Friday thought #56 Obnoxious church bells

When choosing somewhere to live what do you consider? Location, price, size, the view, outdoor space, access to public transport? Does it ever occur to anyone that they might be woken up at the crack of dawn by the outrageously loud bells from the neighbouring idyllic rural church?

No, sadly it didn’t occur to us either, and luckily when the windows are closed, it’s just quiet enough to avoid a rude awakening, but when we make the mistake of opening the door to let some air in during the night, like we did last night, at 6.30am on the dot we are jerked awake to the most deafening peal of bells. Now bells which tell you the time I can just about cope with, but these bells have no rhyme nor reason, they are random, disjointed and go on and on for far too long.

Who decided that 6.30am was an appropriate time to start the dawn chorus? What percentage of the general population is up at 6.30? Who wants to be woken up to a noise that loud? And not just weekdays, Saturdays and Sundays too.

Honestly, I’ll think very carefully next time I move house, and be extremely wary of those idyllic, rural, picture-postcard village churches…

Such an idyllic, picturesque scene. Who knew what was lurking in the tower...
Such an idyllic, picturesque scene. Who knew what was lurking in the tower…

Friday thought #36 A weekend in Provence

 France is a wonderful country. It has beaches, mountains, rugged coastlines, fantastic climbing, amazing cycling, brilliant skiing, hot weather, snow, quaint countrysides… the list could go on and on! It doesn’t surprise me at all that it’s known as one of the World’s top holiday destinations.

Taking advantage of a long weekend, that wasn’t a bank holiday weekend (!) we decided on a spur of the moment trip down to the magical land of Provence. Only 3 1/2 hours drive, pretty much guaranteed sunshine, and the prospect of a few days camping, climbing, swimming, and reading books in the sunshine was mighty appealing! The month of May is the time to go, especially if you plan to do any kind of sporting activities, as from June onwards it becomes unbearably hot if you aren’t in close proximity to water at all times! Right now the temperatures are hovering around 28-30 degrees, perfect for a bit of daytime swimming and evening climbing in the cooler temperatures. We sought out some wild swimming in nearby rivers and found some shady crags to climb at, a perfect mini-break!

I can’t ask more from life than waking up to the sounds of birds singing their morning chorus, a nearby cockerel crowing his heart out, the cows gently clanging their bells, and the church bell chiming. Simple pleasures, and long may they last…

The village of Orpierres nestled in its little nook
The tiny village of Orpierres nestled in its little nook
We love everything about Provence, even the forest paths...
We love everything about Provence, even the forest paths…
My all time favourite bridge, wonky, haphazard and full of rustic charm; only to be found in rural France!
My all time favourite bridge; wonky, haphazard and full of rustic charm; only to be found in rural France!
Not a bad spot for some wild swimming
Not a bad spot for some wild swimming
And a bit more...
And a bit more…
This little chap sat with us all morning!
This little chap sat with us all morning!