Emphasised by living in a country town, maybe, the difference is unmistakable.
Three days ago, the dawn of a new year, waking up was like one of those sci-fi dramas where a man finds that he’s the last living soul on the planet. Take away the gently swaying tree-tops, visible through the gap in my bedroom curtains, and the occasional passing fleck of a bird on the wing, and nothing stirred. Just a leaden, comforting stillness; silent but for the breeze.
Opening my eyes this morning, on the other hand, and the difference assailed me before I’d even come fully to my senses. That low, relentless distant drone, hovering stubbornly in the air like morning mist.
The party’s over; it’s time to call it a day.