My father, who was essentially an urban soul, used to say the countryside was too noisy for him. When we stayed at my grandmother’s place in Sussex, he used to complain that the hens and ducks woke him up too early.
Here, after the last car has returned home, the countryside is blissfully silent, a silence which is almost as deafening as noise. Most of the time. Last night I slept badly and became increasingly disturbed by the sound of the owls shrieking all round the valley, and the sangliers (wild boars) grunting and coughing on my land, a couple of terraces below my bedroom.
Because of the threat to my olive trees, Jacky installed an electric fence which protects the upper half of my land; the sangliers continue to pass through the terraces below, presumably on their way to the river. Yesterday morning at eight I spotted one bounding around on the terrace above my gite – I have warned my new lodger, Sebastien, to expect these night visitors.