In the gloaming, as we watched a chevron of Canada Geese passing overhead, I imagined that a murmuration of starlings hung over the Colne far enough away for the cries of the birds to have blended imperceptibly with the air by the time they reached us. I recalled my hotel room in Chennai on the first morning I woke in India. By the point at which the air had risen with the heat to my window, the sounds of the innumerable events taking place below had decomposed into an audible cloud, mottled only slightly by the occasional, recognisable remnant of a motorbike, siren or shout that for whatever reason stood out. From my bed this was all I could perceive of those who lived in the city. Were I only slightly higher still, I remember thinking then, even the soup of noise that was so inescapable at that level would have been inaudible, and all would have been still.