Sunday, July 12, 2009

Oh the bells - they give me a headache

It's Sunday morning. Until about an hour ago, I was trying to have a nice, lazy, lie-in. At 09:27 I got out out of bed for two minutes to make a cup of tea (with milk) and open the window to let in some air. That was my mistake - the open window. It was 09:30 when I opened the window, the exact time when, once a week, on Sunday, a prisoner escapes from the county jail. Or at least, that's what it sounds like to me.

This blog post, and I'm sorry it's a long time coming, is about the difference between Dutch and English church bells.

First, I'll start with a review of English church bells. I'm not anywhere near an expert in English church bells, infact I know almost nothing about them. But, at least, if I start by introducing you to the English bells, you'll be in the same place as me when I hit you with the Dutch ones.

So, here's the English church bells I was used to back home:



Important things to note:

  1. More than one bell is ringing, therefore, more than one note being played.
  2. People are enjoying themselves - actually bell ringing is a team activity, a fun team activity
  3. The bells sound pretty.
Okay, you get the idea I hope. Now imagine that's the sound of church bells you've grown up with, you're used to and then...

...imagine it's Sunday morning in Holland, the window is ajar and you're trying to relax in bed.....:




I don't know about you, but here are some thoughts that run through my mind:
  1. Has a prisoner escaped? Are there snipers preparing to shoot from the tower?
  2. Should I get quickly dressed up in my Sunday best and leave for church now? Any second, some deathly-ghost may knock on my door rounding up the congregration. They know I'm not there, but sinning by enjoying my Sunday?
  3. Has this got anything to do with those monthly sirens (see blog post: "Testing times")? Have all those tests counted for nothing, and now, when we need them most because the sea-level is rising, or mexican flu is taking the Netherlands, the Government is resorting to medieval signaling instead?

You get the idea.

Anyway, my Sunday morning lie-in is ruined once again. I'm now not dozing off with my cup of tea (with milk) by my side, but wide-awake and writing my first blog post for more than a year. So, perhaps, the bells have gone against themselves? Most likely, they were trying to entice me to Sunday service this morning followed by a day of rest. I was resting, but now I'm sinning by "working" on my laptop on the Sabbath.

5 comments:

Jo Mulholland (Joop Mul) said...

Looking forward to hearing the church bells of the St Jan (saint John) Church, in my hometown, Gouda, in December, 2009.
Am currently planning to visit again.
In my almost 54 years in Sydney, I've been back four times.
Walking across the market square, hearing the bells, will be good! :)
(Have to admit: felt VERY MUCH at home in the U.K. and Ireland, on a tour there, in 1997!!)

Rodand said...

Oh you are so funny! Love your humour! But it is so true! I also experienced the same (though likely the closest bell is rather far so it doesn't spoil my rest) and always wondered why it sounds like that. In Italy bells play like in UK for the Sunday service. They only play like in NL in very small villaged when somebody dies or there is any other urgent terrible news the local priest needs to give to the village :-0

Rodand said...

Oh you are so funny! Love your humour! But it is so true! I also experienced the same (though likely the closest bell is rather far so it doesn't spoil my rest) and always wondered why it sounds like that. In Italy bells play like in UK for the Sunday service. They only play like in NL in very small villaged when somebody dies or there is any other urgent terrible news the local priest needs to give to the village :-0

Michael B said...

Do you realize there's more than a year's hiatus between your blog posts again? What will it take this time for you to wax poetic? All-out nuclear warfare? The milk you so gently poured in your morning tea turning sour? Anyhoo, I'll check back again in 12 months...

Amy said...

Hi Sarah!

As someone who has lived in England for the past 11 years I can also see where you're coming from. I think it's just that British church bells are a little more melodious than Dutch ones which are just the constant DING!DING!DING!