I grew up in a pretty noisy house. Evanses like their music. And they like it loud. And they like to play it as well as listen to it. I spent much of my teenage life attempting to concentrate on things whilst my brother played the drums. Or my dad played the saxophone. Or my mum deafened herself with Bowie.
It was only my sister who didn’t go out of the way to deafen herself or the rest of the family, but that might have more to do with her incredible skill at breaking electronic equipment than anything else. The girl has a weird force-field which causes everything electric to just give up and die. She probably would’ve been just as noisy in an analogue age.
And yes, I was myself a culprit in the Noise Wars of the Evans house. I spent much of the late 90s playing the Smashing Pumpkins as loud as I possibly could and flat refusing to ever, ever turn it down, even when I was alone in the house.
I became incredibly adept at concentrating on things whilst simultaneously destroying my hearing; on the few occasions when I actually did my homework, it was done with a very loud soundtrack of very angry rock music.
And of late it’s turned out that this teenage dedication to loud noises has actually come in really rather handy in my later life. I’ve been trying to work out how I can find the time in my life to work full-time, and go to evening class, and do too much knitting, and make nice dresses, and do some yoga, and waste time on twitter, and watch bad TV, and drag the boy round stately homes and write a novel. It’s taken dedication, and some very intricate timetabling.
And as part of this, I’ve ended up writing my novel in my lunchbreak. It’s a plan that works well; I get out of the office, and I get a break from the working world, and I have a finite amount of time in which to try and write as many words as I can. I’m currently averaging about 1,200 words per hour-long lunch break, and I’ve managed to get my wordcount up to 48,000.
And every single one of the last 18,000 words has been written in the basement seating area of the Wasabi in Paternoster Square. It may not seem like the best and most brilliant place to work, but this is where my incredible skill at ignoring loud noises has really come in handy. I don’t care that I’m sat right in front of the kitchen, and that I’m surrounded by men in suits talking loudly about just how bloody rich they are. I’ve long-since mastered the art of just ignoring all that crap.
So I can sit there, and I can type away, and I can pretty much always hit my target. And then I go back to the office all pleased with myself for being so bloody constructive with my time.
There’s only one problem with my genius plan; I like to eat the noodle-y soup pot thingies. Which aren’t the neatest of meals. So I seem to be accidentally coating my laptop with a nice layer of chicken broth. But it doesn’t seem to be doing it any harm, so I’ll carry on for now. Although maybe I should switch to sandwiches soon.