A company director from Derbyshire England was recently convicted after threatening a bell-ringer. He lived near a church and claimed the bell-ringing was driving him mad and preventing his children from revising. As I write, a ghastly little man is drilling at the bottom of my garden and has been for several hours. I now have a hellish headache and my rabbits have run for cover. If he fell off his nasty aluminium ladder and became impaled on his Black-and-Decker, I, for one, would not rush to his assistance. Church bells are slightly less irritating than drills, but it’s odd that we’re so tolerant of bell-ringing practice sessions. Imagine the uproar in Middle England if our twee-and-tweedy campanologists were replaced by muezzins. I was once listening to Radio 3 in my house in Cambridge when the Salvation Army turned up outside and started blasting hymns at the front door. It reminded me of US troops using rock music to drive Norriega out of his palace. So…I ran out and told them to stop abusing me with their tubas and to inflict their hymns on someone else. They looked rather crestfallen, but I feel God was on my side. I’m sure He prefers John Tavener to Onward Christian Soldiers. Drillman has now stopped. He doesn’t appear to have actually drilled a hole at all. Perhaps he’s sponsored by Neurofen.
I recall Hardy’s Tess of the Durbervilles commenting that, every year, we live through the date on which we’ll die, but we never know or notice it. An odd thought. If you do want to know the date, try the Death Clock. It’s only a bit of fun and not at all scientific, as far as I can see. So don’t be spooked by it. To discover how much longer you’ve got, click on The Death Clock