The hills are alive with the sound of…………………

I’d like to be able to tell you that the hills are alive with the sound of music, or at least birdsong, but I can’t. Instead they’re primarily alive with the sound of chain saws and mowers. Several of our trees toppled over in the recent bad weather, plus the plot immediately to the rear of the Domaine is being cleared. Whether this is ahead of further construction or just a tidy up, I know not.

In addition to which, today the men from SNADEC have been clearing the building’s drains. I suppose they do this on a regular basis to prevent the build up of fatbergs. I suspect the contents of our smaller bergs are far less interesting and certainly not, like those in London, worthy of their own television programme.

large blackbirds

This hive of activity from 08:00 in the morning is tending to drown out the lovely birdsong at this time of year when the birds are building nests and laying eggs. A few years back, a large number of rooks/ravens/crows aka very large blackbirds, sinister enough for a starring role in Hitchcock’s “The Birds,” made their home in the Domaine. They make the most awful racket and generally boss all the other birds about. They like to sit on our terrace railings and, if you encourage them to move off, tend to regard you quite belligerently.

One landed on the railings yesterday with a branch in his mouth. It was far too large to call a twig. I was surprised he or she could fly with it, but it swooped off no trouble. The rooks/ravens/crows whatever have tended to colonise the woods to the rear of the Domaine leaving the trees in the more formal and informal gardens to the front for the smaller birds who wisely steer well clear of the larger ones.

Let’s not forget the ducks from our lake who are often given to wandering around the gardens at this time of year, evidently up to no good. They generally don’t stray too far away and particularly not after the unfortunate duck crushing incident  a few years back. However, you do have to keep an eye out for them as they’re given to waddling, or worse stopping, on the access road and regarding you with their heads to one side.

The Domaine sits above the A8 motorway and main railway line, neither of which are audible unless you strain your ears. Of course, the trains are only running for three days out of every five at the moment in protest at changes proposed by M Macron for new railway employees. Those currently employed have jobs for life and the ability to retire at a ridiculously low age. My money’s on M Macron as the railway workers have little or no support from the general public.

The recent mix of sunshine and showers means the grass has grown alarmingly quickly and the gardeners are out on their ride around mower. It looks great fun and I’d love to have a go. The bits the mower can’t reach are tackled with a mighty big strimmer. As if that wasn’t enough noise, loads of my neighbours are availing themselves of tax breaks and upgrading their windows to double-glazing. Such are the sounds of spring!