Life has been very busy here in sunny Slovenia. Spring has sprung and with it has come the other apartment owners. Whatever organ I have that over-reacts to the sound of other humans, it's been throbbing this week. I was woken at 7 in the morning by children on the other side of my main wall. I don't do 7 in the morning very well and I was a tad grumpy for a bit.
Later in the day I met the four adults and 2 children who pitched camp a foot from my sleeping head. Lovely people, one and all and the kids made a fuss of Tyson. Suddenly the noise became the gentle evidence of my fellow man, rather than a racket. Funny thing, noise.
Bohinjska Bistica's church is my main view from the balcony and of late, its bells have been hammering away like they were designed to make a noise.
It's a great noise, to be honest. It chimes every 15 minutes and bongs the time every hour. Tonight it was practising and when it got tired, the bongs dropped away slowly until you could hear only birdsong.
The birdsong stopped me dead in my tracks the other day. Spring had first suggested itself one evening and while me and the boy plodded our evening walk, I could hear a blackbird. I stopped and it was quite surreal. You see, when I was a kid I would sit in our back garden of a summer's eve and listen to the blackbirds. Since leaving England I haven't heard it, except in British TV dramas. Grab a copy of Morse or Midsomer Murders or basically anything where larger numbers of English people die in mysterious circumstance, you'll hear birdsong that I haven't heard since I was a kid. In America, the TV soundtrack to British dramas made me so homesick I took to listening to birdsong radio on the internet! It was the closest thing I had to being home again. Imagine my surprise (I've always wanted to type that), when I heard the sound of my childhood on a warm evening, but with snowy mountains as a backdrop. It was an alternate universe and I liked it. Every evening now, me and Tyson are bathed in this sound. It almost makes me laugh when I hear it.
At the weekend, the bells of the church rang out for the funeral of a local man. He died of a heart attack or an aneurysm, depending on reports, while skiing on Vogel. He was 48. I walked with the boy by the church at 3pm and saw the funeral begin. Alinka knew him, and as we chatted she reminded me that we live somewhere beautiful, and we should make the most of it.
I returned to Das Boot just as the bells were ringing to mark the end of the funeral, and a man called Stanco called up to me. He owns the house that abuts this building, and his walls are six feet from my balcony. I discovered two things about Stanco that I never knew before. Firstly, his name is Stanco. Secondly, he is having his outside walls insulated and will build massive amounts of scaffolding which will impinge upon my meditations. In short, he apologised for the upcoming three weeks of noise.
I hope Slovenians work short days.
[ps...Have you tried the Armchair Detective Challenge yet?]
Slovenia, writing, other things