Quiet Hours?

An english friend of mine told me that between 12 and 2pm, people are required not to make loud noises, that a neighbour might be upset by, such as drilling, loud music etc... we assume so as not to disturb anyone at lunch who need a siesta.

Not being an over loud family, but living in a flat it makes me very interested to know more. We've never been asked to keep shtum by any of our neighbours, but then again, neither do we make any attempt to use DIY tools or washing machines at any particular time, other than obviously not in the middle of the night.

I'm not sure if this is a local request, a local or national law or just a rumour put about by a disgruntled neighbour one day, that has turned into an old wives tale....

Does anyone else hear of this or know what's what? and what do people think about being compelled or even requested, to stop work?

What if the drill we hired needs to be returned and we need to use it. What if there is not enough time to stop for other reasons? What if washing will be spoiled by stains or a home-help can only work between 12 and 2? What if we have noisy conversations or laughing from raucus, happy lunch guests? MMMmmmm. I can't decide. It all sounds a bit bizarre to me.

It's true, it's called the 'heures d'arrets' I think, they apply in the early morning and late evening as well, with sightly different hours on Saturdays and extremely limited hours on Sundays, depends on your local mairie. Mowing your lawn on a Sunday between something like 12 and 4pm is expressly forbidden around here!

I knocked on our neighbours door once at 2 AM, to ask them to turn the excessively loud music down and he reminded me that I was quite entitled to call the gendarmes out if they were disturbing us! He was very polite - probably down to the fact they were completely stoned!