have difficulty conversing if there is a lot of background noise. Apart from that, I have exceptional hearing and can detect a foreign accent at huge distances [which may explain my higher than average score amongst the locals].
Also, sometimes I can have difficulty determining the direction of a sound.
I got up early this morning [another of the delights of age]. Later, I was minding my own business when the alarm went off in my mobile phone. I use it as an alarm clock.
I couldn’t see the phone around and started hunting. The strange thing was that wherever I searched, the phone seemed to be quite close. Sandy was getting quite agitated too, as she hates that alarm. I found it in the end. It was in my pocket.
One of the causes of tinnitus is prolonged exposure to loud noises.
So in forty or so years, we are going to have a generation frantically searching for their mobile phones.
Car stereos and iPods are going to have a lot to answer for.