The murmur of women's voices in the background. Tod has left the internet radio on and it's tuned to Woman's Hour.
The sshhh, sshhh, sshhh of Smudge's steady breathing. He was grumbling earlier but with a warm hot water bottle against his back he's dozed off again.
The fierce crack and spit from the chestnut wood in the kitchen range fire.
The shlop shlop of my slippers across the kitchen tiles. I'm still in sooty dressing gown and making Smudge's breakfast / lunch.
The distant whine of chainsaws. They're cutting saplings along the banks of the stream that borders the field which used to belong to Serge and now to Monsieur F. The bright sunlight means it's a good day for working. Another saw is running in stereo, in the woods that stretch to the east towards the chateau.
The soft whirr of the washing machine in the utility room behind the kitchen. It's been quiet over Christmas and the New Year and there's a full laundry basket to wash and hang out while there's warmth in the sun.
The clack of the latch to the old wooden door into the bathroom. I need a shower....
... and later the rasp of nail brush across my rough-skinned, grubby housemaid's knees.
A good start to 2009.