Sound

This has been on the internet a lot over the past week, but I’m here to mop up the stragglers who haven’t spotted it yet.

You can now enjoy over 16,000 sound effects recorded by the BBC Sound Effects Department. And what’s more, you can download them and use them (with certain conditions applied) wherever you want.

Fair enough.

What you can do is use it for non-commercial purposes. Or just have loads of fun with it.

This being the BBC, and these sound effects having been collected over a number of years, they are stuffily described in great detail:

This camera, for example:

Multiple shutter click with wind-on of 6 by 6 cm SLR Hasselblad camera.

Or this cash register:

Type Ninety-Six One – keyboard operated, ticket produced, drawer opens, bell, change given, coins put in drawer and closed – 1969 (23Z,reprocessed)

As if someone looking for a cash register noise was ever going to turn around and say:

“Oh dear. I was looking for a Type Ninety-Six TWO. This will never do. Back to the drawing board, I guess.”

The search feature seems to work very well, which is good, given that there are 16,013 different files for your delectation.

I was quite intrigued by this offering:

Beagle Pup, exterior recordings. Aerobatics.

Why can’t our beagle do that? That would be spectacular.
But then I realised that:

The Beagle B.121 Pup is a 1960s British 2–4 seat single-engined training and touring aircraft built by Beagle Aircraft Limited at Shoreham Airport and Rearsby Aerodrome.

If you want to experience a far more realistic version of being a beagle owner, you should listen to this gem:

Dogs: Beagles, Interior, two being fed, fight breaks out at 1’50”, growling and sniffing.

Yep. Sounds pretty much par for the course. 😐

Addendum

Full disclosure: It’s worth noting that almost immediately after hitting the publish button on yesterday’s blog post, in which I quietly lauded my entry into The Cool Set, the beagle farted, bring me spiralling back down to earth with an almighty bang.

Reality, ne?

The Cool Set wouldn’t have to put with this sort of thing.

Home alone

Still in bed. Still being good. But I’ve not been sleeping too well at night, and being home alone today, I thought I’d to catch up a little. The beagle however, had other ideas, first flinging itself repeatedly at the back window in an effort to get out, and then (once outside) flinging itself the other way in order to get back in.

The stairs between us are exhausting right now, and so rather than continue with this ridiculous hokey-cokey act, I have now ended up leaving the back window open. Security be damned. The beagle must step up and lick any potential intruder to a slobbery end.

Tomorrow, my first physio session (I hope). Still concentrating on removing the swelling and bruising from my left leg rather than strengthening what muscle is left, but one has to start somewhere.

This enforced rest isn’t as good for the wallet either. Aside from the ridiculous medical bills, I’m finding plenty of time to watch Youtube videos of talented photographers and then wandering through online stores – ones selling photographic equipment –  the purchase of which makes me think I might be as good as them.

I have hidden my credit card.

Water bill

I’ve been quieter about the Cape Town water crisis recently as the threat of Day Zero has all but evaporated (currently put back as far as 9th July). But we’re not out of the woods yet, and nor will we be for at least a couple of years, so saving water is still a hugely important thing to be doing.

Our municipal bill arrived today and I’m really impressed with the efforts our family has made.

That equates to 34.5 litres per person per day, well inside the 50l pppd limit within which we are supposed to be sticking. (Just as well, looking at how expensive those last 2.2kl were.)

And that’s not even including the beagle, which has a Category 4 water utilisation rating: notoriously hydroconsumptive.

This most recent meter reading has helped me understand two things: firstly, there’s the realisation that it can be done. You can live a “Western” lifestyle on less than 50 litres of water each day. Sure, it’s not as straightforward as life without water restrictions, and in fact some of it is actually a bit of a pain, but it can be done. Secondly, it’s made me realise just how blasé we were about using water previously. And fair enough, to be honest, because there was actually plenty of it to go around.

I suspect that I’m not alone in these epiphanies, and whether or not Cape Town runs out of water in a couple of months time, the habits of thousands – possibly even millions – of residents will have been forever changed.

And that’s got to be good news.

 

UPDATE: There have been some questions. I’m happy to answer them.

No, we were not away on holiday. We didn’t even go away for a weekend. We were here every day.

Yes, a beagle. I know.

I checked back to an old bill for the same period in 2012: pre-water restrictions. I was amazed to find that this bill represents a 94% reduction in the amount of water we used, compared to then.
i.e. We used as much water in just 40 hours in February 2012 as we did in the whole 29 day period this year. Equal parts of incredible and terrifying.

Yes, I’ve double checked. Yes, it’s amazing.

We’re not really doing anything too draconian, just being very aware every time a tap gets turned on. It’s clearly working.

And no, we’re not SEWing. In fact, since the kids are banned from using drinking water from their school, we’ve been giving them more to take from home.

BestNine

My #2017BestNine Instagram pictures include:

Four drone shots, three beagle shots, one drone and beagle shot, one of that storm and one of that sunset.

Go here to follow me on Instagram (although presumably, this means that I’m not going to post anything remarkable for the rest of the year (at least)) and go here to find your #2017bestnine.