Friday, 4 January 2013

Mind The Beep

I sometimes think of our flat in Paris. It is not that I miss it, it is just that it was awfully quiet. Compared to our house in London, that is.

The problem with my house in London is that there is always something beeping. Mind you, I am sure that it helps my cerebral activity, because I have to react fast. When I hear yet another beep, I have to think about what it might be. Because otherwise, it might get worse. Much worse.

If it is the oven, it means that it is now pre-heated. I can ignore it, it won't happen again. Lucky escape. If it is the microwave (yes, despite being French I use a microwave), it means that I need to get the food out of it right away otherwise it is going to beep again thirty seconds later. And again. And again.

If it is the dishwasher, I have to press the on/off button, otherwise it will keep beeping until the end of the night. Nasty, that one.
If it is the washing machine, it will beep every 5 minutes until I turn it off. Nightmare.
Then, you have all the unidentified sounds of the phones. It can get complicated. Some beeps mean that you are running low on batteries, others that you have received a message or that someone is calling you. It is a different beep for Skype. To be fair, I am still unsure of what some beeps mean. It is nothing short of a miracle that I am still reasonably sane (I think).

But that's not the worst. In my house, if you burn your toast or your meat, the fire alarm starts and a maddening noise fills the whole house in a matter of seconds. You have to think fast, climb the kitchen table and press everything you can to try to stop it. Failing this, you have to open the windows and hope it will stop. It usually does. Phew!

Then, you have the security alarm. It is the worst. It starts with small beeps and if you don't enter the code within a certain time (like a couple of minutes), you are sure to wake up half of London. If it happens in the middle of the night, it is simply terrifying, because you have to rush downstairs in your PJs to stop it. Not to mention that for some reason my alarm doesn't like it when it gets windy. I don't know what to do about it. I am having panic attacks when the wind blows outside for fear it might set off the alarm. Honestly.

But the other day, I heard a new beep. It wasn't any of the usual suspects. It started low and went louder and louder. My darling husband had bought some carbon monoxide detectors for the home and was testing them. Don't get me wrong, I know that it can save lives and is one of the big domestic killers, but right now I long for some peace and quiet. How does everybody cope with all the noise? I am becoming beeping mad. 


  1. My new apartment in France has all the latest appliances, which means all the bells and beeps. I learned the hard way to run the dishwasher long before I crawl into bed because it will wake me after midnight with its sound that is so loud I couldn't even call it a beep. At home I always turn the dishwasher on as I go up to bed because it's loud and I don't want to listen. It has no ending beep. In France my dishwasher is so modern and quiet that it needs a noise to tell me it's finished. And don't even get me started on trying to get used to the buzzer for the courtyard gate on the street.

  2. What are PJ's? Have I ever met them!!

  3. Earplugs! Or find just the right place to stick a screwdriver in your nagging dishwasher and washing machine! I am glad mine don't do that. I never forget to unload them if only because I run out of clothes or dishes if I don't! :)

  4. Maybe you are just more organised than me! I keep forgetting them. Have had enough of all the beeps! It drives me mad.

  5. Ah Ah! Does that mean that you don't have any? Too much details, David, too much details...

  6. Well, it looks like it is exactly the same in France then. I just can't understand it. When did we become addicted to beeps? How were we managing before?

  7. Oh God. I am so glad we don't have such beeps all around. A little humming sound irritates me so much. I am so sensitive to sound. I am sure if I was in a city with many "beeps" it would drive me crazy!