This is a remarkably quiet and peaceful place.
I say remarkably, because there is a main road only a few feet from us. However, we are about fifty feet above the road on a cliff so we can’t see it all and can hardly hear the traffic. The road is very smooth and the cars are quiet.
The river flows the other side of the road and we hear more from that than from the traffic. The ducks can be quite noisy, and when there are canoeists we can hear every word they say. Sound carries well here, as there is rarely so much as a breeze.
Beyond the river on the other side of the valley, there is a railway. It is a local branch line and every hour or so a train trundles past as if it were in no hurry to go anywhere.
Occasionally we hear a brief roar from the sky. There are a lot of hot air balloons around here and they make make quite a noise with their propane burners. It can be quite disconcerting to be sitting in the garden and to suddenly hear this roar from over your head as another balloon floats past just above the chimneys.
We are enjoying our second thunderstorm at the moment. You get your money’s worth with a French thunderstorm. It is quite spectacular watching the lightning zap the local hilltops and then feeling your ribs rattle with the noise.
The thunder isn’t the loudest thing though.
Not by a long chalk.
That distinction goes to the air force.
They don’t do it that often, but every now and then they decide to buzz the valley.
These mothers fly their jets at close to sonic speeds, so you don’t hear ‘em coming. The first you know is a massive roar that turns your ears to jelly, and that is followed by an horrendous ripping noise as they streak up the valley just above the tree tops.
Jayzus but they are fucking fast. And noisy.
It occurred to me that just one of those planes carries more firepower than the Irish defence forces have ever owned in their entire history.
I wonder where I can get one?