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Bottling Life's Pleasures. Thursday February 16, 2017

This week I was looking through a cardboard box of books and CDs which has remained undisturbed since I moved some years ago.

I have been feeling ok recently. The mid-February days in my village are a little brighter and I hear the beginnings of the year's birdsong. From now until May/June our british birds will be ramping up their chorus which is something to look forward to.

These sounds, when I am well and can hear them, make me happy. Sometimes I listen to spring birdsong recordings in the middle of December, a bit like using a daylight lamp to help with SAD.

As I flipped through the contents of this box I was thinking about noise associations or triggers. Sights, sounds and smells can all evoke emotionally charged memories, sometimes in the background, below the surface. I started to make a mental list of good noise and bad, of sounds to bottle or to avoid. For instance I love the descending scale of the chaffinch but hate the ring ring of the telephone. I have never been relaxed about telephones but that's another story.

I threw out most of the CDs but 'Sounds of the Rainforest' caught my eye, originally free with a weekend paper! I speed-listened through various macaws, howlers and horned screamers until I came upon track 26, the most beautiful unnamed exotic birdsong!

Now, smartphones have many uses... but shrill, jangling ringtones that break the peace, harbingers of unwanted calls or worse, hmm!

After a little research on the internet I managed to install this one track as... yes you guessed... a ringtone! Now when I get a call it starts with a whisper of dripping trees, the distant rumbles of a receding storm, frogs and the evening song of the amazonian mystery bird. For the time being I am happy to be contacted by phone.

Incidentally I looked into the ethical and permitted usage of this recording and that seems ok too.

Terence x
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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Mary Wednesday Thu, Feb 16th 2017 @ 2:01am

Ah ha! Terence - I love that you have been able to install this wonderful song as your ringside. You may be able to recommend a website I can go to in order to learn how to distinguish our native bird songs. So often I can hear a bird but not see ithe and, although I am pretty good at naming the birds I can see and can at least tell a Robin from a blackbird from a blue tit, it frustrates me that I can't recognise each British bird at least from their song. All advice gratefully received. And... I enjoyed your blog very much. I too hate the insistent sound of the classic ringing telephone.

Erica Thu, Feb 16th 2017 @ 8:32am

If you explore the world of Apps for phones and tablets, you will find some bird calls which will help you identify real birds.

Sally Thu, Feb 16th 2017 @ 9:04am

Thank you Erica . But how DO I explore the world of Apps? ( here speaks an over sixty I'm afraid!)

Terence Thu, Feb 16th 2017 @ 7:43pm

If it's for British birds then try the RSPB website which has audio for each bird. I guess a lot of countries have something similar.

Leah Thu, Feb 16th 2017 @ 4:05am

What an interesting blog.
I find animal noises as ringtones rather confusing and annoying. I don't mean sweet bird tones but a rooster crowing, a dog bark or a cat screeching. I have heard them all!!I think the most annoying ringtone is the sound of a crying baby!!
A crying baby in real life I can handle but as a ringtone- not appropriate.

I find a noise can bee annoying in one mood and then in another I have no problem with it.
Thanks again.

Pablo Thu, Feb 16th 2017 @ 7:59am

I still smile at Crazy Frog as a ringtone.

Erica Thu, Feb 16th 2017 @ 8:30am

What a great story. I used to have a beautiful little bird song on an old, old, Samsung clamshell phone. Something like a wren, but more tropical. The fact that it starts quietly, and slowly fills the space with a beautiful, unexpected glimpse of nature was lovely. No-one ever minded if I ever forgot to mute my phone in a meeting! Thank you for a lovely story.

Sally Thu, Feb 16th 2017 @ 8:30am

Hi Terence,
I enjoyed your blog very much. You write very well. So, welcome to the Moodscope folk who generously give us their blogs for our enrichment. And enrich this did, because I love birds and birdsong, and the way you put it across...we'll many of us get running to our phones/ manuals to install the sounds of the cheery robin, the cooing dove, the nightingale joking! Brill idea, anything little helps with the bigger picture.
And you are so right about bottling life's pleasures! It's something I have thought about quite a bit. Thank you for a bright start to the morning,Terence!

Jane Thu, Feb 16th 2017 @ 8:49am

Hi Terence, thank you for your blog. I'm going to change my boring generic ringtone to a cheerful one. Maybe that will help lift my mood. Thanks again

The Gardener Thu, Feb 16th 2017 @ 3:16pm

Our kitchen is 33 metres away from shop door - eldest son just fixed door-bells - still don't know which is which, and where to run - one is 'Yesterday'. First French mobile phone had a frog as a ring tone - loved it- noisest place other that the ex-parrot house at the zoo, the rice-fields in Bali, baritone bull-frogs and chirpy crickets. Need bottled cheerfulness - off to get Mr G from respite - I find my mood plummet as I dread an evening of non-stop moaning and 'where are you' every minute - can anyone suggest, other than ear plugs, a way of cutting out unwanted noise? Mind over matter does NOT work. And thanks Terence.

Maria Thu, Feb 16th 2017 @ 3:22pm

Hi Terence. It's wonderful that you have turned an agitation into a pleasure. Thanks for an uplifting blog.

Nicco Mon, Feb 20th 2017 @ 1:05pm

What a lovely sound to have as your ringtone, Terence. I, too, love 'natural' sounds and often find them soothing to the spirit and emotions - an antidote to the sounds and smells which can sometimes have the opposite effect.

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