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The little blue bird

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Le Mesange Bleue or Blue Tit

As you may know by now we only have one chicken and Claude the cockerel left (by the skin of his teeth I may add, and Wiglet still looks at him longingly through the fence!)  Read here The chicken may be laying but something is clearly coming into the hen enclosure at night and stealing her eggs methinks. So despite no eggs we cannot put the chickens in the pot (it is just not our way) and they are living out there retirement in the enclosure the Rich made for them last year.   You can read about that here

The new home that we had lined up for them, where we thought they would mingle with other chickens, did not go ahead: as it turns out the odious person who was going to have them was in fact going to eat them! Animal lover? I don’t think so! So the chicken & Claude stayed with us. As always life showed us the way.

So every morning they are fed the scraps of food (no cooked meat as we don’t want to encourage les Ratz!) and some grain. Rich is the main feeder of the chickens and over the past couple of months he noticed that a pretty little blue, grey and yellow bird follows him everywhere, singing to him and sometimes shouting at him if he is late feeding the chickens. The little bird is a blue tit.

At first Rich thought he was imagining it until it started to stand on our steps outside our French windows (or are they just windows in France?!) and shout at him through the glass.

It didn’t care that our house is in fact a house full of predators: with four cats and two Welsh Terriers

At the weekend it hopped around furiously on the patio until Rich succumbed and went out to feed the chickens. As Rich starts to walk across the garden it flies ahead of him calling all of it’s friends: the sparrows and they would all swoop down to eat the rice, pasta and soaked bread.

One Saturday as we were gettting ready to go out it landed on the windowsill outside our bedroom window and proceeded to shout at Rich because he was late!

But now the little thing is like part of our family; worryingly it has become so tame that it sat under one of the sun chairs on the patio the other day singing to us, despite there being a cat sunning itself on the chair above!

I know that i have shared recently that we did not know if we would stay here, or whether it was time for change; and I am open to all possibilities. But right now life is showing us the way: Rich’s work has picked up and he has regular clients now. I have registered to provide a service over here mainly, because my blog is going to hit 50,000 views this month and I am going to self publish: I have too many people contacting me asking me where they can buy my book. (Sorry that is why I have been away from this blog so much.) and things are looking up.

So going with the flow of life showing me the way I stand in my garden, full of trees, including the fallen cherry, and I soak it up: I no longer take it for granted.

This garden is truly a haven for the birds, from the owl in the cherry by the barn, to the woodpecker knock knocking on one if the giant oaks; to the blue tit who seems to have become our friend; and I know that  I am  blessed to live here and have this experience.

I stood this morning in the warm spring sunshine watching the little blue tit and all his compadre’s eating last nights chips, despite me standing there, and I thought: this is a memory to keep Moisy.

Have a good week folks.

Moisy

 

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Galavanting: Lonlay L’abbaye

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I know lots of you enjoyed my last galavanting post, so there will be more through the summer.

As normal I am in bed drinking a cup of tea (for my Non English readers I am from Essex in England so it is pronounced: cuppaty) whilst writing this blog. It is unseasonably chilly here in France so necessary to stay tucked in bed with a Welshie and cat snuggled up to me, whilst my lovely hubby makes the second cuppaty of the day.

Last Sunday Rich was asked to go and meet someone for a job, and we ended up in the pretty little village of Lonlay L’abbeye, in the Department of Orne, just over the border in Normandy.

As you may have guessed the town started as a Benedictine monastery originating back to 1020, which has had at least three fires, and was sadly decimated in WW2 when the Germans punished the villagers for welcoming American troops.

Only the church and some of the cloisters now remain of what was the abbey.

So we found ourselves in this pretty village on a blustery spring day. We walked around the gardens at the back of the church, surrounded by small apple trees, where, although now divided up, you could see what had been the land belonging to the Monastery.

There by the stream was the original cider press used by the monks all those years ago to make the cider for which Normandy is so famous. Amazing that this building had survived all the trials and tribulations that the village had endured.

With a stream running around the church gardens you had to cross small bridges to get to other parts of town: so quaint.

There was something about this place: it had a tranquility about it, it was so calm, and I loved it.

You can see from the photos all the tiny higgledy piggledy houses, some backing on to the stream: how I would love to live there with a babbling brook for company all day.

Rich & The Welshies, chilling by the brook

There were a number of small bars and restaurants and a little square with terraces, but sadly because it was Sunday all the bars were shut. So we have vowed to come back on a warm sunny evening to have a meal, and some vin, and to soak up the tranquil atmosphere whilst listening to the babbling brook.

Nothing came of the job, but life had still showed us the way: we found Lonlay L’abbeye.

Moisy

Galavanting: Vitre’

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Vitre castle Brittany

I said a while ago that as part of our decision making we are going to get out at least once a month and see other parts of France. I am going to share these adventures with you.

Due to the bank holiday we decided to visit the stunning medieval city of Vitre’ in Brittany. We loaded the Welshies into the car and off we went on a sunny April day and found this….

Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow. To add to that all of the little pavement cafe’s and bars were open, including some shops!

It is one of the things that drives me nuts about where we are that everything just shuts down. It drives our French friends and neighbours nuts too: Here on a Sunday the bars are open but only until afternoon, even in the main cities of Fourgeres and Laval. Here in Vitre they were all open and it was humming, classic French cafe culture and we loved it.

We walked around the castle, promenaded on the ramparts and sat and people watched whilst enjoying a reasonably priced coffee (only three euro fifty for two coffees!).

It got us thinking: step over from Pays de Loire to Brittany and everything changes. Is this the place for us? Maybe! Let’s see what life shows us.

Here are to more trips. There is so much in this city to see that I am sure we will be visiting again. Here is to galavanting.

Moisy

Moving forward – Coming back

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When we undertook this adventure what I did not see was just how much it would show me: with regard to the way I look at life. Since moving here I have read the Tao, still not completed reading ‘The Road Less Travelled and Beyond’, and I have touched on the great ‘regarder of life’: Byron Katie. I have learnt a lot from them all. In addition living here has given me the peace and tranquility that I needed to find myself again, I have written before that I am back, but never really fully explained why. You can read some of my posts on this here

As  most of my readers know due to the pressures of my job in England, and being an empath, I eventually became very ill from stress. I did not realise just how ill I was until I fully recovered this year.

As part of this adventure I have written my book ‘Making This Better; and I have serialised it on another blog (you can click on the link at the top of the page.) I always knew that the story of what happened to Rich and I would help others, and serialising my book has proved to me that this is the case. (Nearly 10,000 views this month alone and on it’s way to 42,000 views in seven months.) But more than anything as I re-read some of my journal entries from so long ago they have showed me the one true asset that I have had all my life: my strong personality. In fact in one of my journal entries I have commented how I was fighting ‘the essence of me’ to stay with Rich. You can read this entry here

As I have said in that post when I read it I had tears in my eyes, because I knew that I over the intervening years I had suppressed it and I realised what an asset I have been given in my life. The teachings of the Tao are to be kind, that is true; but they are also to turn the other cheek, and with that I cannot always agree. This adventure has shown us people who will take advantge of that, I have written about them often; and perhaps all of those experiences was life telling me to take back the one thing that God gave me that mattered: my strong personality. you can read about some of the lessons here

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Now when I read what I said all those years ago, knowing that I have taken back my strength, I feel that I am finally where I need to be with regard to what to do with life. Since doing this, it has been as if life is saying ‘thank Christ for that! She has finally realised what she has to do, now I will help her’: and since then Rich’s business has started to take off. I said many years ago that integrity was a commodity out here; and now I am managing his Facebook page and have designed his website, which I am also promoting Rich is doing well, and I believe it is because we are being us and using the skills and integrity that we have. We don’t rip people off, we do over and above what is needed and we can be trusted not to steal.

One of the things that really got to me since living here was that people can be so vicious, especially when it comes to hustling for work; we were in some ways afraid to put Rich’s services out there because of what they would say (this would never have been me before my illness!)  and so we relied on others to offer us work. Now I am back that is not working for me: I want us to get our own work, I know what we are capable of as a team and I don’t want to be beholden to anyone.

In  addition I will not put up  with an ounce of unnecessary shit from anyone. Now if people want to  be rude to us, or try to undermine us, then I will answer them right back, in a professional and businesslike,  sometimes terrifying way.  In fact I  already have, and we got a job out of it. I find nastiness unecessary, and whilst I understand that often it is because people feel insecure or vulnerable, we all have to step up to the plate, if you are feeling vulnerable then find out why and change it; stop taking it out on everyone else.  I am not unnecessarily nasty to anyone:  unless they are nasty to me!

The other day I was saying about something to Rich and about how I was not prepared to put up with it and he giggled; when I looked at him he said ‘I love that so much about you: that you won’t let anyone beat you.’

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We have also realised that when you undetake an adventure like this, many people  who are afraid to do the same are often waiting for you to fail; add to that you also feel like you ‘have’ to keep plugging away at it because you chose to make such a huge change, and because of that you fail to see that the whole point of an adventure is change: when you embark on it, and when you are in the midst of it. As part of me coming back this year, Rich and I have been honest with each other in that we didn’t know if we would stay: and from that we then realised that was all part of the adventure to make change as we needed.

A few weeks ago I met a couple who were returning to the UK. As you know I have blogged about the fact that I was reconsidering whether I wanted to continue our adventure here in France, or whether to move to pastures new (although we know that England will not be an option.) This lady said to me that she had loved living here, but that they had been here twelve years and she believed that life went in ten-year cycles: when it is then time to move on to something new; and it got me thinking: I do believe tha life is about moving forward all the time; perhaps it is also about accepting that when we get itchy feet we should listen to the message that life is sending our way.

When we moved to the Pays de Loire area of France four years ago we chose this are because we had holidayed here twice, and we loved the peace and tranquility. We loved it because we were having a break from out two notoriously hectic careers; mine even more so. England is a notoriously crowded Island: you queue  to go anywhere even to the supermarket; and I wrote very early on in this adventure how people in the UK generally seemed so angry. All of these things led us both to want somewhere in the rural countryside, where life was extremely laid back and was not overcrowded with people and so we made the choice to move to the Pays de Loire region. I have come to realise that at that time that is what we needed; and you can only ever make life choices based on what you have in the here and now.

3 Rules All Great Leaders Follow When Facing Change

The last four years have been glorious they have replenished me; I still love my house and the beautiful countryside around us, but as I have written recently I am back to being the real Moisy and I don’t think in the long-term that will be enough. I now need a little more stimulation, I am ready for it again. Who Knew that would happen?

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A winter sunset from my garden in France 

It has made me consider that perhaps we all hold on too tightly to things, and don’t embrace the fact that life is a constantly evolving adventure. Now that is something that I learnt from the Tao: no matter how much you plan, no matter how many contingencies you put into place life never goes to plan.

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Add to all of this my book which means that I now interact with people whose lives have been turned upside down, as ours was many years ago; and I can see that was another life event to make us stop and change direction with our lives (we had been together nine years!) It was also an event that we have now been able to use to help other people; and I never thought that I would encounter so many wonderful people as I have. Who knew?

When I moved into my house in Kent all those years ago I thought it was my forever home; and now I am here: in France. Who knew?

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Now I have come to realise that life does go in cycles, and only by embracing that knowledge can you truly find peace. So the biggest lesson I have learnt: We make decisions based on the here and now (as we should) and given that we should all expect change as the here and now changes!

I  know that whatever decision we make we will make it based on the circumstances at the time and that in the future when those cirucmstances change we may well adapt and decide to do something different.

THAT is life.

So here is the thing that I have learnt so far from this adventure:

Understand that when you make a decision in life it is based on what you need at that time; but over time your needs will change, you will change, and it is okay to change direction, change your adventure and move on to something new. It is not failure it is in fact strength and bravery.

Never let go of any strength you have, if you have been blessed with it use it for all your worth: look at what has happened to us this year since I have got all my strength back. Don’t let others undermine your strong personality, it is your asset and they are envious.

So here is to strong personailities, here is to the adventurers, here is to changing direction when it is needed, or every ten years, here is to listening to life.

I am never saying never about staying here; because I do not know where my life may change again, as I said to Rich who knows what we will be doing this time next year!

I’m just going with the flow because I know it will take me where I need to go.

Moisy

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The view from my garden in France 

 

Hares

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I love hares, perhaps it is the Irish in me, as hares are revered in Ireland, seen as a communicator with the other world of the little people: faeries and leprechauns. But I really fell in love with them when I moved to France: I was up early and driving along one of the long country lanes on a sunny morning, taking care I was driving at about thirty miles an hour when I looked out of my open car window to see a hare running along the hedgerow right beside the car, keeping up with it. It was a sight to behold, a big animal full of power, and it was at that point that my fascination, and utmost respect for hares began.

As Easter approached this week it was also a full moon, and on Friday Rich and I were up and out early, very early. Europe is experiencing really good weather and even at seven in the morning it was already twenty two degrees. The sun was shining, and France is in bloom, and as we drove down our long lane from our house we were met with the sight of two hares boxing in the middle of the road.

As we stopped and watched they ran off (or hared off as the saying goes) into the field in flight; truly, truly amazing. But that was not all: on our journey through the winding lanes of France we saw another five hares, in the fields, in the hedgerows, to the point that I turned to Rich and said ‘ it must be a hare convention!’

Hares are revered by many cultures: they represent positive change, because of their connection to spring; and new beginnings. In Ireland they are a protected species and were featured on their half pence coin until it went out of circulation. Perhaps my love for hares and the abundance of sightings is telling us that we should consider that move to Ireland after all – we are still not ruling that out. To have a hare cross your path is a sign that you will receive abundance and joy; as we have had five cross ours then I am in no doubt that is the case for us.

Rich’s business has taken off (with a small amount of help from his social media savvy and writer wifey) he has bookings into June now with more to come. My book is nearly fully edited with some additions because of the research and wonderful comments from people who follow my blog: over 40,000 views and counting. I promised my dear late friend in my last post that I would get my book out there and I will. you can read that post here I aim for it to be available in the autumn for all the people who have asked where they can buy it.

The evening before our sojourn with the hares the moon had risen full and red over the fields, and I thought back to the posts where I have said that I am  not sure if living here for me holds enough, but that I would wait and life would show me the way: it seems to be, at the moment. Later that night though Rich had an experience with the werehare!

My husband is over six feet tall and weighs over eighteen stone (I am being kind here). I went to bed with the Welshies and he went outside for his last cigarette. The moon was full and our cat Daisy was sat on our drive with wild staring eyes and her tail puffed up to four times its normal size. Rich spooks easily with regard to anything unexplained or supernatural; so he looked at Daisy and realised something was wrong. Then he heard a noise of something very large snuffling behind our hedge; he turned to Daisy and said ‘what the f**k is that?’ Daisy responded by high-tailing it indoors. On the sound of Rich’s voice whatever it was ran across the garden quickly and loudly, and Rich could hear something heavy stomping on the oak logs. With that he high tailed it indoors, made sure all the cats were inside and locked the door. (He is so brave!)

When he came to bed he told me the story; I was just glad that Wiglet the serial killer had not been out there as chaos would have ensued. Rich was clearly spooked and proceeded to build up a pile of pillows down the side of the bed by the door to stop any ‘ghosts’ getting him in the night (didn’t realise that pillows were a ghost deterrent!) We then discussed that it could have been a deer or a wild boar, or even a fox but that seemed unlikely with the dogs scent. Neither of us thought that it may have been a hare, moonwatching from the pinnacle of the hill on which our house is perched.

As I turned off the lights I then said ‘it could have been a werefwolf, it is a full moon!’ To which my husband replied in a wail ‘Why would you say that man? Stop trying to frighten me!’ I giggled and said ‘well we are in the middle of nowhere, perhaps all the neighbours are werewolves and we are living in the midst of a werewolf colony!’

Rich then shut the door!

So the next morning when we saw all the hares I realised it was probably a hare, or as I said to Rich: ‘perhaps it was a werehare!’

I am sorry I have been absent from Mois French Adventure, folks but I will be sharing some more posts with you this week, but I know you understand that the book has taken priority.

Have a wonderful Easter weekend.

Moisy

A reminder:

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I do truly believe that life shows you the way. I know that some people will roll their eyes, but have you ever considered that for all the planning you do, for all the organising and lists and preparation for the future does it work out as you planned? Ever?

So with this in mind I want to write about my dear friend Rod Clarricoats. In January when I wrote my blog I said how a dear friend had been immediately there for me. ( read here ) I said how this person was an old friend the type that is just there in the background. I had not spoken directly to Rod for over thirty years, but he found me on FB many years ago and when I needed him, without prompting, he messaged me at a dark time. That was Rod: always there for you when you needed him, always kind.

I have said in  my post how he made me think about where I was and how lucky I was, and when I told him he was always a kind bugger he responded by saying that he was a now ‘a kind old bugger.’ He was the same age as me: fifty six.

We messaged each other a  few more times in February and he asked about the campsite I was thinking of setting up: and told me that he would be in France this summer and if he could he would come to visit.

Yesterday I found out through FaceBook that Rod died on Friday morning. I am ashamed to say that I had not seen his post on Facebook: a meme about not letting cancer win. From what his family have written Rod acquired an infection and died quickly. I was so shocked.

He had never told me that he was ill, he had still simply been there for me all these years later and now he was gone.

Years ago when we were at college together, and going to Soul Weekenders in Essex in England, Rod was one of my bestest friends: when my heart was broken he would pick me up and take me out; and even when I moved to Wolverhampton with my future husband (not the one I have now) he would visit my mum; sometimes being a bugger and taking a different girl each time! Over time we lost touch, our lives took different paths and Rod moved to Wales with his family. From his posts on Facebook he was a happy man, blessed with a loving family.

We met at college: we were never an item but I know that one of the things he loved about me was my strength of character. It was the beginning of the eightees so there we would be in our two tone jeans. I can remember arriving at college one day as the older year had finished their exams and leaving and there was Rod: with all his friends in the thick of it throwing flour, and shaving foam. As it progressed they bought eggs and cornered my dear friend Aud and I in the ‘girls’ loos and decided to ‘make us into a cake!’ Don’t get me wrong we had given as good as we got! I also remember my broken heart and Rod taking me and Aud to the pub on a Sunday night; and telling the said perpetrator of my broken heart to ‘sod off’ because he wouldn’t leave me alone. That was Rod!

So I am writing this post because Rod has reminded me (as he did in January) that you have to make the most of life; because you never know what it has planned for you.  I have many jobs to do around the house but I need to write and get my book out there. I feel that urgent need now because life really is too short.  With life showing me the way from the messages and contacts about what I have written it is important to help others in times of difficulty. I will dedicate my book to Rod.

I have cried for a man that I hadn’t seen in thirty years, and I am crying now, because I realise that I have lost one of the good people who have been in my life. If he were here he would tell me to shut up and get on with it, whilst giving me cuddle at the same time.

So Rod: you’ve inspired me to get this done. Thank you my friend.

Au revoir (because I know we will meet again one day.)

Moisy

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Laughter & giggles

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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

That Friday Night Feeling

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I wrote in my introduction to this blog, many moons ago, that I wanted to inspire other people to take that adventure: to make that leap. I commented on one of my early posts about how I did not want to just ‘sit and wait for God’. That is still true, and as part of the process we have been going through I came to realise this week that I miss  structure in my life. You know: the thing that gives you that ‘Friday Night Feeling’: that feeling that you get after a hard week at work and you come home on that Friday night, knowing that now the next few days are your own. You can change your routine, get up later, have a beer (or a glass of wine) have something special to eat (ours was always a Friday night dirty kebab) you can just breathe.

So if you are thinking of freedom from the boring and mundane; freedom from the ‘hamster wheele of life’, freedom to do what you want when you want to: to have long endless days stretching out in front of you: careful what you wish for.

I have come to realise as part of this adventure that because I am a ‘doer’ I always need to be ‘doing’. I always need to do a good job, I need to do the best I can, I need to do. As I have said I was still ill when I came out here (from doing too much!) but one of the lessons I have learnt from this is that I still have to do something.

I also know that there has to be a balance: my old job was a job that chewed me up and spat me out: I worked so hard that it consumed me; so it is about finding that balance; and if we can continue to live without rent or a mortage perhaps part-time work will be the way forward for me, or my book…… or writing my new book!

I came to realise this because Rich has been at work all week: not coming in until after seven each night and it has given us structure. It has also inspired me to put some structure into my life so that, whilst still living here, I  too can find a sense of fulfillment and have that ‘Friday Night Feeling.’

I had it this week, not least because Rich would be with me for the weekend; but because I have worked hard also: I have moved logs across the garden ready to split, I have split all the logs we cut last weekend; I have promoted our Etsy shop, I have polished and cleaned out the living room to within an inch of it’s life; but more than anything I have worked on my book, including promotion, for over twenty five hours. I know that whilst I am here  I have to complete my book and get it published. Who knows that may change my direction again!

I believe in my book, I know that it helps others because they tell me so. This week my serialisation of it on my other blog  hit over thirty thousand views in total since I started writing it less than six months ago: with over seven hundred in one day this week alone. There has been a furore on social media and I am now committed to getting this done. I want to do it, I believe in it.

Serialisation of book

So back to our Friday Night Feeling: Rich came home, with his money in his wallet, pleased to finally be earning again. We opened a bottle fo wine and relaxed and I rustled up one of my kebabs that I have learnt to cook since living over here. We found something to watch on the TV and sat down (late because it was Friday night after all!) with our kebab on our laps. Wonderful!

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Then Bam!!! Out went the lights, off went the telly, and we were in total darkness. A good old power cut! Picture the scene: we were not to be deterred so we got out some old headlamp torches (you wear them on your head) and sat eating out kebab by torchlight! Not the best but it could have been worse: It could have happened when I was cooking it! We have just had a new meter fitted and worried that it could be faulty until we looked out of the window and realised that there was not a light to be seen across Ambrieres. Our good old neighbour and friend, Marc, resolved it for the community but we were without it until mid-day on Saturday.

I am now writing on a Sunday, because I want to share with you all, who are going back to work tomorrow: if you didn’t have that work where would you get the structure from in your life? Because trust me it is hard to implement it yourself.

Have a good Sunday folks and be grateful for what you have got.

Moisy

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Here & Now

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I deliberately adapted this photo, of one of the wonderful sunrises and sunsets that we are privelidged to see living here for a reason.

As you know over the past few months we have wondered whether this is still the right adventure for us; I have fully got back to being me; and this has led us to a better place than we have been for a while. But….

I have loved living here, I needed to recharge my batteries and they are now fully recharged but now I don’t honestly know if this is still the right path for me. I said when I moved here that I wanted an adventure, I didn’t want to just ‘wait for God’; so we did this. But now I am wondering that is this? Is not just waiting for God in a different place? Ambrieres is beautiful, the neighbouring towns and villages are beautiful but I have seen them and for me, now, they are not enough. They don’t have enough in them (nothing in fact but that is for another blog) to inspire; add to that my need (yes need!) to work and have purpose and I will not get that here.

I believe that life shows you the way; anyone who reads this blog knows that. Over the past few months as we have deliberated our way forward I have said how living in the deep and rural countryside is very hard work: you have to clean your house every day, it is never ending. I came out here with the wonderful ideal of open shelves inmy kitchen  – not in the rural countryside unless you want to wash everything every day! The garden is stunning but extremely hard work, and as I have turned 56 I have started to ask myself whether we can continue to do this for the long term and the answer is no.

As I was thinking this we visited a client who said exactly the same: they sold up their sprawling old stone house and bought a new house with a smaller garden which was manageable because their life was not their own whilst they were trying to keep on top of everything. I found it to be an omen because I had a similar conversation with Rich as we were driving there!

A few days later on the way to another clients house I said to Rich how I Ioved the countryside but that I had seen it; been here 4 years, loved it but now I needed something more. When we arrived at the clients house I commented on the pretty view and she replied that it was lovely but you can only see so much of it; and  because she was so rural there is nothing to do. Again – just as I had said to Rich on the way there.

Now other things have reared their ugly heads, and made me re-evaluate life as they should and they have reminded me how you should treasure every day; never take anything for granted; and that life really is too short.

It has all got me thinking: is an adventure really about moving forward all the time?

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I know that you cannot stand still and keep everything the same no matter how hard you try. You can shut all the windows and all of the doors and try and keep the world out but life will still take you where you are destined to go and things will still change no matter how you resist: you will grow older, and less able to do what you could do; your children will grow up and move on; people will move away; things cannot stand still.

So is the adventure about not staying in the same place; about doing what you have to do at that moment in time for your life and then accepting that at some point that will change? We moved here because we loved France, we were both burnt out (I was) from our chosen careers, we didn’t want to feel hemmed in any more. But now this beautiful house and our surroundings have replenished me; I no longer feel burnt out, I don’t feel hemmed in; but as a result of that I have changed again and now this may not be enough; and I feel ready to go back to something with more life than where I am. Not full on but somewhere in the middle.

When we chose our house we were moving from a beautiful house with a very small garden,and no outbuildings. So we bought a house with an acre of land and outbuildings, and all the work that entailed. We have enjoyed the time here but is this now what we really want?

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Is life about accepting the changes that happen, and realising that it is time to move forward again?

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So that brings me to my first photo, with the comment ‘Happiness is a state of mind’. Despite what I have said, and despite the fact that we may well move on sooner than we thought, I don’t regret moving here. Rich would look at it as a failure; until I remind him that at the time we made the decision to move here it was because it was what we needed – at that time.

what you needed at the time

We have learnt so much from this adventure: We have learnt not to be wasteful; that simple things can bring you so much happiness; that having each other (despite all we have been through) has been a blessing. We have learnt that we do not need material things to be happy. We got Wiglet! All of these lessons will be taken forward to where we go next. You see – my state of mind is that we did the right thing; I did not want to continue with the life I had before and I know that I will honestly not go back to it.

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And again I have chosen this photo carefully. I love to watch washing blowing on the line. I find it so fulfilling: what was dirty is now clean and blowing in the wind and sunshine, it’s a simple thing but one that brings me pleasure; and it is all about change, dirty to clean, wet to dry, free to blow in the wind and sunshine. Yesterday Rich and I (after having many discussions this week) were out in the garden with the Welshies cutting logs and clearing the garden. It was a blowy sunny March day and I found myself looking across the valley and thinking how blessed I was to have lived here; even though now I am thinking of moving on. I know it will be a couple of years before our house sells, and even a year of more before we have it ready to even consider putting it up for sale. I also know that in that time things may change again and we may have a different plan. So right there in that moment (because that is all we have) I looked across the valleys on a glorious spring day, with my beautiful dogs running around the garden like teddy bears, and I still counted my

I looked at Rich, and he looked as miserable as sin! I asked him was there not anything in the day that made him happy; because at that moment in time I was happy. He replied by saying ‘but you said you weren’t happy anymore that there is not enough here for you.’ To which I replied:

‘I am happy in this moment in time; no I do not think that this is the life I want to follow for any future length of time but right now, in the here and now (because that is all I have) I am happy: I am happy I get to spend time with my husband in a sunny spring garden; I am happy that I get to work with him chopping logs, with the dogs running around my feet chasing the rats and chickens. I am glad that I get to feel the wind on my face and the sunshine; I am happy that I get to look out across that view; I am happy that all the little spring flowers are appearing in the lawn, and that summer is on it’s way. I am happy that I have logs to cut and logs for next winter; I am happy that we have made some decisions; Just because I have made the decision not to stay here does not mean that I am unhappy, or that I cannot appreciate what I do have.’

I then looked at Rich and asked him what he was happy with he looked at me like a rabbit in the headlights and said ‘I am happy that I’ve got tobacco!!!’

Good job I love him!

It is so clear that happiness is just a state of mind. How often do we fail to look at all the small things that are in the here and now because we have made decisions to change things? How often do we not just do that anyway!

So we will continue on this journey but there are new horizons ahead……

Moisy

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Driven……Part I

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I have been notoriously absent from my blog; but I can assure you that I have not been notoriously absent from the internet! I have been absent because I have been building another two websites; and promoting, promoting, promoting.

You see as I explained to you all in earlier blogs things have been very difficult; things have happened to us to make us rethink life (as you know in my blog I shared I’ve considered my position- it’s a good one for now), included in that has been rethinking people and also rethinking us, and the people that we want to be on this adventure. It has been difficul but it has been constructive: it brought the Moisy that will never let anything beat her back; and by Christ I won’t!

So  I decided that we needed to make things happen ourselves: gone are the days when we relied on any ‘old boys network’, or even word of mouth from doing a good job, to get work. We had to stop waiting for things to come to us and go and find them instead: I had to put us out there. Rich is totally legal to work in France we even have assurance for his work (which a lot of people don’t) but we were being held back from advertising Rich on local FB sites because of the n’er do wells who always have something to say. Well d’ya know what? I am back and I am not letting people live our lives for us anymore. Hence the websites:

Rich’s wonderful website

On the back of my camping website I decided to make us a professional website for Rich’s handyman/painting & decorating business. I used the skills I have as a writer, and the knowledge I gained over the years of dealing with the public, to make this website for Rich; and then I put it out there for Rich. I have explained how Rich will do the prep work for decorating if someone then wants to do the painting (most people will tell you that they hate prep); and so much more. As a result Rich now has a job to start next week, he has already done some work for a client (who called him back to do more) and we have had over ten enquiries and other jobs are in the pipeline (all in 5 weeks.)

Inspired by it’s success I decided to turn my attention to my Etsy shop, that has been in the doldrums lately . So on a roll I then set myself a website up for my shop where people can buy direct. Here is one of my most recent stock items, I love him and he currently resides in my living room but I have to let him go. He is nearly 100 years old and I have to put my business head on.

But the thing is I  have loved doing it: I have realised that I have a talent for setting up websites, and I have loved doing what I am good at and learning a new skill in the mix;  more than anything I have loved getting results. My website went live last week and this is now on it’s way to South Carolina in the USA.

 

In addition I have always been complimented on my styling and interiors so I am now putting together vignetttes and styling tips on my website.

If you would like to see more then take a peep – I can source items as well and vide grenier season is starting.

Moisy’s shop petitefrenchfancies

you see I was not perpared to give up, we are as good as anyone over here (in fact we both have five star reviews for what we have done) and I am now using that to our advantage.

It has been so difficult that Rich seriously thought about going back to the UK to work; but now I have just started to advertise that he will in fact travel all over France fo work (providing there is a weeks work for him, not for small jobs). We have sourced cheap accomodation for him and this not only gives him work but also provides us with an opportunity to see more of France whilst earning money; because often I will meet Rich wherever he is for the last night and day (with the Welshies of course!) Or I will go with him. We both agreed that if you are going to go back to th UK then you may as well travel around France instead!

This will also stop us getting into what can be a rut of just doing the same ol’ same ol’ (more of that in another post about France and mental health).

As I have said I am back: I will still be kind to people but I will not put up with an ounce of shit anymore; as one of the n’er do wells found out when they put something very rude and unncessary on one of the posts for Rich’s site! I answered them, professionally but also assertively. As always with people who are manipulators she tried to say I was being aggressive, until others started to answer her and say how rude she was. But being professional and kind I stepped in and said that she had messaged me direct to explain and that it was all resolved. We got a job out of that!

Oh, and by the way – we fixed the roof! Ruch and I.

Like I said: Driven!

Look out for more posts folks, buttons are now available on each post with links to our sites.

Moisy