Cherishing The Changes of the Season: The Charabang Outing.

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Autumn has never enthralled me more than since moving here. I have written about it So often.

Autumn is a time for letting go, and no more so than this year.

So last Sunday, before I returned to work for what I thought was going to be a long stint, I realised that when I returned home in October the evenings would be dark, and the opportunity to sit in my garden on these warm autumn evenings would be passed; that this would be the final weekend evening ever when I could savour my garden as she began her preparation to move from summer to autumn. Because all things are changing.

It has been incredibly warm here for September, with the temperature in the early thirties most days, so as the sun went down RD and I decided to take a walk around our garden, and savour what we have, at times, taken for granted.

Off we went up the chemin (ooh matron!) that divides our main garden from our field behind our barn, as the sun started to set. Needless to say the Welshies were with us, excited that mummy and daddy were walking around the garden with them, as if they wanted to show us all the things we might miss. Like the crab apples, and Cobb nuts, crunching beneath our feet.

As we passed Daisy (fondly known as Pussy Upsey the Bond Villain ) she watched with interest…

And not put off by Welshies at all decided to join us on our walk. She is fondly known as ‘cat Dog’.

Up she came behind us, stalking the serial killer known as Wiglet (she is a Bond villain after all!) not put off my Wiglet’s penchant for killing small things, because Daisy is a bit of an oompa loompa!

As we walked on to the field behind our barn, with its newly repaired roof (the boy done good) the sun set reflected onto the old building, built in 1812, it shimmered in the sunlight, as if knowing that yet again it was being left behind. That building must have so many stories to tell. We are going to become part of it’s history now.

As we stood taking in the sunset RD reminded me of the fabulous view from just over the horizon of the field behind us. In five years I had still not walked down to see it. I will make a note to do that when I get home.

I looked at all my beautiful animals, and was reminded of just how much they love us.

I savoured the sunshine, and thought of all those beautiful creatures who we have lost in the last five years, poignant memories, the kind that make you smile with tears in your eyes. Autumn reminded me, as always, of the things we take for granted.

I realised then that I rarely show you the view from this side of our garden, or the sun setting from this angle. So time to share this walk with you, with all who have followed this adventure with me. From the fields surrounding us, to the old statuesque oaks, standing so tall in our garden. They will give someone else shelter next year.

I miss my home….

Rosie

Living In The Moment: sunny Autumn Days

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I have made myself a promise, in this insane world, to give myself a little silence every day.

Here in France it is a beautiful autumn day, the sun is bright and warm, with just the occasional cloud blowing by.

So I took the time, from my what can be stressful days at the moment, and I had my tea and toast outside with the Welshies.

As I sat listening to the birds singing, and the trees sighing with resignation as the breeze took more of their leaves from them, I thought back to my first autumn here. I can remember how I would stand by my washing line and look around me in amazement that I owned the land where the huge oak trees loomed over me, and the crab apple dropped her apples loudly onto the goat shed roof. I remember walking up the chemin that was covered with a carpet of acorns and cob nuts crunching underfoot, and thinking this is mine.

But it was never mine, I never owned it, I borrowed it when I needed to heal, and it did it’s job. Now it’s time to let it go, and let someone else sit as the leaves blow by. Let someone else look down in wonder at the carpet of walnuts hiding amongst the leaves. Most years there are well over three thousand, we have given up trying to pick them all up, and we giggled the other day when we took the dogs for a walk down the lane and realised we were following a trail of walnut shells left by the squirrels. .

I will ask my neighbours if they want to collect some. If not the squirrels will be fed for the winter.

I will never tire of this view.

But one of my lessons has been it’s a view, that’s all. There will be more views.

Rosie

Living In The Moment

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It’s a blowy, blustery day here in France. One of those types of days that I love: when the rain is blown in and literally back out again by the ferocity of the wind, and the trees are waving away like demented stick giants frantically trying to tell us something.

I found the quote at the beginning of the post, today. As always, at a time when I needed to be reminded. What we will need will come. Selling houses are always such stressful times.

I reminded RD last night as we lay in our pretty little bedroom cuddling, with the lights sparkling away, and the Welshies gently snoring, that despite what we think we want, we must remember to live in the here and now: with our lovely house, with it’s stunning views, because that is all we have. As I lay in the night listening to the rain hitting the shutters I was reminded that this was one of the first things I loved about living here: that noise of the rain being flung about by the wind, knocking at the shutters as if asking to come into the safe and warm.

I think selling houses gets you so caught up in the planning for the future that you can often lose sight of the fact that you’re not really living your current moment. It was timely that the quote was sent my way today.

We had ordered some wood for the winter, knowing that despite the pending move nothing is certain and that we still need it for the here and now. With RD working it was down to me to take delivery and decant into our log store.

It was just what I needed: to be out in the blowey blustery day working, whilst I let the wind clear my mind. Nature was kind to me, the sun came out and the rain blew on by. I took some time to watch as the leaves dancing in the air as if some mad puppet master had control of them, at one point it looked as if they were marching in a line.

Now after a few hours work I sit here….

It is one of my favourite places to sit, and I am listening to the wind blowing through the trees, the sun is streaming through the window and I am again counting my blessings.

Rosie

Clearing Out The Old…

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The start of a new day in France. As always I am inspired by the sunrises over the vallees, and cherishing every one. I will share as many as I can with you before we go..

I should be on the boat now returning to my job, but as always life showed me the way and a mutual decision was reached that I will not return, but that monies owed will be paid. I cannot tell you the relief I feel, and although we will lose some money I will trust my belief that what we need will come. I have followed Mark Nepo’s advice and I have ‘Let go of the rice.’

Last night RD and I realised It is probably for the best because we only have eight weeks left in this house, if not less. Despite being busy these last two weeks clearing out the barn, taking all the things we humans tend to harbour for years but will never use to the dechetterie (rubbish dump).

There is still a lot of clearing out to do. One half of our barn has been completed, just the other half to start today!

I have also been busy selling things we don’t need, we have learned the lesson well in: don’t move stuff to another country just ‘in case’. It costs way too much and we are resolute that what we need must all fit into a Luton van.

We are moving ourselves this time, otherwise it will mean that we will have spent up 12,000€ on moving! Too much!

I have also arranged accommodations in Ireland, with flexible dates until they are confirmed, and checked out accommodation here for the (hopefully) only ten days we will need to remain here. I am ready to go now.

In France when you sell your house on the day you sign on the dotted line you hand the keys to the new owner. There is no going back to finalise, that is it, you have to be out and the house has to be empty on the day. So we will need to book into accommodation before the final day. It will be a poignant time when we close the door.

In addition to the barn I have cleared out our armoire of the things that were put in it five years ago, added to and never used. Why do we do it? Have drawers full of crap?

Trust me these are the empty drawers, they were full to overflowing before. Now some drawers are empty with only a few things we are taking with us put back. We asked ourselves yesterday why it takes a move to clear our lives of clutter. A new lesson I will try and remember: have a yearly clear out LET GO.

The plan is that once the dates have been confirmed everything that is in our cupboards is coming with us and simply needs to be wrapped and packed. (I say simply😁)

I have applied the same principle to our fabulous French buffet, lovingly painted by me and now a storage facility for all the things that need to be packed. I just can’t wait for the date now.

So the animals are looking at us questionably, they know that things are abreast.

Rosie

Making Decisions: Messages From Life

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It’s been coming for some time, life has been screaming at me for some time, but I got caught up on the hamster wheel of money.

I placed a cosmic order in August, explained how I do have faith, and that what you need will come, but explained how I was afraid; and I asked that I was shown what we needed would come. I was shown, but I didn’t stick to my part of the bargain and I went back. Life tapped me on the back, to remind me of our side of the bargain I felt guilty for reneging. It has shown me over and over again since I came back that we will get what we need. Why did I not believe? So yesterday I did, and changes were made.

Last night RD took a beer out from a Euros pack (special offer, because the Euros didn’t take place) and the first beer, second beer and third beer were for this country.

Do you think life is trying to tell us something? I think so….

Rosie

New Horizons

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I woke this crisp autumn morning to this beautiful sunrise.

I have always shared the sunrises with you all throughout the years, I am now cherishing every one whilst I am here. Over the years the sunrises have inspired me on even my bleakest of moods, the sun rising over the vallees always reminded me that no matter what, a new day will come, and we just have to go with the flow.

It’s all systems go now for our move. We should know for sure if all is going ahead by the beginning of November. It’s a busy time.

Our little hamlet feels different now, almost subdued since the changes last week. RD and I feel as if life is saying to us ‘Time to go.’

Since our decision to leave we have always said that we are sorry to be leaving our little community, but what has happened is again a reminder that nothing stays the same; that you cannot stay somewhere because of people, because people change, their lives change, they move on. It’s like a ripple, constantly moving, there is no staying still.

Since making our decisions I have often said I would keep this house if I could afford to, as well as living in Ireland. RD asked me over the weekend would I stay now? The answer was ‘No’, it’s time to let go. There are new horizons to see.

But just for a moment I stopped and cherished the moment, on a crisp autumn morning.

Rosie

Getting Ready: Clearing Out The Old.

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Why do we do it? Why do we hold onto things when we don’t really need them? Nearly six years ago RD and I cleared out our old Edwardian home.

With a huge loft it took forever to box it up and we had so much crap in our loft and in the house that we swore we would never do it again. But two years ago we finally went through our boxes we had brought over to France and found we hadn’t been as good and mercenary as we thought, because we had actually paid to bring crap over to France with us!

No surprises then that we are now faced with the task of clearing out the crap again, although this time we have learnt our lessons and we are being mercenary.

The cupboard in the picture above was what we called the ‘crap’ cupboard. It sat at the top of the stairs and we squeezed so much stuff in it we could hardly close the door. The last time I was home I made it my mission for it to be the first cupboard to be cleared. It would then enable me to store the summer clothes and bedding that we are already packing away.

Out came our old bikers jackets (RD is an avid biker) our boots, all bent up and mine a size that no longer fits me! There were old curtains that I could ‘make use of sometime’. My dress from my 21st birthday, thirty six years ago ffs!

There were clothes we had moved over from England that had been putbin the cupboard ‘ready for ironing’ that have never been on our backs since! RD’s old Ted Baker shirt way back when he was a forty chest. We have discussed how even then those shirts were £65, we wouldn’t pay that now so wonder what the hell we were doing paying it then. We have learnt our lessons.

Then there were the coats: a funky little leopard print coat, and fluffy coat neither of which I would be seen dead in. Why the hell I moved them to France I do not know. But you see I do…I moved those things because I was afraid to let go of my old life, it was all so overwhelming that we both held on to some things to give us comfort. But they didn’t and we didn’t need them, and there again are lessons learned.

We are letting so much go, we have learned that you do have to let go of the old, to bring in the new, and that all things will change anyway. That has been the biggest gift for me: learning my lessons.

In Feng Shui they believe we should let go to enable new things to come into our lives, we know that now.

So this is what the cupboard looks like now, and this is with stuff we have already packed up.

I am home for just over another week, and tackling the crap in my buffet and armoire, I am opening up so many new opportunities by doing so.

It’s been busy, what with me going to work in Jersey, and the move still going ahead. RD has been on his own again for three weeks, it’s too long, especially when considering that I am not being paid for a week of isolation. Decisions have been made. We’re letting go of the rice.

Rosie

Even Before We Go Things Will Never Be The Same Again. No more Bisoux

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Very early on in our adventure I wrote about our wonderful neighbours. I have written about them often since, about their kindness, of how they welcomed us into this community, in fact only these past three weeks Marc helped Rich complete our barn roof. But that is for another post, a simplistic, factual post. This post is about heartbreak and emotions.

Over the years we have all called out to each other Bisoux (kisses), when we see them. It was all started by the fun loving Nadia and infected everyone. We would wave as she drove past, and it was a joy to watch her and Marc together.

We had our BBQ on Saturday the 29th of August, all of our wonderful friends and neighbours together, with them all saying how sad they were that we were leaving, and how they would miss us. My friend Nadia not least, confirming over and over again that she was ‘tres triste.’ I promised her Carrot Cake from Jersey.

I got back on Tuesday. Rich said that she had been off work this week, very unlike her. So today I took over her Carrot Cake, and noticed her best friend, and our friend too, carrying bags of stuff out of the house. Then I saw Nadia, she was bereft. She told me that she and Marc had split up, and I saw in her eyes the pain that I had felt many years ago. I hugged her close, so close, as she sobbed into my shoulder.

I said to her ‘Je navez pas les mots.’ I don’t have the words. What do you say to someone with a broken heart? We all know that there is nothing that will heal that pain, only time.

And so, even before we leave life in our little hamlet has changed, as life does. We hugged her goodbye, but I will stay in touch with her, she is a friend who has shown me kindness so often, and I will miss seeing her come home, and calling out ‘Bisoux.’ As will RD.

Times they are a changing. Life can be so hard sometimes. I feel so sad.

Bisoux my friend.

Rosie

The line, it is drawn, the curse, it is cast
The slow one now will later be fast
As the present now will later be past
The order is rapidly fading

And the first one now will later be last
For the times, they are a-changin’

Bob Dylan

Say Nothing…Say It Often

A guest post, that made me giggle from the title, and onwards. Brilliant!

It’s so hard to shut-up…to refrain from comment, silence your tongue, hold that verbal fire. They should teach it as an alternate language, same as …

Say Nothing…Say It Often

Feeling Strangely Calm

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See the source image

So a few days ago our lovely immoblier contacted us to say that it may not be possible to convert our barn into a dwelling. We had never advertised the house in such a way as to imply it could be, but the people who have offered are keen to convert. The implication is that this may affect the sale. But strangely I feel very calm. We feel very calm.

As you know RD has been working on our house and I have not actively sought work for him this year (it is difficult enough but add Covid to the mix and it is virtually impossible.) However over the past two weeks he has been contacted direct re working for people in the area. Not least at one of the most beautiful places he has ever been asked to work.

We visited with trepidation but our fears were quickly allayed because the people are very nice. There is no agenda, just really nice people. He also has other work lined up from previous clients so now it is raising questions about our way forward.

Now as you all know we believe that life shows us the way, and the fact that so many people had contacted RD we decided that if he worked it would enable him to employ someone to help him with our barn roof now that his good friend has returned to the UK for good. (A poignant time when he said goodbye, as change so often is.)

We also believe that when life sends you such a strong message you really do have to listen. So for the first time in a long time RD is working very locally for lovely people in a fairytale setting. But it does now put pressure on us re the move as I am still working in another country and due to the wonderful Covid I have to spend six days of my time without pay and away from home, whilst I isolate. Is this best for us?

Something to consider, given the messages we are being sent.

So back to the house sale. We had an offer on our house within ten days of it going on line, with a whole influx of emails from people who wanted to view it. In fact still want to view it, even though it is under offer. We know that the location of this house is second to none. It is down a two kilometre lane, that finishes where our house is. No through traffic, in a national park, with as you know stunning views. No amount of money put into a house can change it’s location. So when asked if we would agree to wait until the people find out if they can convert the barn, we declined. We cannot live in limbo, packing everything away ‘just in case’ and then find that they are going to pull out, and we have to start all over again.

We know that this house and it’s location is worth every penny, so if they decide that the conversion of the barn (which can never be fully guaranteed until you go through a long process) is a deal breaker it will be back on the market. Tout suite.

Another thing we have learned: Our Worth!

Rosie