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As I sit here…..

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As I sit here this morning, with my first cup of tea of the day (I am English after all!) I have found the urge to write.

The picture above is my garden at this present moment that I am writing this. The view from the valley as you can see is totally obscured because there is a thick fog and autumn has finally rolled in. A complete contrast to just weeks ago..

For the first time this season we have condensation on our windows, and single figure temperatures outside, but our house is warm. The roof on our kitchen has finally been replaced (more of that to come in another post) and add to the mix our new front door and the difference it has made is immeasurable. I smiled to myself today when I looked at our doors, and there was no condensation on them.

Sadly they are nowhere near as pretty as our old door, but it had to go, it was beyond repair (and trust me I tried) the oak had split from the hundred years of driving rain and wind it had endured so it could not be saved. We have re-used it (as you would know we love a bit of old and vintage, and will repurpose where we can, you only have to look at our Etsy shop) as a feature in our garden, it now plays the part of a secret door into a fairy kingdom.

I know we’re mad! But helps in life sometimes!

I love the autumn, One of the biggest things for me about living here is the changing of the seasons. I’ve said it before and I will probably say it again; it is a constant reminder that things change, and that although they will come back again they will never be the same as the one before. Nothing in life ever is. For me the autumn is the most poignant because all the things are dying off, it is the end of something that you will never get back, and it is a reminder to treasure every moment.

As some of you may know I am sharing a story from long ago about Rich and I, it has taken off. It is a sad story, but remembering where we are now, it is a story of hope. It too is a story of something dying and then coming back again, but in a different way, it was never going to be what it was before. Perhaps it is apt that I decided to share it in the autumn!

For those who have read my blog over the years you will know it made us stronger, and gave us the courage to take this adventure; and despite the hardships we have had along the way they have never broken us, almost sometimes, but we have always got through.

We have learnt that money really does not buy you happiness, and material things may give you comfort but they don’t make you happy. Because despite having no water, no roof, a leaking cesspit, dodgy cars at one point, and at times been down to the last six euros to our name, things have always come through, because we are happy in our minds. We have the ability to laugh, sometimes at each other, every day. We lost our egos.

So yesterday we read a passage from the Tao and the explanation asked a question, to think about what you thought made you happy and then ask yourself if that were true. It was designed to help people realise that the material things they bought did not really make them happy. So Rich and I both thought about it independently and both came up with the same answer, independently: it was to sit in our garden and look out across the valley.

We love our life, we love the simplicity and we both agreed that even if we had enough money to not have to worry about spending it, we still wouldn’t go out for meals, our greatest pleasure would be to sit in our garden and look at the view, with each other. (And all the furries of course!)

We are blessed.

Have a food day folks, enjoy the small things.

Moisy

If you want to learn more about us you may want to check out:

Makingthisbetter.com my new blog

PetiteFrenchfancies @etsy is my shop full of eclectic (of course) things.

You can also find me on Instagram as moisfrenchadventure, and Pinterest as moisfrenchadventure.com

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Dylan gets dropped!

Officially one of the longest serving puppies

Dylan's Welshie World

Back at puppy class after a weeks break and Dylan was raring to go. Watch out world!

After all it’s only ten days until the Bronze Good Citizen test. Or is it?

Boo was missing tonight – seems she’s has started her second season and will miss the test. But Mollie the Cavapoo was back with a bang and bouncing around.

There was a new addition to class – Binks, a gorgeous Chocolate Spaniel, who of course took an instant shine to Dylan. Don’t they all!

Aslan, the Leonberger looked most put out!

The trainer was in no mood for such puppy shenanigans though. It was straight down to business. And that business was practising sit and stay.

None of the puppies could sit and stay for the required minute.

Hell Dylan didn’t even sit. Hell Dylan didn’t even acknowledge me. Hell Dylan was bouncing around like Tigger.

Finally she…

View original post 562 more words

The Wind – The Godsend that clears my mind

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For mental Health Week in England I thought that I would share with you one of the things I have always found therapeutic and that  I especially love about living here – The Wind.

As a lot of you know our garden is full of trees, we have at least four Oak trees, a big old sycamore, two Silver Birch, some pine trees, our gigantic Walnut tree, Cob nut bushes, cherry trees and never least what I call my tree of Tao.

I have said many times how I love to watch this blow and sway in the wind, almost as if it is reaching out to me and saying believe me everything will be allright.

Today is one of those sunny, blustery Autumn days that reminds me of why I love this season so much. I felt the need to clear my mind and sat in the garden with the trees blowing around me as I read my passage for the day from the Tao.

As always as the wind blew through my hair it was as if it was blowing out the cobwebs and confusion and clearing the way for me to reflect and see clearly. Add to that the leaves swirling in the wind as if my thoughts had materialised and were being blown away, no longer required, discarded, and I knew that I had done the right thing, to sit in the garden and let nature show me the way.

I bring this up on Mental Health Awareness week because the ability to reflect is very important to me, and sometimes very painful. But reflect I must because I know that it is the only way that I can learn and grow.

So if you are feeling anxious, down, or confused in some way – You know what I mean- when there is something on your mind but you just cannot put your finger on it – then just go out in the wind and sit somewhere away from others and let it clear you mind for you.

I am blessed I only have to step out of the front door….

Have a good weekend folks, enjoy the Autumn, whatever the weather.

Moisy

Changes have blown in on the autumn wind…

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It’s been awhile since I have blogged on here, we have been busy with the roof, and I have been even busier with my new blog. The response to it has been phenomenal, thank you all.

But as I have said the Moisfrenchadventure blog is my ‘home’ because it is my first blog and it is about the here and now; and our life together, now.

Sadly one of the changes has been that our two little Amigos, also known as the Princess and the Pea because they were so close, are now at each others throats, literally! We cannot even have them in the same room together on leads and blood has been drawn on a number of occasions; we are at the point that they cannot even go for a walk together.

I feel so sad about this, as I am writing this blog I am looking through the photos of the last year and them together and it is bringing tears to my eyes. Wiglet could do no wrong in Dylan’s eyes.

They played with mop monsters in the garden, Wiglet taught Dylan how to get the chicken’s tail through the fence and worried about her when she was riding with daddy on the mower.

They searched for rats and mice in the woodpile, and Wiglet taught Dylan how to dig her first hole. Wiglet was truly Dylan’s hero, they were inseparable.

But in the summer another dog was in the mix for a week, another Welshie, she attacked Wiglet first in our garden and Dylan got caught up in it and bit Wigs as well. They made it up, but the same dog then attacked Dylan in the rental property Karen was staying in and a week later the unrest began.

We hoped it would die down in the weeks that Dylan had been in England, but it hasn’t and in fact it has escalated.

I am so sad, it is the end of happy times, and I just hope against hope that as Dylan gets older they will be friends again.

But as I say everything changes, and we have to go with that, and autumn is blowing the changes in quickly now.

Goodbye Princess and the Pea, it was real fun while it lasted.

Moisy

Changes – Follow the trees and go where the wind takes you.

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As I sit here on a rainy autumn morning, I am inspired to write in the blog that got me out there. This is the blog that is the sequel to the other one really (makingthisbetter.com) – even though I started writing it first – because this blog is about our next adventure, and in it I hope it shows all the things we learnt on that bomb strewn road that we travelled for so long.

So I am sitting in bed with my second cup of tea, looking out at my favourite tree gently swaying with the breeze and going with it, instead of fighting against it, and I am reminded, as the seasons change, that change happens every minute of every day; and you just have to go with it, bend like the tree, and understand that fighting against it won’t change anything.

Autumn is, for me, a particularly poignant time of year, the leaves are dying, birds are leaving, winter (and harder times) are coming, and the year is drawing to a close. But you can’t fight it, so why not enjoy it, because it is the season where nature puts on one of her most stunning dresses, and shows us how beautiful everything is, even in death.

Even this week, after being extremely busy with Rich doing the roof, and me being main caterer and house maintainer, I have changed our lives again; I have set up my new blog, a serialisation of my book ( The book currently has the title ‘I don’t think I can do this’) and put it out there for the world to see, and our lives have changed again. In less than six days it has had nearly a thousand views all over the world and counting. I know it is not only a good story, and that it would touch the hearts of many, but that it would also help people. We both knew this could make a change to our lives, but we are strong together now and know that it won’t change what we have learnt.

I have to say that it has been an especially brave thing for my husband to do, because right now, where the story is at the moment in his words, he looks like a c**t! I did reply that at that time he was a c**t but the important thing for him to remember is that he is not one now, and it is always the here and now we deal with.

So changes are still happening, we had planned to get out in the garden this weekend, to try our our new log splitter (the things that excite us now!); and to continue with the mammoth task of cutting our wood. But the rain came yesterday and we had to get the final part of the roof watertight, because it is not yet finished; and ‘The Livermore’ and Dylly Dylly have decided to make an impromptu visit and are arriving on Monday, this time with A.N. Other in tow, to see if they fit in with the pack ( see more changes!); and today we planned on going to a vide grenier, but the rain put paid to that.

So, going with the flow, we have spent a morning in bed with the two Welshie snuggle bums, later I will do a little housework and then blog, there is a big story to tell….

But remember folks, this blog, moisfrenchadventure.com is really the adventures of Moisy and Rich here and now, going with the flow, so this one is the one to keep you grounded when the other blog takes your breath away.

A big thank you to you all for your fantastic support.

Have a good weekend, and remember go with the flow…

Moisy

Change – You’re never the driver..

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Come gather ’round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’.

Times they are a changing. Bob Dylan

So I said very early on in the year that ‘Times they are a changing’ (to quote Bob Dylan). In fact at the beginning of the year I just found myself playing this song as I wrote at my desk; and change they are in many ways for us, in fact they have in many ways already.

It is fair to say that this adventure has changed so many things for us, but this blog is about all of the things that I didn’t envisage:

Firstly we didn’t envisage getting Harley five years ago, but fate made us change our holiday plans, book a gite with the person who bred him, who in turn contacted us when he needed a new home.

When we moved here with Harley our love affair with Welsh Terriers had begun but didn’t envisage getting ‘The Wiglet’, her other homes failed, or fell through and it was because we were destined to get her.

This in turn led Karen to get Dylan, and write a blog about her antics (Dylan’s Welshie World) which in turn led Karen back to her first love – writing.

As you all know we are changing material things, the gate, the roof, having water. There are other changes in the pipline and they will include, at some point, a new joint blog and again this will change our lives and others. I didn’t envisage any of this when this year started.

Then I think of the sprititual changes that this journey would take us on: That I would read the Tao, then read it to Rich, and Karen, although at times  she does still have  ‘Tao Light Thursday and No Tao Friday’! The belief that we have got from reading that philosophy has changed our lives in the physical world, we stepped off that cliff and believed that the things we needed would come to us and they have. We understand that where there is good there is bad and vica versa but to not focus on the bad – see the good in the simplest things (Autumn and all it’s glory as I write this.) and be greatful for what you have each day because there is no point worrying about what you cannot change, and you may not have another day so just enjoy what you’ve got.

In addition, in fairness, I rarely make hard and fast plans, because I know from all the books I read that the best laid plans will never work out because you are not doing the driving.

When I first moved over here I started to write this blog which in turn led to my writing my book. It  was always my intention to share our experiences with others because people need help when they find themselves where we were once, especially those with a strong persobality like my own, boy it is hard to harness the wild horses in your brain some times!  But over the last month I finished reading Deepak Chopra, ‘The Seven Spiritual laws of Success’ and I took my lead from the end of the book and decided to serialise my book and get it out there. I realsied that, as Deepak Chopra says, I would be doing something that I was put here to do, something that I love (writing) and  in that  I would be helping people at the same time.

I realised that I could not wait forever for the book to be published when there were people out there who needed to read it, because it would help them cope, help them  know that they are not alone, help them know that they can get through it, and help them know that life can get better. So I have started to blog it; and the reaction has been overwhelming. Thank you all.

I know from the reaction in over less than two days that this is likely to change our lives again -not least the reassurance that I have given to my husband because he worries that I will leave him one day. (Yes, even now!) But the difference is that now when I reassure him it works and he is then fine and comforted.

I knew that I was taking a chance, that some would judge, but as I always say my dear late mother was right when she said ‘if they’re judging you they’re leaving some other poor bugger alone!’ I started to write because of my breakdown, I was sick of biting my tongue, I wanted to say what I wanted to say and, as with everything, I know that I have to step of the cliff and take that chance.

What does that have to do with having an adventure in France – everything – I have freedom now. I started to write this blog – which gave me the confidence to write my book, and in turn the confidence to serialise it in another blog; I started to read books that made you think outside of the box, to understand and believe that, much as we think we are, we are not doing the driving where our lives are concerned, and although it took a lot of lessons we are now seeing the benefits of that belief.

I would not have done any of this if we had not moved to France, stepped off the hamster wheel and see where life took us.

Who knows what is coming next – autumn……..

Moisy

If you want to read my other blog then it is called making this better @makingthisbetter.com But be warned, there is a possibility of tears and strong emotion.

Thank again

Moisy

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It’s out there – well part of it for now!

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I took your advice my new blog is set up, it may go a long way to explaining why Rich and I are so ‘resilient’ as we were told the other day!

I am out of practice setting up blogs – it’s been three years – but I hope that you approve of it’s design, and that it helps others. It is what it has all been about.

I will keep you in suspense no longer it is called ‘making this better’ @makingthisbetter.com; it had three followers already, and over twenty views and has only been open just over an hour!!

What I will say is that this blog is not about judging  – if it wasn’t for my husband’s bravery we would not be here today.

As my son said to me ‘Mum! You are not an easy person to come back to!’

Never a truer word was said!!

Moisy

I think we’ve broken her!

Oh no! The puppy class trainer is a broken woman! But ai can vouch for Dylan (Miss Mooddiebag’s naughtinees agter I found my chewed up shoes in the garden) …

Dylan's Welshie World

After tonight, I think our poor trainer has finally admitted defeat!

And strangely it wasn’t just down to Dylan- though of course, the little monster did pull quite a few moves out of the bag! Literally!

Following last week when we were told Dylan wasn’t ready to take her Bronze Good Citizen, the trainer had a change of heart and this week told us we would be taking the test after all!

Yay go us!

Though I have a sneaking suspicion it’s more that she’s hoping against hope we pull it off and move to the next class – and a new trainer.

As usual Dylan did her meet and greet and was most displeased that she got stopped before she’d had a chance to jump on every puppy in the room – most notably her favourite Aslan the Leonberger who was back this week.

The trainer wasn’t hanging about…

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Rural living – Autumn

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With the first of October nearly upon us autumn is here, but subtly this year. She is stealthily making her way in, lulling us into a false sense of security with her still warm days (some days last week were twenty six degrees, but out of the sun the breeze just had that slight edge to it, letting us know that autumn is really here) and cold nights.

We have still not lit our fire because the sun has warmed our old stone house up sufficiently that the cold is not seeping through it’s walls; but as is always the way with rural living we know that we have to prepare. So yesterday we spent a day in our garden, Rich tidying up the building site that is at the front of our house due to the new roof. (He is right he has to keep on top,of it or it will be a mammoth task!)

My main job was to start to collect the kindling that is all around the garden from the trees we chopped down earlier in the year. Natural kindling is the best and I am not paying for sanitised kindling when nature has provided it for me. One of my biggest lessons from living out here, I don’t let anything go to waste! I have five bags of twigs so far, and counting!

The wood from the sycamore tree that was pollarded earlier in the year is tinder dry and needs to be collected. So Rich and I spent an hour yesterday loading the wheelbarrow and moving into the log store. Eight barrow’s later and it is still not full

Looking at just the wood that has been cut we estimate that we have more than enough wood for this winter, and with all the other logs needing to be cut, and the cobnut wood that Rich cut over two years ago we probably have enough wood for the next two years or more. It feels good to be ahead of the game, and that is what you have to be if you choose rural living.

The plants have all been watered and are ready for extra feed before the winter kicks in, and they have been moved because our seating area, and the scene of so much hilarity and fun during the summer, has gone, my workspace has gone, the tables put away, or moved for the winter, the chairs put to bed.

Due to imminent changes we have also emptied and moved our water but, and you just have to be a little bit mad sometimes, and do what you have to do….

At six thirty we sat down at our table, now safely ensconced on the patio, for a well earned glass of wine, in the autumn evening sunshine, we looked across the valley at the changing colours and I said to Rich I was so happy with my life, and he said “So am I”.

So,today we are going to some of the last vide grenier of the season, they celebrate this time of year in a big way, celebrating the harvest, and there are numerous agricultural fayres and fetes, and who knows what treasures I will find.

Autumn, I love this time of year.

Moisy

Changes – The Roof – The history of our house has started to unfold..

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Firstly I want to say a big thank you to all those who offered their advice regarding my question on my last post. A new blog will be set up early next week, it may shock some of you, but will show how adversity can, more often than not, bring about change for the good.

The roof is now well underway, as you can see from the picture above the old dormer window has now gone. We had to be realistic we were never going to use the small amount of storage space in the roof, and to keep it would have added additional cost to the work, so it had to go.

Continuing with the theme of change the roof started to help us understand the history of this house. We had always thought that our kitchen was a later ‘addition’ to the house (our house was built in 1812) but we now know that it had been an open ended stable, and the loft above it would have been used to store the hay for the animals. At some point it was bricked up and turned into our kitchen. You can see from the photo how the bricks were put in to create a doorway, and if you look to the left I believe that there used to be a window there also.

It also explains why we have such small windows (soon to be made bigger) in the wall at the side of the house, they would have just been open windows, the type you find in a barn.

The door to our living room from the kitchen is a beautiful, sturdy, solid oak door (shame about the wallpaper on it for some reason French people used to love wallpapering doors!) so we had assumed that this had been an outside door at some stage in our house’s history.

We also had our suspicions because it was clear that at some point the front door to our house was here, leading straight into what is now our big our living room. There is a concrete lintel in the floor under the window, which was a step at one time.

It was probably led into a small kitchen then, as you can see that our living room was originally two rooms, as there is a steel rafter across the centre of the room.

It’s been an exciting and busy time, the cats have loved investigating the old loft space, and our garden looks like a building site, but the first stage of the roof is now watertight and ready for the tiles next week.

We have been blessed with good weather, and I am counting my blessings every day. I realise as I write this now, how we are making more changes to this house, that will add to it’s history that, one day, someone else will uncover.

As I always say the only constant in life is change.

Keep reading, there’s more to come folks.

Moisy