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Alarm clock Birds and chickens and more newsletter from France


Bonjour… and bon weekend!

We’ve had lots of rain and lots of sun this week in my part of northern France – typical spring weather. At last the lilac is blooming, the bluebells are out and the roses are budding. The wild birds are in full song – every morning as soon as the sun is up, there is a cacophony of sound from outside my bedroom window. Opposite my house is a very ancient barn in a huge garden. It is surrounded by traditional hedging of the area, hawthorn, wild rose, hazel and blackberry. Many years ago someone planted some bamboo along the hedge too and it has grown to 20 feet high in places (6m). The wild birds absolutely love the bamboo hedge and it’s full of nests and perching places.

Yesterday morning, I awoke to the sound of my alarm clock. Except when I reached to turn it off I realised it wasn’t the clock that was making the noise because it was an hour before it was due to go off.  The sound was coming from one of the birds outside which was imitating the shriek my clock makes! Amazing…

My neighbour’s chickens and cockerels also like to hang out in the hedge but I’ve got used to their noise. Even in the dead of night, if a car goes by with its lights on, the cockerel will call out, presumably thinking the sun is rising rapidly. Once we had guests staying and in the morning they emerged bleary eyed and exhausted. It seems that back in London where they are from, their alarm clock makes the sound of a cockerel crowing and every time the rooster in the tree outside cockadoodle-doo’d (or as the French say cocorico’d) in the night they leaped out of bed thinking it was time to get up.

Rural French country life… sometimes tranquil, sometimes not so much.

Bon weekend
Bisous from France

This week’s top features

London to Lyon by train: Lucy Pitts lets the train take the strain as a new service is launched taking just 4 and a half hours from London to the south of France…

The Palais des Papes, Avignon has announced it will run its famous son et lumiere shows in English as well as French this year…

The tale of the French mayor who is selling land for 1 Euro in Normandy

Silent Disco to be held at the Gare du Nord: Europe’s busiest train station will echo to the sound of… silence in July!

Legends, laws and long loaves: Margo Lestz looks in her usual quirky way, at the history of French bread…

Markets in Lyon: Liza Perrat tells a charming story of the ancient craft of the French market knife grinder

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