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I'm Jane McIntyre, a voiceover and writer, formerly an award-winning BBC radio newsreader and producer. My blog covers life, love and loss; travel, coffee and chocolate; with some heartfelt pieces in the mix about my late dad, who had dementia. Just a click away, I'm half of the team behind - two empty nesters who whizzed round the world in 57 days.

Monday, 12 November 2012

When you say nothing at all.....

Did you see that bit in the Sunday Times magazine about who talks the most? Matt Rudd referred to a survey suggesting that women speak 21,000 words a day; men, 7,000. Really?

Most days, it would be pretty tough to calculate your talk-tally, whatever your gender.

But today, for me, it was easy. I`ve just totted it up. And realised that since 10 a.m; (it`s now nearly 5.30 p.m ) I`ve spoken eight words out loud. All day.

These gems were; at Asda: `Pump seven please.` Thanks`. And ....` F*CK, that was close` (to nobody in particular, ten minutes ago, when I almost posted my i-phone, instead of a letter, into the little box down the lane).

Today, I`ve had jobs to do around the house, emails to write, three days away from home to plan, and a satnav to set. I`ve been on Twitter, (quite a bit ) written and received texts, listened to the radio and run a mile and a quarter through the kitchen (on a treadmill) while singing (loudly, and badly).

So it hasn`t been silent. Just without human conversation . It`s felt fine. And donkeys` hind legs the world over are a little safer.

Being at home during the day is such a contrast to all the years I spent in screamingly noisy newsrooms; sometimes longing for people (certain people in particular...) to shut the hell UP. Some days I`d have killed (probably) for a bit of quiet. God knows what the decibel levels were like in the early days-- the constant drone of banter, the clattering of (yes, really...) typewriters, and phones ringing non stop. Oh and London traffic right outside the door. There were subs shouting at you from the other side of the room because they didn`t have your copy...then shouting at you all over again once they`d read it. B*stards. These days journalism can be a whole lot still get the banter and the shouting ...but there are no thundering qwertyuiops, and many of those calls to contacts get replaced by a quietly tapped out email. Oh and the offices are double glazed.

Decades later, in my home `office`, I know that if I get cabin fever I can make a call or send a text, and meet up with a friend. I feel incredibly lucky to have the choice. And at some stage this evening, the house will be full of noise and news, company and cooking, laughter and chat, TV and music....and I`ll enjoy that too.

Real silence can be a luxury. It can be so powerful and poignant, as we saw this Sunday, when a nation stood together on Remembrance Day to think about lives and loves lost; selflessness and heroism. But true, lonely silence--that aching, `nobody`s calling`, `no-one to talk to` kind of silence must, at times, be deafening, and desperate. I hope I never hear it.

+How about you? Would it drive you mad to be alone in the house all day? Do women `really` talk more than men...what...all of them? I`d love to hear what you think.

1 comment:

  1. The joys of being a continental truck driver !! You can decide if you want to talk to yourself or not , if you do decide to , you can decide whether you want to listen or not!! But ,, it gets silly when you atart arguing with yourself because you wernt listening !! And there only so many times you can tell yourself the same jokes !! "The Lonliness Of A long Distance Truck Driver" Thats probably why i talk to much now !! 40 years of talking to yourself , listening to yourself , arguing with yourself and telling yourself the same old jokes !! . Off to take my medication now !!