In spring and early summer the birds are still vocally strutting their stuff and the background noise is crickets or cicadas. In autumn, during the day when the village is largely empty and unless the wind is rustling the trees, there can be no sound at all. Sometimes one can hear an aircraft, sometimes a tractor in a far field and once every 20 minutes or so a car runs between our terrace and the chateau but often there’s just stillness and peace.

The quantity of punaises around at the moment is astonishing. Open a shutter and 50 will be nestling in the cracks. They’re not very good fliers and prefer to potter around. One becomes inured to them and will carefully, because the one thing to avoid is squashing them, pull one from beneath one’s shirt and cast it out the window.

Added to the cackling of a successful hen and the cooing of the doves as the sounds of the village is the plaintive cry of ‘Noisette!’ This is Lucy dog’s new name and her owner goes walkabout when she does yet another runner. We keep our heads down when we hear him as the last thing we need is to have her back.

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