As I went to open a sash window, a couple of weeks ago, I saw a young guy, about 20 years old, tanding on the ridge of a roof. From where I was standing, I could not see how wide the ridge was, but two rooves along, there was a seagull standing on it.
He walked along and wobbled. My mothering heart leapt into crisis mode. That ridge did have a long bar on top but still no clue as to how deep it was, a slope of tiles and then a small wall. It did not bear thinking about and I acted on a first thought. I yanked open the window and shouted across the square:
“Can we talk about it?”
This may be the daftest thing imaginable to say because I was at least forty metres from him and slightly lower. There was no way that I could hurtle down the stairs, run across the square and then be faced with an entry system. Mine has a number. So I called the police. They were very prompt, but apparently they tried to get someone to answer the doorbell! Excuse me? That’s far too slow. I only learnt this when they came up to me to ask for details.
After the shout, the young man turned and went to a chimney braest perpendicular to me. He seemed to sit down. I had to leave the police to find a way up to that roof. I hope they did; they seemed competent.
The point of telling the story is that I think the young man heard me. This is a similar happening to the previous post where sound appears to travel across three-sided objects. In this case it is a three-sided period building with a garden of trees in the middle. What is it about the construction that meant he could hear me? It is not important whether he could hear the actual words, although he did appear to listen, because he stopped and went to lean or sit against the chimney breast. I want to understand how the sound travels. Maybe knowledge of it will inspire other thinkers and inventors in other fields.