Like many villages and communities these days, we have social media to share news, announce events, ask questions, ask for help, have a chitchat and generally keep in touch. This was particularly helpful and nice while we weren’t able to socialise in the normal way last year. It’s also a place where people can – how can I put it tactfully, um, – moan and complain about things. Sometimes these are things which we all might complain about, rubbish, dog poo (always a favourite) speeding cars and conversely carelessly parked cars; sometimes they are constructive moans – inadequate road signage for example.
Over the last few weeks, for a couple of hours early evening and only once a week, the other pub in the village, The Ship, has had live music. I can hear it from here in my little upstairs room where I work – and no doubt other people across the village can on a still summer evening. I think it’s great – great that the pub has got an event, great that people are enjoying it (I can hear the applause) great that it’s local bands/groups/artists, great that there’s something going on in the village. As I mentioned, it only lasts a couple of hours, isn’t challenging or over-loud – no heavy metal, thrash metal, pirate metal for example. You can probably guess what I’m going to mention next – someone on the village social media site has complained! There was a lively response to this, from those who go to the pub, and people like me who have just heard the music!
This has got me thinking about the sounds of our village. Last year when the word stopped, the only sound was the extra loud birds, a couple of dogs, and the occasional train; no traffic, no voices, no planes overhead going to or from Bristol airport. We’re back to normal now, so what do I hear? The children from the school at playtime, the same children singing in their music lessons, ditto their drum band, activities from the village hall – exercise classes, karate classes, children’s parties, people bustling to and for every other Saturday going, to the village market, the church bells – practicing for a wedding or funeral, the rag and bone/scrap merchant who sings his way round the village – not with a horse and cart but a pick-up truck, cattle on the hill, the voices of people sitting outside our pub – the Dolphin, the dustbin men and the recycling men, our neighbours in their gardens – especially now enjoying the summer, and at the moment council workers who are digging up a nearby road to lay drains and resurface it.
This may be a quiet village in many respects, but there’s plenty of sounds of everyday life!