THERE’S a lot of talk this week about liberties being taken away and threats to our freedoms and way of life.

Frankly, however, if I’m honest I’m all for it. In fact, I’m more than happy to follow the German lead on this issue.

No, we’re not discussing here the latest Government plans to force Internet providers to keep a log of your emails and other communications so those in power can snoop on us. I’m talking Sunday afternoons and the right for an Englishman to enjoy a quiet spell in the back garden.

We’ve all been there. You watch the weather forecast, spot a break in the clouds, plan for a lazy afternoon lounging in the deckchair – or these days more likely a couch from The Range – with only the rustle of the Sunday papers and the tinkle of the water feature to interrupt your hardearned repose.

The clink of glasses perhaps. The promise to Mrs M to get around to lighting the BBQ before too long. The sound of laughter from the next door neighbour’s kids floating over the fence along with, occasionally, their ball and a request to chuck it back.

It’s the British at rest. Or at least it should be. Most often these days, such plans are thwarted by the drone of a power drill, the sounds of power hammer on nails, the scream of the circular saw as more and more of us use the weekend to carry out major refurbishment work to home and garden.

At a family BBQ staged at Murray Towers recently we were forced to eat indoors to escape from clouds of brick dust sweeping in like a Sahara sandstorm when a near neighbour decided to spend the whole weekend knocking up an extension.

The noise started as soon as he returned home on the Friday evening and went on until light finally faded around 10pm for the whole weekend. I was grateful he didn’t think of floodlighting.

Time was when you called in a bloke to do this kind of thing – knock down walls, erect conservatories, extend the lounge over the patio. They only worked during the week, and few if any of us had the equipment, let alone the skills, to have a go ourselves.

I can recall my dear Dad would always be hard at work in the garden over sunny weekends, but laying a patio was about as far as it went.

Today, sheds and garages are stuffed full of the latest power tools, heavy equipment is easily available to hire for the DIY amateur, and handy guides and tips on how to carry out just about every building task are available on the Internet, from a simple wall to creating a Roman-amphitheatrestyle al-fresco dining experience complete with temple and the obligatory fire pit.

The odd bit of mowing and even, perhaps, the strimmer I can put up with. But the sound of a concrete mixer running until midnight I think is taking things too far.

The Germans don’t put up with this. They have laws that prohibit noisy work on homes and gardens from Saturday lunch time until Monday morning. They even put a restriction on lawn mowers, which I think may be going too far, but then again...

This week I learnt I’m not alone in believing we should make a noisy protest over silence. This paper reported how residents in the otherwise – you would think – quiet area of Itchen Valley may be considering bringing in a ban on noisy power tools for Sunday afternoons.

The reaction from readers of the Daily Echo’s website was not positive, I have to admit. The majority of those commenting on the proposal thought the noise was just a part of modern life. Some pointed out the weekend was the only time hard-working families had to carry out modifications to their homes. Fair points, but not helpful.

What I’m considering, then, is a Bill through Parliament that doesn’t impose a complete ban on noisy work at the weekend, just restricting it to once a month.

That way we can all get our power tools out together and really go for it. It will also mean I don’t feel quite so guilty on the weekends when I’m prevented by law from picking up a drill and getting on with fixing that wonky guttering Mrs M has been nagging me to sort out since January.