As I have said before I am trying to take the opportunity to spend time outside with nature, and my two beloved dogs.
It has been bitterly cold this past week in our rural area of France, and the thing with old stone houses is: they may look pretty but they are bloody cold if left without any heating in these kind of temperatures.
I have been working with RD this month, assisting and bossing him about. (I do the snagging in our business because I am a picky bitch!) So we have been freezing cold as we have not been lighting the fire until later, with the house eventually becoming warm and toasty just as we are going to bed!
But the job is coming to an end, so today I am at home, literally keeping the home fires burning. So the fire was lit this morning, and the house is warm, I have filled the log cabinet and RD can relax when he gets home.
Although cold it has been beautifully sunny and I have taken the opportunity to sit in my garden, at one with nature. Well as one as you can get it when accompanied by two Welsh Terriers!
But seriously the time I have with my dogs is never going to be enough; and being someone who always gets caught up in ‘the doing’, I need to remind myself daily to take a moment and enjoy the simple things in my life. Like sitting in the winter sunshine, with my dogs.
We pretty much know that our time here will be limited, and that we are likely to move to pastures new. So I need to enjoy this beautiful place whilst I can, so that I have memories to take with me, and no regret.
Enjoy it all, no matter the weather, breathe it in….
You can read my other blog by clicking on the link abive. It may surprise you.
Making This Better my book is also available in all good bookstores including Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple Books and so many more.
If you think others will like my blog please share
Since you went away the days grow long And soon I’ll hear old winter’s song But I miss you most of all my darling When autumn leaves start to fall
Anyone who reads this blog knows that I love Autumn, for its colours, for what it symbolises: letting go; and because it never fails to remind me that everything must change. That yearly reminder that things must die to make room for the new. It has that constant air of poignancy for what was, for the time that has past and for the things we have lost.
But this year it has been particularlypoignant. We both adore our dogs, we believe that dogs teach you about unconditional love, and we are both members of some social media sites that celebrate the Welshie breed, with their smiling faces, and love of cuddles, and wickedly stubborn temperament.
I recently wrote about the tragic death of Dylan the Welshie puppy who was counted as part of our family, but since her death two other young pups have died in tragic circumstances, one was drowned by a goose, and the other, just fourteen months old, was hit by a car. As I write this now my eyes brim with tears for the loss, and for the pain that all those left behind feel. So this year when I look out on the grey rainy days that we have here, and the leaves and walnuts falling from the trees, I am reminded, yet again, that where there is life there is death; there can be no life without it.
“the longest-lived and those who die soonest lose the same thing. The present. The present is all that they can give up since that is all you have and what you do not have, you cannot lose.”
Treasure every moment, treasure every sunbeam, every raindrop, every rainy day. Hold those close to you tight.
Autumn leaves written by Songwriters: Giorgio Canali / Francesco Magnelli / Gianni Maroccolo / Massimo Zamboni / Giovanni Lindo Ferretti
If you think others will like my blog please share
One of the things I love about living here are the lessons we have been taught with regard to the way we look at life, and the strong sense of community that French people have in rural France. This last week and especially today have been no exception.
A week ago I noticed a problem with our toilet, it was not flushing and I could hear water running in the cellar. Further investigation showed that we had a problem, and when he got home from work, R/D (he has two names so this is what I am going to call him now! ) concluded that we had a blockage.
We knew that our cesspit was due to be emptied and hoped it would wait until the end of the month because after being let down with a job we were unable to get the ball moving (or the crap on it’s way) until funds were available at the end of the week.
So all week we have been weeing in the garden (in the pouring down of rain) with the dogs looking at me as if I had grown another head! Visits to the public toilets were clearly de rigour for anything else. I even made up a poo bag of rubber gloves, wet wipes, and toilet roll! In fact yesterday as R/D and I went for our afternoon poo, and sat in adjacent stalls (unisex toilets here in France!) I found myself laughing as I called out to R/D ‘living the dream!’
That is the thing for us: we have learned so much. If you had told me years ago that I could live without a roof, water, and now a loo, I would have thought you were mad. But we have lived without all those things, and yet here we are still here. We have not died, we have not suffered, but here in our community we are not judged. And I believe that is the key.
Last week I looked at R/D one evening and said ‘I am not worrying about the loo, because I know it will be resolved in the end.’ We have learned patience, and to not stress about something if you cannot change it. That eventually what you need will come, when the time is right and not when you make it.
We did try to resolve the blockage over the week, hoping that we could hold on to the end of the month to have the cess emptied: we have used shampoo, washing up liquid, drain un-blocker, stronger drain un-blocker, a spiral spring, and a super duper Luigi plunger, but nothing was shifting it!
Once we had money in our pockets I visited our friend and neighbour Mark, for assistance, and literally at 10am this morning the tractor arrived! But after emptying the cess nothing happened, and the loo was still blocked, and despite working on the chambers for over an hour they eventually called the fabulous Pascal, (who I think can do mostly anything) who arrived toute suite. He could speak a little English, I can speak a little French. He looked at our antiquated cess, and asked me about the pipes and lo: they were off! Trying to solve the problem. All these people just trying to help us. It has not been a simple job, they are still here now, over four hours later, covered in crap, literally!
We now have a completely new cess pipe, because the other one was just full of a compacted wall of merde. We found that out when poor Pascale cut into the pipe and it poured out over his head! Marc and R/D laughed!
Here they all are with the lorry in tow, because it appears our cess has a pipe that leads out to the ditch. It is an air pipe, it creates the suction that makes the cess work, and it was blocked by years of mud, and our pine tree, and was in fact a major contributing factor to our problem.
It has to be cleared, and they are still all here, and the tractor is on it’s way…..
This is what I love about France, these people are helping us, using their time, with no questions. England, and even the majority if the English community, is not like that over here; and since starting this adventure there have been times when I am ashamed if my countrymen.
Marc and Nadia, Michelle and Martigne, all the wonderful French people we have met have been nothing but wonderful to us. But we have been reserved at times, have been afraid to approach them and we must have come off as bloody stand offish at times! Our lesson from all of this has been to stop being afraid of not speaking the language and integrate, that is the only way to do it.
Our lesson has been to join the community, so watch this space we will be.
More to come this week.
If you think others will like my blog please share
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.
Next week Danny (aka Rich) and I will be celebrating our 20th Wedding Anniversary. As many of you know we have been through many tough times to get here, but they have all made us stronger. The old adage ‘what don’t kill you makes you stronger’ is true.
So why the picture of the toilet? This is our old loo, the one we have had in situ for four years (yes we have lived here four years last Friday). The cracks that are in it were there when we moved in and the ‘thrifty’ or tight, depending on how you want to look at it, French farmer who sold us the house had sealed the cracks with mastic! I kid you not, mastic!
As you know if you follow this blog, money has been tight and other jobs have taken priority, but because we planned to celebrate by inviting the Frenchies and some other friends over for a BBQ on Saturday, we knew that we needed to get the loo replaced.
We had bought the new all singing, all dancing toilet come spaceship from a really lovely couple Danny had worked for many months ago; they were kind and they sold it to us very very cheap. But we struggled to pull the money together to get it fitted and something else always got in the way. Then along came Bob.
Rich has been working on a lovely ladies house (and doing an excellent job) and life showed us the way because Bob said he could fit our loo. He came over, made us laugh and told us that we had been lucky to have not crashed into the cellar below because of the state the toilet had been in. Life, as always, had shown us the way, and it had to be done before the shindig…or so we thought
Danny had put in a holiday request form, and I had booked him (and me) out for an eleven day holiday. Living in a rural environment there is something to do twenty-four hours a day, and I was aware of how we never seemed to have a day when we ‘did nothing’. But because of the shindig on our first day ‘off’ we found ourselves washing curtains, bringing the garden chairs round from the barn, putting shelves on the wall, hoovering and mopping and on and on and on. As always we had a very late lunch which seemed to knock me out, even though it was only a small sandwich; but being me (with her ‘doer’s attitude’ as the counsellor told me years ago) I got up and told myself onwards and upwards’ and went to hoover and mop my stairs. But then life took over, I began to sweat and felt really ill, but still I carried on, when I had finished I said to Danny ‘I need to sit down, I don’t feel well’. Within minutes I was in the smallest room in the house putting the new loo to use, and that has been the pattern ever since.
I am one of those people who has to get out of bed even when they are ill, because staying in bed makes me feel worse. But if on the rare occasion I do stay in bed then that is a sign that I feel really ill. On Friday I could not get out of bed. We were due to go to a fish and chip supper with some friends, but I sent Danny on his own and I can honestly say that if I had healthcare cover at that moment in time I would have gone to the hospital. And there lies the crux: we have winged it, Danny has seventy five per cent cover because he is in the system, I am still waiting for my cover to come through, and I actually found myself thinking ‘I can’t go to hospital I don’t have the money’. Then a voice in my head said ‘what is the point of having this house if you are dead!’
We lose perspective don’t we.
This was another of life’s lessons, as Bob said to Danny ‘good job I put the new toilet in!’ But the toilet was not put in for the shindig, everything that happened was to make me think about our priorities: we need to get healthcare cover sorted, maybe at the cost of something else; we are both in our mid fifties and we have to wake up to reality that we need to cover our health, wherever we live.
For the last two days Wiglet would not leave my side, in fact I knew I was in a bad place when she growled at Harley because she knew I was weak and took to guarding and protecting me. I made it to the chair yesterday morning, she ousted Danny and sat in the chair opposite me, just like a Welshie version of ‘Nanny’ from Peter Pan. When she finally left me to go into the garden, I took that as a positive sign.
Of course I googled my symptoms and scared the shit out of myself (literally) but I also realised, from what I read, that we have to make some lifestyle changes, even though my husband is resistant;and change them we will. Watch this space.
Needless to say the shindig had to be cancelled; and everyone was so understanding. My lovely French friends brought me a gift (by this time I had made it down to the sofa, but couldn’t get off it.) others messaged me, and ginger biscuits saved my life.
I am still not out of the water (or toilet) yet, but I do feel seventy per cent better than I did.
Life shows you the way, and I am listening, we will have healthcare by the end of the year, even if I have to sell my car.
But right now I am recuperating by sitting in the garden, with tea (it finally tastes okay) and toast made by Danny, the weather is fine, with intermittent sun, and a light breeze, and just sitting with nature is making me feel better.
If you think others will like my blog please share
My faithful followers of this blog may have noticed a distinct lack of blogging recently. There have been a number of reasons:
That I have been disenchanted with life (mainly people in it); that I have come to realise that I will have to lower my integrity towards people to survive, because I know that some people will take joy (sadly yes) if they read what I am going to write; and I have had to consider whether I was going to give them that joy; and mainly because I know that people love my positivity and I have felt very negative due to experiences since living here, that have now come to a head in the last couple of months.
I have come to realise that I have always tried to look at the positives to such a degree that I have not considered the negatives; and perhaps now I need to.
For the first time in a long time I wrote in my journal, and I reflected on our life here and realised that whilst I always try to look at the positive was I ignoring what life was showing me, by not acknowledging the negative as well? Our well ran dry, our water heater was not working properly, resulting in a huuuuuge bill, our roof blew off, our truck engine seized (despite being only 6 years old), work had been difficult and my! Have we had some humdinger employers! And many other things, not least Tinky Tiny Tilly never coming home. (But if you look at the balance Wiglet the PIglet came to live with us instead.)
On the Monday before my birthday I asked Rich if he wanted to stay here in France and he answered honestly that he didn’t know. So I set to writing my journal, and asked myself some honest questions. I know that people read this blog for its positivity but I always said I would say it warts and all.
As I lay there in bed with Rich snoring and asked myself if at that precise moment in time if I had won the lottery would I stay: The answer was no; but I have to emphasise it was at that precise moment in time.
So I started to consider other options in my head: moving to Spain, where it would be warmer and (my understanding is) the cost of living is cheaper. I considered moving back to England! The main problem with that was that we would want to live somewhere remote, and would never be able to afford to buy unless it was a shit hole! But I considered it, expressly Wales, where there is more countryside and less people. Then I considered Ireland; my dad was Irish, I have relatives there, the countryside is similar to France, and the properties are cheap. But most of all the benefit of Ireland was that they speak English.
I knew that to be realistic we really needed to sit down with a pen and a piece of paper because all of the things to consider would get lost in our heads.
But as always, even though I had lost my belief a little bit because it has been so hard, I believed that life would show me the way.
So on my birthday when I mentioned to a dear friend, who is there in the background, that I was considering our options they messaged me and immediately asked what’s up! They then pointed out to me how lucky we were and that they would move here in a heartbeat. They don’t know how much that simple comment meant.
As part of the numerous birthday wishes on FB a number of people said how I was living the dream; another friend excitedly posted that she was on the move, and when I responded she said that she was following my lead. My dear friend Mary has already ventured on a big adventure and all of these people have been inspired by us; I felt a responsibility to them. And being a girl who always believes that life shows you the way I then started to wonder if this was life trying to make me think. Add to that our impromptu invite to the lovely neighbours, Rich’s FB site that I have set up for work resulting in him getting some work from it, I started to think that perhaps it was.
On Sunday we went for a windy walk down our lane and visited a farm where Marc’s uncle lived and loved until he died last year. It was sad, with the doors blowing in the wind no longer loved; but when I looked at how that man had lived it reminded me that I had come out here for the simple life, and this was it. What did I want?
On the walk Rich and I stopped and looked over the rolling hills and Rich looked at me and said ‘I can’t go back to England Mois, I cannot be surrounded by people.’ And I agreed, we had at least made a decision on something.
As the week has worn on we have come up with some other ideas to make some money that I am now busy working on (let alone my blogs, and my book) and I am looking forward to what they may bring.
As I have always said life will show us the way.
We have both decided that we are not beaten yet; I mean, bloody hell, if you look at all of the obstacles that we have overcome to get to here we can do anything if we put our mind to it!
I have been honest in describing what happened to me re my mental health in England and in all honesty I think that I was still ill when I came over here. So I then became overwhelmed with the volumnious amount of paperwork that need to be completed; got sucked in by people who I thought were going to help me when in fact it was the opposite and I lost my mojo – which is that I take no crap from anyone.. But now I am back, I have lowered my level with regards to integrity and compassion, you get to piss me off three times and then your out! I can look after myself and others who are kind to me and I will not be beaten.
But part of this consideration is also that I have acknowledged that we are on an adventure – it was never set in stone – and if part of the adventure is to move to pastures new then life will show me that, and I need to not be afraid of it and stop beating myself up that I have to make it work here: to stop thinking that there are no other options. There are always options and right now I choose this one. Who wouldn’t?!
Then on Monday a darling friend (I have written of him before and the wonderful music he sends me) sent me this for my birthday; with a beautifully written card with it.
He also said to me on Messenger:
‘Remember Moi, we are the good ones, we too are the sensitive ones! We are on the bus, if the wheels fall off we just have to put them back on again!’
He is right, I am on the bus, my wheels on firmly back in place and let’s see where this baby takes us.
Watch this space folks let’s see what happens, and whatever it is I will Face Everything and Rise.
I have just used this quote in my other blog, but I love it so much and it sums up this post!
I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down and still somehow
It’s cloud’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know clouds at all
Both sides now – Joni Mitchell
If you think others will like my blog please share
Over the years I have shared with you the mental health problems that I experienced after working many years for the NHS – it is often said of that institution that it can chew people up and spit them out – or burn them out as it did in my case; that is true, and that is why you will not find me to be an overly excited supporter. Sadly I have seen it warts and all!
In the same way that I do not think that infidelity or heartbreak should be hidden under the carpet, I do not think that mental health should not be discussed either. But this post is slightly different this post is about how I have now come full circle and realised that the parts of me that have been suppressed are in fact exactly what I need to survive out here for now; perhaps that has been part of the lesson to know that the my strength is an assett!
Over the past few months I have come to realise that when I first came to live here I was still ill; it had been less than a year since I had first become ill, and looking back I had been optimistic to think that I was back to firing on all cylinders.
But add to that moving to a new country, the house not being what we thought (everything leaked, the cesspit, did not only not conform it was inside the cellar and leaked into the cellar, the heating did not work, you may want to see some of my old posts) and our son not talking to us it was a tough time.
Despite all of that we had the excitement of a new life to keep us going. It was all new and I accepted whatever life offered: I embraced the autumn and the winters, and as time went by I learned that, to quote the Tao, where there is bad there is good and where there is good there is bad. I understand fully that there cannot be one without the other. But…..
Over this year, and mainly towards the end, I have realised that I have turned into my mum! She was always a caring and giving lady, and followed the life rule of ‘don’t do unto others as you would not want done unto you’. But, sadly, other people do not have the same adage: so you keep doing good things for them and they keep takng them! I have found (as I have written about before) that the saying ‘people see your kindness as a weakness’ is a truer adage. This philosophy towards life, and the constant disappointments, eventually over time made my mum ill, because people were unkind to her often and she could not understand why, when she was only kind to them.
Now I have always been a kind of fiesty girl and when I was younger and my mum cried I used to tell her to just tell them to ‘fuck off!’ But I was young then, and over time and during my career I developed a high level of empathy; but sadly too much and that is what made me ill. Slowly over the years I have taken on the attribute that my mum had, I became an empath; it was bad enough that I was taken advantage of in England but since living here it has taken on a whole new level! Add to that the philosophy of the Tao: that we should see the good in everyone, and be kind to everyone that I tried to adhere to and on this adventure, and I was on a hiding to nothing! With the exception of literally a handful of people, I have had to learn a lot of hard lessons. I have learnt that most (not all) people are also surviving and to do that they will treat you with suspicion if you are kind, and they will do what they need to do to survive; and if that means fucking you over: then so be it. God knows I have seen that often enough.
I understand that it becomes a vicious circle: because everyone else has been stabbed in the back they become wary, and then they stab people in the back and so it goes on and on in an ever decreasing circles; I am not saying that I will automatically stab people in the back, I’m just not that sort of person, I am a more upfront person who says it to your face! So now, as I have said in previous posts, I am not going to lower my tolerance level and if my gut is screaming at me about someone I am not going to give them the benefit of the doubt. Not anymore!
But you see the crux is that I am not an easy person to get to know. I am kind, anyone who reads my other blog and the comments that I share with others will know that I also try to be measured and I have learnt to see both sides of the story; but I can also be very direct, and not give a shit if I get pissed off. I have tried to suppress that part of my personality but now I don’t want to; now I am inspired, now I am going to do what we need to do to survive and if that means fucking people off then so be it. Bring it on! Where my life out here is concerned I need to stop. We need to survive and I need to go back to the Moisy that I used to be: If you put my back up against the wall I will come out fighting and I will not be beaten.
I have learnt a lot about the narcissist and how they target people with high levels of empathy and integrity; in fact I think that it is fair to say that I can probably spot one at a fifty mile radius now; and this time I will not be so quick to give them the benefit of the doubt if the alarm bells are ringing. Correction: There is no benefit of doubt with a narcissist you just have to detach yourself and walk away. Or shall I? Fuck it! Shall I have a game?
As I write this post and reflect I have come to the decision that sadly I need to just be fiesty old me; those who really love me still will, those that don’t won’t! I forgot my own lesson of the mini bus of life! So I have stopped calling people to see if they are okay, I am back on my mini bus with the right people, and given that there is fourteen seats, six of them are empty – remembering my philosophy that is about right! The mini bus of life
So as I told my sister of yet another horror story of people we had encountered the other day I found fiesty old me talking to her; I judged them (correctly, but something that the Tao does not advocate): I knew that they were trying to get something for nothing because they thought we would do anything for the money. they were wrong! Not anymore! They got told no. Or as I said to my sister they can fuck off!!
But really what I did was use all the skills I have learnt over the years when considering them: The tell tale signs, from their behaviour, that all was not well in their mind, or with the family set up (they tried to hard to appear happy!) ; the boastfullness of their character; the fact that they wanted to tell me many stories of what they had acheived, and what they had got, and I could see it. Was it judging? Maybe. But for me it was listening to the warning signs and not giving people the benefit of the doubt any more.
What has this got to do with being on an adventure? Perhaps part of this type of adventure is finding yourself again, and this time using it!
As my sister said ‘Thenk God! The Bitch is back!’
Yes she is; it has only taken five years, and she feels good!
If you think others will like my blog please share
Apologies to all of my Moisy’s French adventure readers for the lack of postings, it is safe to say it has been a bad week!
I have been busy, blogging on my other blog (phew two blogs are hard to keep up, and maintaining your social media presence is even harder!) and also preparing some new stock for a Christmas Fayre I am attending on Saturday the 15th. So I have been trying out some new designs and making little angels..
With wooden christmas trees on stands to follow, and of course my signature stars (still a work in progress folks) I also have some unicorns to finish and it is all very time consuming.
But this is not why it has been a crappy week, a week that started off badly and then got worse – although is starting to look a bit brigher now the weekend is on the way. Let me explain:
On Monday I had to go to the bank, and do some errands. We were up early and there was a slight drizzle in the air when I left; but as I drove to our post office it started to actually rain. I arrived at the post office only to find that it was shut! Now I don’t like the post office at the next town of Gorron, I find the woman in there to be a sour faced cow! She never smiles, barks at you and is just generally rude (think the cliche of a rude French person and that is her, she really lets the side down.) But I had to post a parcel so needs must, and I knew I would have to go there as I was going into Gorron anyway.
Off I set and as I drove through the grey French winter countryside the heavens opened and it poured down. When I arrived at the post office there were no spaces in the car park so I had to park and walk a couple of minutes in torrential rain. I looked like a drowned rat. I gave the parcel to ‘les miserables’ and weirdly it cost me ten euros more than a larger and heavier parcel I had posted the week before in the post office at Ambrieres. How I longed to be able to go there with the lovely, friendly French lady; but, alas it was not to be.
Out I came and hurried back to my car, still in the torrential rain; in fact by now I could hardly see there was so much water on my glasses. I then drove on to the bank which was shut, as was expected, but I knew that I could still access the foyer to pay my money in (banks are shut in France on a Monday, hence the term bank holiday) But to do that I needed a rib which I did not have with me, so I got a rib from the cashpoint (still in the pouring rain) and went inside. But oh no! This was the day when nothing was going to be simple! The bank had no pens to complete the deposit envelope! I went back out to my car (in the pouring rain) in the hope that there would be a pen there, but of course there wasn’t so off I went to the tabac (in the pouring rain) to buy a pen; then back to the bank (in the pouring rain) to deposit the money. I had experienced enough, so I then went home and sod whatever else we needed!
However the morning from hell was not over; as I entered our kitchen there was rain pouring in down the wall from our roof. The roof we have only just had replaced! Now this is another story that I will tell in the future – once the issue has been resolved, but all I will say is that I will write about it and, despite a thinly veiled threat from someone, the story will be told. I pay for this blog, and I will write what I want!
Having said that there are some people who don’t warrant the word space so the story will be what actually happens and not about people who are so insignificant that they don’t need to be included. There is an important part here though: For those living in France it is worth taking out legal cover with your house insurance, they will then deal with issues like this for you, whilst getting your roof repaired.
Anyhow….. The rain poured in and we had buckets and bowls everywhere which meant tht we had to try and resolve things with odious people which you might have guessed we were unable to resolve.
What a day! I think I will start the week again tomorrow I thought; but I should have known better than to think that it couldn’t get any worse! On Tuesday I broke my tooth, and it was so sharp that it cut my tongue open. I now have a very sore tongue, am still trying to resolve our healthcare cover and cannot afford to go to the dentist! So I did what any self respecting person would do who is in pain and I filed the sharp bits of my tooth myself! Hopefully this will resolve it!
It is funny how some people can bring so much darkness into your lives when you let them in; and I knew that the problems we experienced this week with the roof was one of these occasions and that the only way to stop it was to stop interacting them. But even so it can sometimes still bring you down. I have documented many times the awful people that there are out here, but I am also a positive person normally and I do try and see the good; despite this I was starting to lose that ability. I was in immense pain with my tongue, and couldn’t speak properly; but despite the pain I was in hubby, as ever, managed to make me laugh when he went off to get some bits from the shop with the list of things I had told him to get: Cat litter, bottle of wine, and potatoe wedges. Here is what he wrote (whilst giggling all the time):
As always I perservered and I got my things done for the craft fair (well some anyway) but I could not shake the feeling of being pissed off: pissed off with people’s shitty attitude; with the pain in my mouth, with French bloody bureaucracy, with people telling you there is an English speaking line and then nobody there speaks English! Pissed off with my mouth really hurting because I have to keep speaking French to people (which is not easy when you have to roll nearly every syllable!) Pissed off with feeling as if I am getting nowhere when nobody rings me back! Pissed off with feeling like I am getting nowhere generally. I had actually started looking at the possibility of moving to Ireland! At least I would have family there and they speak English (well not for Rich, he struggles to understand them, so he said he may as well move to Germany!).
By Wednesday evening I did not want to put my Christmas tree up, I did not want to go the craft fayre, I was in agony and could have cried. So on Thursday morning I messaged a person who I think it is fair to say is (along with my dear friend Mary) one of the kindest people I have met. I just asked if she was up for a chat because I felt pissed off. Now she knows, as you all know, that this is not like me; I am, generally, a positive person but I was struggling and she knew it. She rang me within ten minutes invited me over and helped me with contacting who I needed to about the roof – who were really helpful and prompt (I can say no more at this time) she chased the French bureaucrats with regard to our health cover and they are sending a form to Rich to get it sorted (yey!) and she gave me a hug. That was all I needed. When I came home hubby was worried about me – I am normally the one who keeps him buoyant, so he sat on the sofa and did something so simple – he tickled my leg! My sister called me to see how I was, nagged me to rinse my mouth in salt water, because I know that she worries about me; and I knew that I am blessed to have people who care.
Then I looked out of the window and I saw this….
I remembered what Marty (a lovely man who reads this blog) always says about how blessed we are; and I know that we cannot have it all. By last night I had started to cheer up; I just hope my tongue gets better now!
Like I always say in my other blog it is the small things that count, and they make up the good things. Big hugs to those who helped me this week, big hugs.
Most people who have been reading this blog for any length of time will know that four years ago I had a breakdown, and the Incredible Hulk started to live in me. Over the years, and from reading the Tao I have learnt to control that beast because I know the damage it can do.
I also learnt that this had happened to me because I had bitten my tongue too long. I should have said what I thought to people in a controlled way, and I never. Hence the reason for this blog, I decided to write what I wanted to write and say what wanted to say – and over twenty thousand of you have appreciated it over the years – A big thank you.
Add to that the fact that I am by nature a kind person ( I don’t see the point in being horrible to people life really is too short) and I think that I have set myself up as a Patsy; because since living here I have found that my kindness has been seen as a weakness; you see the incredible hulk has not come out since moving to France, so people over here don’t really know of the creature that lies within.
Sadly despite being kind to numerous people they have then assumed that they can behave inappropriately and I will not say anything. Here are some examples:
We helped someone this summer who was in a terrible situation, and me being the empathetic sort helped them, even going on a long journey with them that took all day. Rich worked for them, and he worked hard, and we thought that they needed people to be kind. Instead they gave the future work that had been promised to Rich, to someone else and messaged me to say that some day they would tell me how ‘Rich had talked himself out of a job!’ Assuming that I would go ‘Oh Okay then!!!!!’
I get that people are entitled to employ who they want, but they’re not entitled to tell me what they see as failings in my husband, and they should not have taken our help if that is what they thought!
With regard to clients that Rich has had we have answered queries on a Sunday, late at night, we have waited for guests to arrive until ten in the evening, for no charge only for the people to not pay us for the work Rich has done. We have took responsibility for things that have gone wrong and contacted people to tell them that there is a problem (they left the door open being one of them, and they weren’t even in the country) but there hasn’t even been a thank you.
I have looked after people’s gardens whilst they have been away, looked over the house for them, fed the kittens that they had – for no pay. But those people have then been rude to us, in fact downright rude to us.
So I decided yesterday that, yes I do have too much empathy and I am not going to be kind to people anymore – other than the six that I can count on one hand that live here. I won’t be unkind, I am not getting dragged into the gutter with the others, and that is not the way of the Tao, but I am not going out of my way for people anymore; sorry I have been bitten once too often!; Whilst I know that this is not what the Tao recommends I have to look after myself and my health first, and sadly there are too many sad and bitter people over here that I need to be aware of.
Over the past few weeks I have been put in a position where I have bitten my tongue quite often, and again it is with a person who I have shown kindness to (do I never learn!) Sadly they clearly saw this as a weakness and their behaviour became worse towards me. I got the feeling that they were trying to push my buttons, and I used all that I have learnt to not respond, but I forgot about he Incredible Hulk, and as their behaviour got worse and worse I could feel it start to stir.
For those who don’t like bad language look away: but if those buttons are pressed (which they have not been for over four years) I can be a cunt!!
When it happens it makes me feel ill, in fact it often puts me to sleep because my brain shuts down, and that is why I avoid it. I take no joy from making people eat shit But today I did just that: A person got told in no uncertain terms where they stood and also told that they would not like me at all if I really lost it. The look on their face told me that they knew that they probably needed to shut up. They threw some things at me, but you see when I get into that zone I will throw them back and some! Because as I have always said – I don’t give a fuck!!
My old job in England was about listening to people and then analysing what they had said, picking up on certain words or nuances, and I did this today. As I said I take no joy in making people eat shit, but perhaps they shouldn’t speak it in the first place!!
So I am sitting here now, at my desk, and I am being honest – as I have always said about this blog it will be warts and all because that is the way of an adventure – that is the way of life, it ain’t pretty all of the time!
It is foggy outside, the promised sun has not materialised, hubby is here because I asked him to come home to support me in case the Incredible Hulk really did come out – and I am spurred on like never before to send my book off to agents. This time it has not sent me to sleep it has woken up the beast inside me and made me want to write!
So that is me, I have the Tao on one side, and the Incredible Hulk on the other, and I have always said ‘I am not an easy person to get to know.’
I will read my Tao this afternoon! But I won’t be going to sleep!
I have had enought!!
If you think others will like my blog please share
They do say that you are never more than six feet away from a rat no matter where you are in the world. How accurate this is I don’t know, but I do know that it would have been naive of us not to think that rats may visit our garden, especially because we had chickens.
On the first night we moved into the house Harley was going mad at something in the garden. The house had not been lived in for three years, and the garden had been occupied by three goats (hence the name for the goat’s shed) and anything else that chose to live here! We only had Harley at that time, we moved here in August and Wiglet, aka the serial killer, did not come to live with us until the October. Had she been here then what Rich discovered would not have lived to see another day, but as it was only Harley the huge rat that Rich found when he went out to get Harley by torchlight, managed to get away. Although we did not see a sight of it after that, the following year Wiglet came bouncing down the garden so happy with a huge, dead rat in her mouth. “Thanks for that!” I said!
Over the years we did not see any more rats because our dogs are hunters and, especially when the serial killer moved in, the rats were deterred. But where there are chickens there are normally rats and after putting too many left overs in their enclosure in April we believe that a whole family moved in.
We thought that we might have a problem after the chickens appeared to have stopped laying, and it appears that rats will steal the eggs and attack the chickens. They knew that they were safe from Wiglet (aka serial killer) because she could not get in the enclosure, although at times she would go mad trying to get in there, and she would also spend hours staring at something hiding in the twigs from the trees we had cut down, with her little tail wagging as if to say “I am so pleased to see you, come and play little rat!” She has dug holes all over our garden trying to flush them out and we planned, after we moved the chickens of course, to let her into the old Chicken Hilton and have a field day.
Over the summer Rich had seen the rats, I never had because I normally have the dogs in tow, but he said that they were getting more and more blase, and would come out into the chicken enclosure in daylight. One day he counted seven going back into the Hilton tail to tail because (you guessed it!) Wiglet had come out to play. So we hatched our plan: we were going to put the chickens somewhere safe and let Wiglet have a day in the henhouse catching rats. For her it would be like a day at Disney!
I told you she is the most beautiful loving, vulnerable little dog but her mother and father were hunting stock and she is a born and bred hunter!
But, as is life’s way nature beat us to it…
As I lay in bed one night with Rich snoring beside me, I could hear the hooting of a Tawny owl (probably the one that loves to sit in our cherry tree and look at us.); I have explained in previous blogs that one of the beauties of living out here is the owls that you just see every day (you may want to visit my post: what is is about you and owls!) There are Tawny owls, Barn owls and the cute little Pygmy owls that come out in the day..
In addition I could also hear a lot of screeching! Husband will sleep through anything but I lay there knowing that the rats were getting their come-uppance! Our cats had also been very interested in the chicken enclosure and I imagined them sitting on the stumps of the trees with a glass of wine watching the entertainement!
Over the next few nights as we lay in bed we could hear Barn owls, and their babies and a lot of screeching, and squealing, coming from the garden and I knew that the rats had become too blasé, and the owls had spread the word and were now having a a feast.
Gradually we saw less and less of the rats, any food that the chickens had not eaten remained uneaten (although we have drastically reduced the scraps that they have.) Over the past few weeks we have seen no rats at all, although their warren of holes are still evident as Wiglet digs them up! One day Harley did spend an age staring into a hole wagging his tail in greeting, but it was a false greeting because that rat would not have lived to see another day.
So nature took over, the owls killed the rats, as they were meant to do, and I lay in bed listening to the life that goes on outside when you live in rural France.
I know that as the trees that we chopped down gradually get cut into logs, and I turn the twigs into kindling, the rats will have nowhere to hide, and if there are any about trust me Wiglet will have her day!
There is no going back to the Chicken Hilton for them because the dogs are now in there all the time. It may only be a matter of time before I am back in a scene from ‘Whatever happened to Baby Jane’ and Wiglet presents me with another dead rat. Good!
In addition Rich found a cache of hidden chicken eggs under the hay in the old suite of the Chicken Hilton that was once occupied by the chickens; the poor chicken was laying and was hiding them from the dreaded rats! The fact that they had not been eaten is also evidence that the rats have been scared off – straight into the jaws of Wiglet!
It’s all part of the adventure folks!
If you think others will like my blog please share