This blog on New Caledonia is for those of you who ever wondered what life on a tiny island in the South Pacific might be like. Tired of bracing winter winds, the stress of an inner city or simply dreaming of a life change? This is a blog about what happens when, in the words of Yogi Berra, "you come to a fork in the road, [and] take it".

21 June 2006

Sounds Pablo Hears in New Caledonia

As Pablo and I were walking on the seaside promenade one morning this week, I started thinking about what life must sound like to him (and how it must differ for children growing up in Paris, as Sophie did). Here are the sounds I think he hears, in chronological order:
  1. Mother singing "Good Morning, Good Morning" in her best Debbie Reynolds voice.
  2. Deafening birdsong.
  3. Doors opening and closing. Screen door being pulled to.
  4. Toilet flushing.
  5. Flip-flops on the tile.
  6. Cereal pouring, toast toasting, coffee brewing, fridge opening and closing.
  7. Water running.
  8. Dishes clanking.
  9. Sing-song voice of mother showing him the world.
  10. His own grunting, cooing, squealing, shouting and crying.
  11. Sophie's "You're Going to Live, Pablo" voice.
  12. Laughter.
  13. Diaper being unscratched.
  14. Snaps being snapped.
  15. Kisses in ears.
  16. Music: Mozart, Vivaldi, Bach and lullabies.
  17. Washing machine filling and shaking. \Car engine.
  18. Waves gently crashing.
  19. Palms rustling.
  20. Wind.
  21. Rain.
  22. Cars driving by, motorcycles too.
  23. Voices, quiet voices.
  24. Footsteps, wheels turning.
  25. Cat meowing.
  26. Cat food being poured.
  27. Music on the mobile, music in the play gym.
  28. Windows log-on jingle, skype jingle.
  29. Typing.
  30. Drawers opening and closing.
  31. Voices from far away.
  32. Drum sticks being gathered up, drum pads being tapped.
  33. Bath running.
  34. Water splashing.
  35. Papa's deep happy voice.
  36. Bottle caps being unscrewed.
  37. Pump pumping.
  38. Pots and pans being pulled out, put away.
  39. Phone ringing.
  40. Football being commentated on the TV.
  41. Low voices talking about the world.
  42. Pages being turned.
  43. Lights being switched off (and on).
I've been told that it is very quiet here. Maybe it doesn't "sound" like it, but I assure you it is. Think about all the different sounds you hear every day, wherever you are. Do you have only 43?


Uncle Stevie said...



What is Sophie's "you're going to live, Pablo" voice?

I'm in Phoenix this week, where it's 112 degrees (that means HOT to you French people), but I'll start listening when I get home.

Melissa said...

Wow! Pablo is really so very cute! I just want to hug him! And I'm sure you do that all the time... =)

I'm so glad to live vicariously through Pablo's day of sounds. I will listen carefully to my day tomorrow. Right now all I hear are the clicking of computer keys and the hum of eMac's motor, which will go mercifully quiet once I put it to sleep. Then do the same for myself...

I SO look forward to talking with you and seeing you sometime soon!

Love and hugs,


P.S. Mom says hello too and sends her love, and says "He's a perfect baby!" =)

Mary Lanier said...

Oh to be Pablo, what beautiful noises to hear, what a place to be. And of course he must have his giraffe neck to cut those teeth on. My how he looks like Sophie in that photo, I guess that means like you!


Mary Lanier