Everyone needs a break, and so, as we are off to the land of cuckoo clocks, cowbells and apple strudel, instead of the usual articles, I thought it would be fun to honour the stunning country which is Austria with a series of muses - all based around the songs from the wonderful film The Sound Of Music.
Over the next week, we will see : why the hills may be alive with the sound of music; was the goatherd really lonely; is it possible to climb every mountain, and was Maria really a problem?
It is going to be fun, it is going to be perhaps challenging and a little tenuous at times, but lets start by asking - are the hills really alive with the sound of music?
An alpenhorn - what could be more fun? 12 ft of carved wood honking on the hillside, accompanied by the clang clang clang of the cowbells.
In reality, what we hear most in the Tirol is the cowbells, bringing a sense of well being, a consistent charm and chime to the air. After a while of course, we get used to it, and stop hearing it quite as much - just like living on a main road with the traffic sounds.
For a moment, go outside, close your eyes, and listen. What is it you hear? Describe the volumes, the pitches, the rhythm, the various voices or sounds.
Those few moments of listening intentionally remind us of the wonderful sounds all around (whether they be urban or rural), sounds which are usually there, but we shut out in a rather dismissive manner.
So yes, the hills are alive with the sound of music - but so is the environment where you are right now.
Actually, it’s about YOU