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?
What happens when hot air balloons are aloft during airforce valley buzzing?
Sounds like a live version of Catch the Pigeon…
RhodesTer – The jets tend to steer clear of the balloons for some reason. [scared, maybe?]. I would say it’s a case of steam giving way to sail, but those fuckers ain’t steam powered!!
Sean – It is a bit. The only difference is that the ballons hardly move at all, and the jets are so fucking fast they are very hard to spot.
Do you want a US F18 Super Hornet or a Saab JAS39 Gripen or maybe a French built Rafale. Just place your order online.
Brianf – Yes. A Saab JAS 39 Gripen sounds nice. I’ll check eBay and see what I can find. Or do you have a spare one? Must be low milage and fully armed?
I have a Saab!
Unfortunately it is a Saab car and not a fighter plane. I’ll sell it to you if you want?
The tourists won’t know what hit ’em. Especially if they can’t hear you approaching. Fun in the Wicklow hills when you get back I’ll bet.
Robert – That’s grand. Sure I can bolt a couple of wings onto it? A Saab is a Saab,
Terence – I would quite fancy nipping through the Wicklow Gap into Glandalough at Mach 1.2 and accidentally dropping a couple of Sindwinders at the car park there all right.
You should buy French in France. Wait until next year’s vacation and you will be able to get yourself a Dassault nEUROn for a cool 25 million euros. Best of all, you won’t even have to get out of your armchair to fly it.
TT – Fair enough. I think they are Dassaults that keep buzzing me. I’ll save my pocket money for next year.
They are not really buzzing you. It’s just a Mirage.
Maybe you should invest now Grandad, before next years property tax on the Manor leaves you penniless