Monday, 26 April 2010

Noises off

The sound of church bells echoes out across the still, evening air. The six bells break out into a run of Whittington, named after the call by Bow bells to the medieval merchant, Dick Whittington: 'Turn again Whittington, Lord Mayor of London...'

It is bell ringing practice night in The Enchanted Village and the novices are improving. I was one once, and never really progressed from call changes. The weight of the bell terrified me as did its potential to inflict huge damage. I had visions of the bell crashing down through into the ringing chamber and enveloping me for eternity.

But I did like being in direct touch with history, making a sound with an instrument hundreds of years old.

Now, though, I am content to hear the ringers from the safety of my own home, listening through the world from my window.

The sound is different from yesterday, when a steam engine trundled through after stopping at the stream outside Posh Totty's house to take on water. The noise was enough to drag Number One Daughter's child from playing with her Transformers on our kitchen floor. She rushed out to the front door and yelled: 'Look granny, it's a train going through the village.' As a descendant of George Stephenson - he of the Rocket fame and known as the Father of the Railways - she knows what she is talking about. She is four-and-three-quarters (the three-quarters is very important) and has announced she wants to be a mechanic.

And this morning another sound. The eight o'clock bus does its usual reversing manoeuvre in the square. 'Peep, peep, peep,' it shrieks. Suddenly, there is an angry 'honk, honk, honk,' almost in retaliation. It is the alarm on Mr Grigg's Freeloader, which is parked outside. The bus has reversed into it.

Mr Grigg is working from home. But, as he is sitting at his laptop with nothing on apart from a large towel, he sends me out to inspect the damage. The bus has sped off sharpish up the road, with a sneer, a dust cloud in its wake and several bemused public schoolchildren gazing after it as they wait for their minibus.

But all is well. Even though the bus is probably a robot in disguise.

That's about it.

Love Maddie x


  1. Love listening to bellringing. We've a big church near here and sometimes they start up just as I'm walking up into town for the bus. Great stuff. Especially when one goes wrong and you know they got a telling-off!

  2. I hope that the damage was minuscule!


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