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I have been away from home for nearly two weeks as I write this, with still no internet as it is not available where I am. When I post this I will be, no doubt, sitting in the terminal waiting to board my boat home.

There will be a series of these posts about life’s lessons because it is clear that I will learn many lessons on this stage of my adventure. But this one is about what I have missed with regard to England and what I have missed with regards to France.

I have not been back to the UK for nearly five years, and whilst I am not on the mainland, the first thing that hit me when I got here was the noise of the traffic. In fact just the traffic.

Whilst I know that returning to England is an unlikely option for me I have missed the food: crumpets, hot buttered crumpets, sometimes with a poached egg on top. Part of my job has been to encourage someone to eat, and adding little things like that to the menu has been a joy. I have missed coleslaw! The French make coleslaw but I don’t like it, and one of the first things I had was a ham sandwich and coleslaw, creamy, thick cut slaw. I will taking some home with me, along with crumpets, tea bags and two thick juicy sirloin steaks. Beef in France is not hung for days, as it is in England, and we have had only one filet steak since we have lived there, because we find it too tough. So on Sunday we will be having steak, with mushrooms cooked in butter with lashings of black pepper and boy am I looking forward to that meal with my lovely husband.

But it is not really about the food, it’s the language, I have missed being able to go into a shop and not have to think about what I am going to say beforehand and rehearse it in my head. To just speak to people in your mother tongue is something to be treasured, take it from me. I have missed that simplicity of life.

What have I missed about France? I have missed my husband, dogs, and cats most of all, and I know RD would understand when I say, not necessarily in that order. Time with our animals is short, and I can speak to RD on the phone, but I do feel as if I am wasting precious hours, minutes and seconds of the time I will have with the dogs and cats.

I have missed cooking in my home, I didn’t know just how much I enjoy cooking until now. But my hope is I can set up a career in Ireland selling hot street food, and doing something that I love. But that is all I have missed. I have missed my house and my beautiful bedroom, and I will treasure the peace and tranquility when I get home. I have missed the birds in the trees, but I have not missed,the evil ex-pats, or the bloody bureaucracy : although I have so much to sort out when I get home, and the more it piles in the more my decision, our decision to move on stands fast. My mind is set now.

More to come.

Rosie