Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Ask Not For Whom The Burglar Alarm Tolls. It Tolls For Me. And It Keeps On A-Tolling

This morning, as yesterday, I awoke to the sound of a burglar alarm. The house opposite the Old Manse, a council property, has been unoccupied for some time, and empty, as far as I know, of valuables. The burglar alarm, as well as being unnecessary, is sensitive enough to be triggered by the flap of a starling's wing, the wisping of the breeze, or the cracking of thin frost, and can usefully be relied upon to ring from November to March. In spring, when the gales arrive, it starts again.
At first, I tried telephoning the police, to no avail. The Peebles Constabulary are a law unto themselves, and prefer tackling crime to answering the phone. (It is worth noting that most of the crime they are intent on tackling seems to take place within the womb-like vestibule of Big Eb's chip shop). I telephoned the council, too, and was rewarded with an electronic answering service which required something called a touch-tone keypad - an accoutrement which is beyond the means of my Trimphone.
And so the ringing continues. Sometimes, as the noise of the day builds up, it recedes, and it is possible to believe that the bell no longer tolls. Then, as the traffic dwindles, and the jets fly by, it begins again, an alarm with no cause or purpose, other than to irritate, endlessly.
It is like tinnitus, but less fun.


Anonymous said...

Pheeew! I was just begining to worry about you. Over 2 months since you've been seen! I expect you've been busy perfecting your Charles Laughton/'Hunchback of Notre Dame' impersonation: "The bells! The bells!"

Happy (and silent) New Year.

Kirk Elder said...

Ah, Mr Duff, thank you for your concern. The bells, thankfully, have stopped. Apologies for my recent invisibility. I was waiting for a) the world to end or b) Mr Robert Peston to disappear in an explosion of self-regard.

Anonymous said...

Well that's a relief. I began to entertain the baneful possibility that the Kirkelder silence was occasioned by an admirably stoic response to 'something terminal' - like a new and architecturally excrescent Peebles bus station.

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