I never really got on with the Walkman. Although small for its time it was still cumbersome and the novelty of music on the go quickly wore off. The mp3 player is less so but I realise that what I don't like is having music fed directly into my ears. I enjoy listening to music but also have a good memory for it and usually have something 'playing in my head'. The advantages of this are that I can't lose the player and it never runs out of batteries. And it nearly always plays something appropriate to the moment.
Living in Norfolk, a county not famous for dramatic topography, I tend not to recall tracks associated with vast panoramas. On a well-earned break in the Peak District last weekend I found myself revisiting The Who's 'I Can See For Miles' for the first time in at least a decade. It is a dramatic, uplifting piece of music and suited the splendid view from the top of The Roaches. (The curious lyric is about a boy who pretends to be blind so he can watch his girlfriend flirt and then complain to her about it afterwards. A psychologist would have a field day.)
The best part of the trip was a walk near Monyash before the weekend crowds arrived. There were times when I could hear nothing but the occasional bird. (Even the head-player switched itself off.) Living in a city there is always some man-made sound going on. Screening out the unwanted noise becomes second nature but still requires effort. What I needed most was the sound of silence and that afternoon it came like rain to a desert.
And then of course, this being England in October, it really did rain. But beautifully.