We have had a wonderful warm Autumn here in France, it has been recorded as the warmest October on record, but over the last week winters has started to creep in with the wind; and today, as I sit here with Sofa Loaf (the toothless cat we rescued when we moved here) fast asleep beside me it reminds me how much our lives have changed since moving here.
I am sitting in my fleece, with my old computer (with an added keyboard because the keyboard went on it years ago!) and the electric heater on very low. The clocks went back this weekend and the sun is low in the sky because the evening is drawing in already. Summer seems a long way away now.
Rural living is simple living if you don’t have a lot of money; so over the last three years I have learnt that everything counts, including the twigs from the garden – used for kindling – and the small logs from the cob nut trees we coppiced three years ago, now tinder dry and perfect for keeping the fire burning.
Yesterday as I stood in the biting late autumn wind loading the logs to take indoors I remembered how three years ago I was so excited about our first winter in France; about having to survive, it seemed so exciting at the time. But as that winter wore on I begrudged having to go out in the cold to collect the logs, and I wondered if I really was going to enjoy this life. It seemed so hard having come from our old house in England with it’s central heating that could be turned up at the click of a switch and the open fires we would light for atmosphere more than necessity.
As we were collecting logs today to re-stock our log cupboard, and also to try and finally fill the log store we bought (it is like something out of ‘The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe’ no matter how many logs we put in it, we havem’t managed to fill it yet!) I looked at Rich and said ‘I used to hate this, and now I love it!’ I love being out in the cold getting what I need to make our house warm and ‘snuggly’. I love all of the elements that every season brings and I embrace them all.
I am not dreading the many cold, grey, damp drizzly days you can get in this part of France in the winter. Instead I enjoy looking at the grey mists that surrounds us, I love the atmospheric feeling of being in the middle of nowhere snuggled down amongst the mist, feeling safe, and making do with what you have got.
I do, I love the fact that to use something I have to make an effort and get it, gone are the days when I can just have something in the time it takes me to click my fingers, and it made me realise that I love that aspect of our lives now.
When I used to live in England I would sit in my house in just a T.Shirt, I don’t now! Our only form of real heating is the log burner and you will never see me without a fleece, thick cardigan or fluffy warm dressing gown in the late autumn and winter months; and I love that! I love it that I have collected the walnuts (that we let go to waste the first year we were here, we literally left them to rot!), and that this weekend I will make us a walnut pie (bit like pecan only think Walnut!)
We don’t have money to go out, but in all honestly even if we did we wouldn’t, we are happy in our home, with our beautiful Welshies (the perfect dogs for autumn photos) all our cats, our fluffy slippers (well mine anyway!) This and to just walk around our garden, is enough.
I love what this adventure is showing us! Be gratedful for what you have got and just enjoy each day; and if you cannot do that then just enjoy a small thing each day and be grateful for that! I know it is hard sometimes, trust me you only have to read some of my older blogs to know how hard it has been, but live every day is if it were your last, for someone, somewhere it will be.
A good message for the beginning of the week I hope.