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Who needs a watch?

When I lived in Istanbul I loved the cry of the mosques. They sound so exotic and for me, they were a reminder that I was  living in a fabulous foreign country.

Here in France we have the church bells which I sometimes take for granted. Normally I am up before the first chimes of the day but this morning I had a lie in. As I laid in bed I though to myself, I wonger what time it is? A couple of minutes later, the church bells started, two,  three, four, five; six, seven, eight and there they stopped.

Then they start ringing loudly and continuously for a few minutes as to to say it's time to get going!

The bells are the voice of the community.  They talk to us.

The bells talk about death, birth, weddings, baptisms, Easter, Christmas, funerals and special alerts.   They call us to wake, to pray, to work, to arms, to feast and, in times of crisis, to come together. Above all, bells are the sound of freedom and peace as in World War II they hung silently until the day they could ring in the peace.

French Catholic tradition says that on Good Friday (the Friday before Easter), all church bells in France sprout wings and fly down to the Vatican for a visit and to be blessed by the Pope.
So no church bells ring between Friday and Easter Sunday morning, to commemorate the death of Jesus (and because they’re all in Rome, obviously).
After their getaway to Italy, the bells return to France laden with goodies for well-behaved children — namely chocolate eggs. And then during the church services of Easter Sunday, the bells go crazy once again in celebration of Jesus' resurrection. 

On that note I had better go, as soon as the bells chime once French Boyfriend will be here for lunch. Note every half hour they chime once so it is an easy mistake to think that it is 13h when it is infact 13h30.

à très bientot, Leeann x


  1. We only had church bells on Sundays in Buenos Aires and I loved them.

  2. Dearest Leeann,
    Well, we lived for three years in Indonesia and we never enjoyed the noises that came from their mosques via the amplifier. Often we passed them very early morning and noticed that there were no people, just the amplifier. We also did sleep through them at times, you get so used to it.
    Far more beautiful is the sound of the Catholic Church bells, however in the western part of Mexico during one of our consulting trips we slept on a square with FOUR Churches. That night was a bit too much of bells communicating to its people!
    Sending you hugs,

    1. Bonjour Mariette, I know what you mean about sleeping through the noise as the first house that we purchased in France was directly opposite the village church. I did not notice it at all during the day and it was a great alarm clock for our guests ;-)
      4 churches would be a bit much, that said we have a restaurant nearby called the treize cloches as you can see 13 church steeples from the restaurant, but they are in the distance.
      amicalement from a very sunny SW France, Leeann

  3. I love the sound of church bells, not too common here in California. When I attended college in Istanbul there were people doing the Muslim call to prayer; now I understand most of them are recordings which is less authentic to me and not an improvement.

    1. Bonjour Terra, I hate the recordings, we lived in Dubai and they had the recordings which were not a patch on the real thing ;-)
      à bientot, Leeann


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Bonjour from a sunny but chilly SW France,

Hope that you had a nice weekend. We spent yesterday afternoon at a furniture auction but I will tell you more about that later in the week.

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