Whoever says living in the country is peaceful, is lying. Well, they’re lying to a certain degree, because even though there are lush green paddocks, lots of trees, scattered houses and the obligatory farm animals, there is still a lot of noise and unpeacefulness (I don’t think that’s a word, but I don’t care).

For example, I live directly under the flight path of two airports, Auckland domestic/international and Ardmore (think small commercial aircraft, helicopters and private planes). This means that at around 5:30 a.m. every morning we get nice big jumbo jets literally shaking the foundations of our house, and we also get small, loud, warcraft-type planes. While they’re pretty cool to watch in formation*, they don’t sound so fantastic at 10:30 on a Sunday morning when you’re trying to do your psychology report.

I’ve also mentioned previously our…flock? gaggle? complex foul social grouping?…of chickens and their Mighty Male Minders (i.e. roosters). One rooster is enough noise for most people, but two can be quite intense at times, especially when poor Richard (the small one) is trying to romance one of the ladies and then Jeremy comes along in a rage. How dare Richard get a leg over any of Jeremy’s chicks? Who does he think he is, anyway? And this isn’t even the half of it, because there are fourteen chickens, all of which make just as much noise as the boys do.

You can always tell when one of them is in the nest box, popping an egg out, because there is this distinct sort of egg-laying squeal. I know that egg shells are soft when they come out and harden afterwards, but by the sounds of things, it’s not the most pleasant experience in the world. And they do this daily for a large portion of the year! I’m so glad I’m not a chicken.

Also, we must not forget about farm machinery. I have a family in which the men are all into machinery of any sort. If it’s got a motor in it they will like it. Particularly if it’s really big, has a seat and they can move dirt with it (really, this just goes to show how a giant sandpit would be The Best Thing Ever for them). Tractors, diggers, trucks, whatever. They make a lot of noise and are the bane of my student existence because I get woken up on weekends by them, and then my studious efforts are interrupted by brain-numbing “brrrr-rrrrr-chug-chug-brrrrrrrr”ings.

Last, but not least, I would like to inform anyone who’s never been around them that bulls and spring time equal a lot of roaring and grunting. If they are not trying to have it off with a cow, they’re trying to fight each other to figure out who’s the toughest. They like to do this at one o’clock in the morning.

So, if you think that the countryside is a lovely place to live where little lambs hop on pogo-stick legs, horses whinny, and cows with extremely long eyelashes chew grass, you would be right. But don’t forget about the noises that come with all of it!

*The other thing we’ve seen twice in the last year are those planes that tow banners. These banners had marriage proposals on them! I always think one would have to be pretty sure of the answer before doing that, ’cause otherwise it would be a lot of money for a ‘no’. :/ It’s still a bit of an “aww” moment, though for me it’s more from a perspective of super-for-you-but-not-for-me. Marriage is not on my list of Necessary Accomplishments In My Life.