Advertisements

Laughter & giggles

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , ,

One of biggest things that I love about my husband is that he makes me laugh every day. So this weekend I thought I would share some of this part of our life with you.

I have shared that this winter was difficult, but it didn’t stop us laughing: from Rich mimicking me whenever he could: I now hear myself say oh! Before a sentence or asking for something; because he would mimic me and what I had said whenever I did it: ‘boh! Bring my iPad down babes! Or ‘boh. Turn the water in babes!’ As I hear myself say it now I start giggling, whether he is here or not.

Then there are the times I lift something heavy: I didn’t realise that I puff my face out as I do it, like a determined puffer fish until I looked at Rich the other end of whatever we are lifting pulling the same face back at me. Then I start laughing, nearly always drop what I am lifting and end up calling him a bastard!

But I get my revenge: so here is a recent story of my escapades into trying to teach Rich some French:

We are sat on or respective sofa’s when I say to Rich ‘I was thinking to really get to grips with another language you need to understand verbs, adjectives and nouns.’ (Rich never excelled in English grammar, he couldn’t see the point.)

Rich now looks at me suspiciously, but I carry on: ‘Because the French put their adjective after the noun, where we put our adjective in front of the noun, and I think that confuses you.’ Rich looks at me and says ‘whats an adjective?’

Me:’It’s a word that describes a noun. For example the black table. What’s the adjective?’

Rich:’Table’

Me:’No that’s the noun.’

Rich:’What’s a noun?’

Me:’The name of something: Tree, Fire, Dog’. (I’m looking around the living room for inspiration) ‘So the black table, what’s the noun?’

Rich:’The’

Me:’Table, table, table, for fucks sake I just told you.’ Rich starts giggling nervously. But I wasn’t giving up (although I think that’s what he wanted)

Me: ‘So the black table: what’s the noun?’

Rich:’Table’ (yey)

Me: So what’s the adjective?

Rich: ‘The’ (Oh for fucks sake!)

Me (I’m starting to stifle a giggle now) ‘The, the the! What does ‘the’ describe?’

Rich:’The table’

Me: ‘If an adjective is a word that describes the noun how can it be the? What is describing the table?’

Rich: (desperately trying to work out what he has not said) ‘black’

Me: By now I am talking in a very high pitched voice trying not to laugh’ Yes! So if we put our adjective before our noun, what is an adjective?’

Rich:’Table’

Me: (rolling up with high pitched laughter) ‘I give up! I haven’t even got to French yet! You can’t speak English you’ve got no hope with French!’

So moving on to Friday night: I’m cooking the ‘Friday Night Kebab’ with my back to the kitchen. We’re jimbied up (got our pyjamas on), hubby’s milling round the kitchen. Suddenly I hear what sounds like a bumble bee on steroids: I turn to look and see my husband spinning round the kitchen, whilst blowing a continuous raspberry, and spinning either end of his dressing gown belt around. I started to giggle:

‘What are you doing?’

‘I’m a helicopter’

‘Are you really!’

He’s 56 this year!

And that’s why I love him.

Moisy

A house is not a home….

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,

Sealsea- (2)

Three years ago yesterday i moved out of my beautiful house, by the sea, to start this adventure. I loved this house, have always said it was the most beautiful house I would ever have the privilege  to live in. Edwardian, with so many original features….

Sealsea-1

I had put my heart and soul into it, worked so hard on it renovating and decorating and making it into our home.

We were so rushed when it came to moving day I do not even remember closing the door for the last time, but I do remember sitting in the pub that night with tears rolling down my face. When my book comes out you will understand why the house,  for Rich (and now, as time has gone by I realise  for me also),  had become contaminated; it could never be the home we thought it would be; and as three years have passed I have come to realise that.

So then we found our house on the pinnacle of the rolling hills that are Ambrieres les Vallees, and we fell in love. For me it was bittersweet, it was not the house I had left, it was not the house that had taken part of my soul. But over the three years, despite the well running dry, the crappy cesspit (literally, all over the cellar floor sometimes!!) and the mold on the walls; it has shown me this …….

I sit in my bedrom and I look out at this my favorite tree and I feel at peace

imageimage

And over the years I have realised that a home is about love, companionship, laughter, and tears; it is not the house, it is the people in it. I look at my husband, and he is happier here. I know neither of us could go back to a house where you could reach out and touch your neighbour, surrounded by people and noise. We are too used to the peacefulness that surrounds us; and I have finally come to realise that I do not miss my old home, it was ONE of the most beautiful houses I lived in; but this is the most beautiful home. It has not taken my soul it has replenished it.

A chair is still a chair, even when there’s no one sittin’ there
But a chair is not a house and a house is not a home
When there’s no one there to hold you tight
And no one there you can kiss goodnight

The late great Luther Vandross..

Have a good Sunday folks.

Moisy

You may want to check out my other blog

http://makingthisbetter.com

It may surprise you, and it may give you hope.

Autumn: Swallows

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

When we moved here our house had not been lived in for over three years, and our old barn had become a residence of choice for the swallows every spring; with it’s lack of the likelihood of interference from humans, and the abundance of tall trees, and thereby insects our barn was the perfect choice. And then the English came along!

But life was looking out for our swallows because these English have not blocked up the barn (we’d have a job with half the roof missing) we have welcomed the swallows.

So every spring the babies can be heard chirping in the eves, and now they have come to realise that we will not hurt them the swallows no-longer dive bomb us when we go to the barn to move something back into the house (which has been moved to the barn and back, barn and back so many times!)

This winter the barn roof will finally be replaced by H, we hope to save that beautiful old building if possible. But we will ensure that the swallows still have somewhere to stay, they are part of the fabric of this home and all that it entails.

Every summer as we sit in the garden in the early evening we are treated to an aerial display as the swallows teach their young to catch the numerous insects milling about in the air in the late evening sunshine. In fact we get two displays because as the swallows take their young to bed the bats then come out as twilight arrives and take over the second sitting for the insect banquet.

But what has inspired me to write this post is what happened last night. The Indian summer continues and the past few days we have reached temperatures into the late twenties early thirties. After my shower I stood at the bedroom window and watched as the swallows began to gather. We have a collection of phone wires for our community and swallows love phone wires; add to that our trees and the corn in the field and the swallows found their ideal spot to swoop (a collective noun for swallows). It was amazing to watch as they swooped past our window over to the field opposite.

More and more arrived swooping high and low, sitting on the phone wires, just looking at me, as I stood like a mad woman in my pyjamas videoing them. My photos do not do the spectacle justice : they were preparing to say goodbye.

Autumn is here, despite the hot weather, and the Swallows know it is time to start their preparation to leave.

I realised that although they will be back next year it may not be the same swallows, many will die on the arduous journey to Africa and the Sahara; and it again highlighted to me how (to quote George Benson) everything must change, nothing stays the same. It cannot.

I am truly blessed.

Rosie

Simple things, simple things.

if you want to listen to the fabulous George B singing about change here it is.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=oqtHo0pU-1M

Advertisements

Giving thanks: Autumn Fares

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Throughout France there are vide greniers from spring until the end of summer. Taken literally vide grenier means empty attic, and it is a time when people try to sell anything they don’t need. Being an avid vintage fan I have found some beautiful pieces that the French no-longer treasure, but I love them; as do many others, and many pieces have found their way all over the world, courtesy of my Etsy shop.

I have said before how I love it when these beautiful items start life anew, treasured again; but some never make it, some stay with me, because I love them too much to let them go.

As Autumn draws in the vide greniers are paired up with the fares to celebrate the summer and all it gave, and as September moves forward celebrating autumn and all it brings. Every season is necessary, every season has it’s role, and therefore in such a rural community every season is celebrated.

Our local town has a fete to celebrate the summer, with it’s large vide grenier, fayre and fireworks. (They love a firework in France.) And it took place in our local town this weekend.

After mooching about with the puppies, and acting as referee with the numerous dogs we encountered, we stopped in the sun soaked courtyard of our local tabac for a coffee, it was the perfect end to a lovely afternoon.

Although it is clear that Autumn is here, she is seeping in slowly and the weather is still warm, and when we arrived home we were determined to enjoy the sunny weather even though the temperature had started to drop. We sat in our garden chairs, under our tree of Tao, with a glass of wine in hand, and just looked out across the view (me with two cardigans on by now!)

It was a simple Sunday, and although we are open to change where life is concerned perhaps that is helping us to cherish the moment. (Not least our nineteen year old cat who you can see in the last picture.)

It’s Monday tomorrow, try and treasure it.

Rosie

Life

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

 

As Autumn rolls in, with the first day of September marking her arrival the day has been warmer than promised. We have had a totally lazy day and at five in the evening I have just got out of my jymbies! H looked at me this afternoon as we sat watching old episodes of ‘Four in a Bed’ and uttered the words we always use ‘I should get on really.’ Only this time I looked at him and said ‘Why?’

You see the French try and keep their Sunday’s sacred, that is why it is frowned upon to mow your lawn, or use loud tools after noon on a Sunday (in some areas that applies to all day); but it is not a bad thing because you do not have a constant hum of strimmers, and lawn mowers, and drills and banging whilst people frantically try and fit in all their jobs before they return to the daily grind of more often than not, ten hour or more days, like we used to do in England.

Since living here I have come to understand: it is not the noise it is the fact that not being able to make that noise makes you stop! And then perhaps smell the roses?

But coming from England that is still a hard thing for us to do: just stop. Have a day when you don’t do anything or give yourself a list of jobs to do. Yes I will be cooking a roast dinner today but that is all, no hardship. Yes I am writing this blog, but I love writing; and yes I have done some social media work, but again I don’t find that a hardship and I do try and manage it.

I suppose the coming of the new season and the slow drop in temperature as the day has wore on has made me think; for new people to this blog you will know that I am inspired by Autumn and all she brings   and represents: death, closure, the end of something, another chapter gone, and the reminder to cherish the moment becauses suddenly summer is over and autumn is here. She has taught me that without all these things life cannot move forward and change is the only thing of which we are guaranteed; so today got me thinking about how we should just sometimes stop and savour the day; stop always trying to achieve and just go with the flow. And today that is exactly what we did.

Earlier in the year I wrote of how we did not know if we would stay here and I said that life would show us the way. So far it has: Rich’s business has taken off, I have got me back, we have met some lovely people (sadly we have met some more arseholes as well, but those bastards are about wherever you go) and we have learnt our worth. My other blog was a main contributing factor to that: in the way it has just took off, and the responses to it. It made me realise that I should not listen to the n’er do wells in life and trust my own gut instinct because so far it has never let me down; things never worked out when I didn’t listen to my gut, but when I do things come good.

On Thursday I was sent the proof for my book and the front and back cover (which are fabulous). Yes I have to proof read it and should have been doing it today but it is good too take a break when you are looking for any editorial mistakes! Once agreed the book should be available to buy by the end of the month, and I already have people from all over the world waiting to buy it. I will keep you posted.

In addition to that Rich has now been contacted via our website by two clients who have a lot of decorating work and they are now pencilled in for the winter months. That is a first!

But we have also stayed true to our word in that we would know our worth and we will not just take work because we need the money. We always need the money but we agreed that we would not do sub-standard work for people who did not want to  pay for prep; and also that we would not work for people who appeared rude, or when alarm bells were ringing about them. We have done that too often since living here and it got us nowhere.

As most of you know I do believe life shows you the way and sends you lessons and in the past two weeks she has sent us a test to see if we were going to be true to our word: life sent us a client who was at times abrupt and rude and who rang all of our alarm bells:

They told us that their regular decorator had been too busy all summer to accomodate them (alarm bell 1, that normally means that the person is difficult to work for and that the decorator turned down the job) then they told us that they would do the prep work prior to painting (alarm bell two because if the prep was not done right then the paint would not adhere properly) then they changed their minds about what they wanted and asked for another price for the job with the work they had originally said they would do included. (Alarm bell three, as they did not seem to know what they wanted so how could we provide it?) Then they asked me for my phone number four times even when it was already on the messages sent, and they had our business card! They said that they did not use the internet even though they messaged me via Messenger and have a Facebook page! They could not understand why the days required to do the job would increase (even though I had to add the additional work that they had said they would do) and on and on and on. Their messages got ruder and more and more blunt and in the end all of my and H’s alarm bells were ringing loudly.

But me (ever the empath) still gave them the benefit of the doubt even when H said he had serious doubts about working for them.  I suggested that ‘life will show us the way.’ It did the very same morning!  After providing six different estimates accomodating their changes of mind I got home to a message querying something that had already been explained four times. It was both rude, demanding and abrupt, and I thought ‘well life sure showed me!’ I was getting the impression that I was having my time wasted (hence the lack of blogging) and I spoke to H and we both agreed that we would let the job go. So we did; and it felt good. Life will send us what we need, it has proved that to me over and over again.

So on this first day of autumn those are my reflections on life, and what we have learnt so far this year.

I learnt long ago that life is driving the the mini-bus  I’m not, and it is only when I don’t listen to what life tells me that things go wrong. I am now listening.

Here are to exciting journey’s ahead.

Rosie

Image result for tree lined avenues

 

Spurred on again

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I have often thought long and hard about writing about social media here in France (not just in France I hear the cry!) but I can only speak of my experiences as part of this adventure.

When I first came here I was shocked at the level of negativity and sometimes venom that has been levelled at people. As I was still not fully me it deterred me from pushing our business forward. But as I have written before, since the beginning of this year I have been brought back to being The person I used to be and our business has been ticking over.

To promote our business I have to use social media, add to that the promotion from my book and Other blog which serialises the book, I have become a dab hand at social media promotion which is here and now, not scrolling back, but here and now.

Over here there are certain Facebook sites that have been set up to help people promote their services and to find services. But over the past few months I have had negative comments on some of my posts: ‘if you’re that good why do you have to keep advertising?’ that sort of thing. On one of the sites I was blocked from posting for ten days.

There was no apparent reason for this other than we are showing work that has been completed for our clients and their feedback. That’s what you’d share, isn’t it? But people have taken exception and today I received notification from another site to say that people were complaining that I was posting too much. The last time I posted to that site was the 16th of August! I also noticed that my post that I put out today had been removed. So you know me, I asked why, and how often you are expected to post, given that the site is to advertise the service you provide. The answer was: because you’re the only one that does it on a regular basis!😳

I was spitting blood. So because I post regularly, even though I was not breaking any ‘rules’, because some people complained (about what I don’t know, other than what I can inly assume was petty jealousy) my post was taken down. The masses were not questioned as to why they took exception to my posts, it was just taken down. So basically, as is often the case over here, spitefulness prevailed.

Now being back to Good old Rosie (aka Moisy) again I did what I would have always done. I hate bullies, I hate the mentality of bullying, I hate spitefulness and lack of support from others for others, as is often the case from some people over here. I am not prepared to let them lead me.

I thought to myself, as I sat here fuming, ‘Rosie what are you doing? Why are you letting ‘the haters’ affect your life?’

So I set up my own Facebook site for people to advertise their services, there and then. I am recommending they post to it at least twice a week, or more if they have an event to organise, and now I am advertising that site. I set it up at one o’ clock this afternoon and people are advertising already and I have over 18 members and counting.

The introduction on the page is clear, no petty minded people need apply.

And the page rules are also clear this is a supportive group.

From the responses I have had I would say that others are as sick as I am of the pettiness over hear. It will be an interesting few months me-thinks.

Hear is to entrepreneurship. Welcome one and all. Please like my page, and if you know anyone who wants to advertise their wares please them they will be welcome.

Please click here & support our new page

Like I said ‘I’m back!’

Rosie

Laughter and giggles: Tormenting each other”

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , ,

My last Laughter & giggles post proved very popular so I have decided to have a section dedicated to the things that make us laugh every day.

Those who read my other Blog will know we have had our trials and tribulations, but even in the throes of them my husband’s piss-taking dry sense of humour has still made me laugh.

Even when I wanted to be really furious with him, he would make me laugh: like the time (just four months after ‘The War’) when we went to Crotoy in France. We rented bikes and rode down little narrow streets and got totally lost; with me in the lead saying ‘Oh look at that babes, I’ve never noticed that before’. When in fact we had ridden down the same road three times and even past a bloody great water tower! H proceeded to call me ‘my wife the Goldfish’.

Then there is his cheekiness, like the time when it was very hot and my visiting friend took her bra off from under her top. As she walked across the garden with drinks in her hand H shouted out ‘careful you don’t trip over them!’ My oblivious friend started to frantically look for what was going to trip her up, until she realised. – He gets used to being called a bastard, albeit through tears of laughter.

So to the current day: H has decided that every time I take a drink of my squash he is going to make loud glugging noises. Each time I start to laugh, and go ‘leave me’ in a pleading voice. But no! Each time I went back to drink my drink he did it again, so much so he could hardly do it for giggling, and I couldn’t drink because I was laughing. He was not content until I had laughed into my drink and spilt it all over me!

But I get my revenge: yesterday as he was obliviously scratching his bottom lip using his teeth I proceeded to do it back to him and he laughed and bit his lip! Revenge is sweet!

You see no matter what we go through, or have been through, we laugh every day, and for that we are blessed.

Rosie

The Indian summer

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

As you know this summer was really hot in France, until August came. Then suddenly the temperature dropped to the early twenties, which is cool for this time of year in this region. But out of the cool air came an abundance of flowers. I realised that it had been so hot that the flowers had been burning, and as the air cooled they took their opportunity to bloom again.

We talked about dismantling the pool, and I am back to good old log splitting, because we do have to prepare for winter, and we still have so much wood to prepare and use.

But now the temperatures are rising again and are due to reach the early thirties and late twenties well into next week. The difference is it’s an autumn sun, and whilst hot it is not suffocating and the late evenings get a little chilly. ( All good for sleeping).

So this week when H has got home we have sat in our chairs with a long aperitif (no wine or beer, we have kept to our word) and put the world to right, whilst looking out across this view.

With a Welshie at your feet, (and the Princess snuffling for something small and furry to kill) what more could you want?

We said in January we would let life show us the way with regard to staying here. Perhaps not holding on so tight to that ‘dream’ has given us the ability to just enjoy the here and now. We said that we would see what the winter brings, but I am not afraid of it, I have truly learnt that what is meant to happen is going to happen, and all the worrying in the world will not change it.

So I am going to enjoy this Indian summer, my H, my cats (Sophie the sofa loaf taught me that), my beautiful dogs, my flowers with their new found lease of life

Not least Sophie’s rose.

And this beautiful place that I am blessed to live in. Life is doing the driving, I just have to trust it and enjoy the moment.

Aperitifs anyone? I can have wine tonight!

Rosie

Learning lessons: The holiday

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

We will have lived in France four years and four months, lived in our house four years last week. Wow! The time has truly flown.

Those who have been following this blog know that we have had some good times, but boy we have had some tough times; and it has only been this year that I have fully recovered: back to being me

As a result of my full recovery I have taken over the management of our small property management business, set up the website, and promoted the hell out of H: He is good at what he does.

Because of this H (my new abbreviation for Danny/Rich, it’s just easier!) has had more work and last week we realised that it was actually the first ‘holiday’ we have had since living here.

That’s the thing with an adventure like this: you’re setting up a new life when you move to a new country: bank accounts, language, culture, in France in particular finding your way around the mountains of admin. All the things that you just took for granted: like opening a letter and reading it, or being able to pick up the phone to sort something out just goes out of the window.

This was our house when we viewed it, the paper on the walls was damp and mouldy in the living room.

Our kitchen had the unit you can see and nothing else. It had to be taken out and H built us a kitchen on a budget, and over the years we have actually taken the wall between the laundry room and kitchen.

When people embark on this type of adventure they want ‘the land’ but as I have written about before land means work! Add it to having to translate everything, renovating, trying to build a business and oh my! So suffice to say to have an adventure is hard work, unless you don’t have to work, or have enough money to pay others. And you are always doing something, if it’s not work it’s the house, or admin, or in our case starting up two blogs, writing a book, setting up an Etsy shop, and so much more beside. We are always on the go, and we haven’t taken any kind of holiday, until now.

Life intervened to make this a holiday, where we took a break from everything, including admin, and housework, and renovation and gardening: it made me ill.

I am the driving force, H would tell you that. But my failing is that being a ‘doer’ I cram things in to every day. I am always looking to achieve, but this last week I stopped. We did the basic tidying that you have to do on a daily basis, we lay in bed until mid-day (albeit with a cup of tea), and we chilled. H had a window to fix that was smashed in the winds the week before last, and every day he said he was going to fix it, and every day I said it was fine. It’s not freezing, it didn’t have to be done on our week off. Being ill, and still not one hundred per cent even now, made me stop.

Yesterday was our last day of our holiday and with the fuel to drive around we had spent the total of twenty-two euro. It proved to us we didn’t need money, we just needed each other and simple things like sitting in the washer-woman’s wash house watching the rain plop into the river in the beautiful Chailland.

Or just chilling with tea in the morning with the Welshies, who couldn’t be happy seeing this every morning.

As we sat in the garden last night drinking our last bottle of red wine (before our self imposed change to not drink on weekdays) H looked at me and said ‘I have had such a lovely time, and really felt as if I have had a holiday.’ I agreed with him and it made us realise that life has changed for us: being busy has enabled us to appreciate the holiday we have had, and also made us realise that we don’t need money to have a good time.

Here is to more galavanting, time permitting.

But just one other thing: if you don’t have bad times then you won’t know good times, that is the biggest lesson we have learnt from this adventure. If you’re not busy, how do you enjoy relaxing? Or does each day just merge into another? I have also learnt from this break that you can get caught up in the busyness and forget to sometimes just stop, and that there are so many beautiful places just on our doorstep, we just need to take the time out to enjoy them.

Rosie

Galavanting: off to a new department – Saint-Céneri-le-Gérei

Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,

This is Saint-Céneri-le-Gérei, a stunning town nestled in foothills cut out by the river Sarthe that runs through it. It’s history dates back to the 8th century, and as with most French villages involves a monk, and a monastery, but it also involves vikings (who burned down the monastery) and the good old English who the French managed to hold off for a good while during the hundred year war.

It is, quite simply, stunning, and only an hours drive from our house. The village has a history steeped in art, from the original pictures from the first artists who visited, showing how poor the village was, to current pictures now showing it’s affluence. I was destined to come here as there is a famous auberge: Auberge Moisy (which we all know is my real name).

It was a tavern that was owned by the Sisters Moisy. Frequented by the visiting artists who used to paint on the wall, it is now a museum.

The town’s beauty just speaks for itself.

Due to my new diet (and a lot less alcohol) I was able to walk up and down the hills and dales for two hours before my knees started to complain, although I did pay for it yesterday.

We visited both the roman church and the medieval chapel that sits in the middle of a huge pasture right next to the river.

It was a fitting end to our week of galavanting (although we are contemplating a vide grenier today) and all in all we spent six euro in the whole week! We have had a fantastic time, taking packed lunches, simple food, and fruit; highlighting that you don’t need money to have fun.

Perhaps I should rename these posts: simple things.

Rosie

Galavanting – Just chillin

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

Yesterday was our 20th wedding anniversary, and we just took a relaxing day, did a small amount of shopping for our wedding anniversary dinner (minted lamb chops mmmm) which we ate in front of the TV, on our laps, whilst watching Outlander (Danny aka Rich) said that it is my ‘soft porn’! That was all we needed.

In fact this week has been lovely, just spending time together. We have been busy (for which we are grateful) over the year and it is the first time since we have lived here that we have felt as if we are actually on holiday.

Today is a bank holiday in France and we decided to take the puppies for a walk to a park really near to us in the town of Gorron. I tend to use Gorron as a functional town: we bank there, the butchers is there, but it doesn’t and never has inspired me. But a few weeks ago D/R noticed a park just outside of the town, and suggested we visit.

As D/R may have a job in Gorron we decided to pop over to take a look at it, and went on to the park with the Welshies after. I was surprised. The park is pretty with numerous different walks, little streams, and a zip wire in the trees; not for us, but hubby did try the child’s version and ended up on his arse! Possibly because he is over six feet tall and it was made for little people of under four feet! How I laughed, but saved him the indignity of taking a photo as he sat on the dirt.

There is a pitch and putt mini golf with nine holes and after walking one of the two kilometre walks we sat on a comfortable little bench made from pallets and watched a family play golf (trying not to giggle).

I am loving this week, but our change in eating habits has already begun, with cereal and fruit every day for us now.

More to come folks we are going somewhere very pretty tomorrow, look out for the post coming soon.

Life is simple, life is good.

Rosie (also known as Moisy)

Galavanting: I’ve found where I want to live

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

It’s as if the summer in France was so intense it literally burnt itself out! This time last year we were enjoying temperatures in the late twenties, but it has been clear since the beginning of August that autumn is creeping in early. In fact as I sit here writing this I have my dressing gown on and my flip flops have been discarded for my autumn slippers (trust me my winter slippers are way bigger, with two pairs of socks underneath!)

After my sudden illness last weekend I am now ninety five per cent recovered, all but a bit delicate. I have lost four kilo, we are both eating healthier than we have in a long time (fruit has never been our thing. Salad’s yes, fruit was often just left to rot in the bowl) and we now have an occupied fruit bowl.

I would like to thank you all for your well wishes, and concern, but I was true to my word: we now have top up insurance and tomorrow I am sending off the docs for my carte vitel which is the seventy-five per cent provision from the government. As the lovely The grey divorcee said I really do feel as if a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. We will have to find the money every month but I do believe that life shows you the way, and I do believe life was telling (in fact yelling) at us to get it; so now I believe that life will ensure we have the provision to pay for it. Like I said it’s no longer an ‘option’, and it is about belief.

So back to my post. It is our twentieth wedding anniversary tomorrow, those who read my other blog you will know it has not been a smooth road, but then is anything in life? In fact if we all had a ‘smooth road’ all the time when would we know that we are experiencing something special? But I digress: after Danny (aka Rich) put in his holiday request form we are having this week off. We have a small budget but we only need to have each other and the Welshies to have a good time. So today we set off for the afternoon, to visit some recommended villages and towns near to us.

The weather was cloudy but warm when we arrived in St Denis de Gastines, where there was supposedly some gardens to walk around; but true to form for France it is August, everything is shut because everyone goes on holiday en masse, and there was not a sign for a garden anywhere. I love this country but sometimes there lack of entrepreneurial pzazz drives me insane!

What we did find though was this beautiful chateau

Oh wow! We said, let’s go and look at that, but sadly when we walked around to look through it’s gate it has just been left to rot. It was so pretty, with it’s walled garden and cloisters at the back, but it has been left and I understand that to maintain it would be so costly you would need lottery money to fund it.

Only the rabbits were in situ, frantically running for cover because they could probably smell Wiglet (aka the serial killer).

We left St Denis for a larger town nearby where something would be open for coffee, and during the journey we found this…

This is Chailland, a tiny medieval city of character, only forty minutes from where we live now. It nestles in the valley, with a large statue of Mary overlooking the town from a sheer rock-face cut into the hill.

It has some a few pretty bars and restaurants (all closed for the en masse holiday that the French take in August) but oh my that didn’t matter, it was quintessentially French, tranquil, and so so pretty.

The rivers Ernee and Varmourin run through it having carved there way through the rocks centuries ago. We both fell in love with it.

We had grabbed an impromptu ‘lunch’: crisps and nectarines, and we sat at a little table/bench that had been purposefully built opposite the rock face, river and old mill. What a place to eat your lunch with the man you have just spent the last twenty-one years with. I took these photos as we sat on the bench.

We both just sat there and thought this is what we need, perhaps life was showing the way! As the clouds rolled in and the rain started to fall we took shelter in the centuries old washer women’s area, right by the river. We just watched the river gain momentum as the rain fell, watched the raindrops plop into the water, and looked at each other and said ‘I am really enjoying myself’.

We Don’t have much in material sense, but we have each other, and tonight we have two sleeping Welshies, one in her own French antique cot!(She’s been dying to get in that because she’s seen the cats in it!)

We are galavanting a lot this week, with crisps and coke, and water, and fruit and Welshies, we are happy with what we have because we fought so hard to keep it.

Rosie