The calm, sunny stillness of Weymouth Town centre at 9am on New Year’s Day, sprinkled here and there by the cackles and hoots of revellers still not yet in bed.
The refreshing quietitude of a town largely emptied of traffic, and friendly exchanges of ‘Happy New Year’ between us and strangers we met – mostly well-mannered older folks, out early, taking the air.
The soft fizzes of foam bristling on the sand as we walked along the seafront from Weymouth to Bowleaze.
The skitter, skitter, panning sound of dogs patrolling their favourite walking spots and circling their owners excitedly.
The sucky farts of mud around our walking boots as we tramped up through the forest, interspersed by softer, crunchier sounds in places where the shade had kept the ground frozen.
The brittle snap of dead wood twigs, being collected for a small fire.
The initially excited flare and quick silence of matches struck on a windy beach. Many times.
The hopeful sound of steam whining from twigs as heat takes inside them and eventually the fine, snapping sound of a healthful blaze in a wood-burning camping stove. A sound that meant tea would be soon.
The percussive rise and fall of brisk sea waves against pebbly shelves, which was so loud when we were sat on the beach, and so remote when we were walking on White Nothe.
The inescapable sounds of our own clothes brushing against themselves as we walked, mixed with the sounds of our breathing as we ascended steep hills or descended them, breathless and dizzy. Heartbeats and respiration rising and falling with the lay of the land.
The sudden sound of crowds and cars; various foootwear hitting the ground, much bustle, the rustle of bodies and all their clothes, snatches of chatter… the inevitable soundscape surrounding crowd-pleasing sights such as these!
The happy quiet of being too tired to say anything at the end of a brilliant day.
The lovely deep, bassy boom of a roaring hot tap into a cavernous bath and the almost indiscernible crunch of clean white bedlinen.