Our Irish Walks ….Being Able To Laugh At Life Even In Dangerous Situations

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The Very Wild Atlantic Way January 2020

Last week we decided to find the beautiful long beach that our landlord had told us about. Off we went, sailing past the turning and following the signs depicting The Wild Atlantic Way

The weather was blowing a hooley, pouring with rain, with intermittent strong blasts of driving sleet, it was a joy. Really it was a joy! I am loving every bit of weather that blows our way, in the same way as I embraced every season and what it had to offer in France. I am doing the same here, with the different colours of the sky and sea. But on with my story…

We arrived at a small beach where there was a sign that said ‘No Swimming On This Beach At ANY Time Of The Year’. That should have been a clue! There were people walking on the beach, well in fact they were just leaving as we started to make our way down the wooden walkway onto the beach.

At the bottom of the stairway were a collection of small rocks, with a glen trickling into the sea, which you had to step over, or through if you had your wellygogs on like me. I stopped to look at the waves running back onto the rocks, trying to ascertain whether the tide was coming in.

This beach really lived up to the title of ‘Wild Atlantic Way’. The storm was blowing around us and the waves were pounding the beach, with some literally the size of a house.

Yep! That’s a wave!

RD had made his way onto the beach in front of me, and as I watched the waves run over my wellygogs, they went from covering my toes to coming halfway up my boot, in one wave! I shouted to RD ‘The tide is coming in, we need to go back’ as the third wave came to the top of my boot. He looked at me as if I was mad until he saw how deep the water was becoming, and as I turned and made my way back to the walkway he started to come back, reigning the Welshies in on their leads. But Harley’s lead jammed and as RD was pulling him back manually a huge wave came in and just took RD’s feet out from under him, literally. It pulled Wiglet’s lead and dragged her back into the sea, luckily she managed to scramble onto a rock.

The rocks now filling with water

I had turned round just in time to see it happen, it was so fast, and RD was just laying there, with his back to me, with the waves building up to come again, and I knew we were in trouble.

My immediate reaction was ‘Oh my God!’ But as the wave went out it also pulled RD’s tracksuit bottoms and pants down (thank God we were the only lunatics on the beach!) and I confess as I scrambled back across the rocks a little giggle escaped from me, and although I was terrified I was struggling not to laugh as my husband lay on the beach with his arse on show.

By the time I got to RD he had managed to get up, but was soaked from top to bottom, and was covered in sand. Wiglet was fine and just ran up to me but Harley was still halfway up the ever diminishing beach. I took Harley’s lead and pushed a very shocked RD towards the steps, as I pulled Harley back. I could see RD was in pain, he had hurt his shoulder because as he fell he hit some rocks (with his arse hanging out!).

As we got back to the van I looked back and the whole beach had been covered by the huge crashing waves. It had taken less than four minutes and we had been lucky. RD insisted on driving home, and refused to go to the hospital despite being in pain and unable to lift his arm. I am not going to lie, once we were safe, despite my best intentions I could not breathe for laughing every time the picture of RD on his side, with his arse hanging out came into my head. I’m blaming it on nerves.

The next day Wiglet decided to run at something whilst RD was holding her lead on his injured side, pulling his shoulder so hard it cracked and popped back into his socket. Who knew she was a nurse as well as a naughty terrier?! RD’s shoulder is now fine.

Revenge is sweet: my arse as taken by my husband!

So as they say revenge is sweet. As I wrote in my post about our walks I have a chronic injury in my piriformis muscle in my arse, it makes it very difficult to step up, or push myself up. Yesterday we went for a long walk on the beach and followed it all the way round getting to a low part of the bank where RD said ‘Oh look this has even go a foothold for you.’ Now the problem is as I said my injured leg cannot assist my other leg in either pushing or pulling myself up. So there I was stuck. As I tried to get up instead of helping me RD stood behind me taking a series of photos of my dilemma (and arse) and crying with laughter as he did so.

As I tried to get up, hearing him laughing I started to laugh, not good for a woman of a certain age who has had children!

So I suppose the moral of this story, in such dark times, is see the funny side, and don’t take life so seriously. We don’t and we feel all the better for it.

Have a good Sunday folks.

Rosie

Like Kids In A Sweetshop

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From the moment we arrived in Ireland and we went into Aldi for essentials (we know how to live), like milk and bread, because of the bank holiday the next day, we have been like kids in a sweetshop that has long been closed to us. Since then we have been enthralled by what is available and at the price of things. I can honestly say, as someone who has lived in both countries; Ireland is cheaper than France!

So on that short trip into Aldi (remember cats and dogs in the car) we found ourselves running round going ‘Bloody hell! Look at the price of that’, or ‘Really? Is that all it is? Or ‘Oh my God mince pies! We came out with milk, bread, biscuits, jammy cream biscuits, mince pies, Quality Street, tomato soup, oxtail soups (I cannot tell you how much I detested French soup, and was craving cream of tomato and oxtail soups) toilet rolls and strawberry cider (I know but essential for RD after the journey from hell!)

Since then the love affair with produce has continued: crumpets, baked beans, steak (so cheap), rashers of bacon, not round slices, sausages, cakes, black and white pudding, meat pies, fresh vegetables, so expensive in France, especially scallions, and celery that we love. I have actually got RD to eat fresh veg every day! We could not have afforded those items in France. Soda bread, mango chutney, lamb shanks, lamb chops, suet for dumplings…..

Irish Soda Bread

When you move country you have to basically rebuild your basics again: flour, salt, cornflour, ketchup, Nacho chips, sugar….it gives you a heart attack when you pay the bill! But …it’s all part of the adventure. Who ever knew that food shopping could be such fun?

We’ve calmed down now, thank God! And thank God we take the puppies for a walk every day or we wouldn’t be able to get out of the house!

Walking the beach, in the mizzle

When we lived in France we loved Brie, Olives, garlic, I will always love garlic and probably blow the Irish’s heads off with it! But make no bones, you always miss food from ‘home’, and trust me, you always will.

Good job we’re ‘home’ then! Lots more to come folks. You want to hear what we’ve bought next!

Rosie

Wiglet on The Beach as the Sun Sets

Atmospheric Ireland. Winter Skies and Glens

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Late Evening in Donegal

The last time I came to Ireland I was twenty-two years old. I came with my family. I remember the craic, I remember the scenery, I remember how welcoming Irish people are, I remember walking up the Knockmealdown Mountains and looking out at more than forty shades of green, but I realise now I was too young to really appreciate the atmospheric scenery, and just how magical this place is. It really is a magical land.

We are finding our feet, as is always necessary when moving, let alone changing countries. Add the dreaded C-19 into the mix and it is difficult, but we can still get some shopping, and on Friday we went to the local larger town near us, Dungloe, to stock up. Of course we took the Welshies with us, they are still too insecure to leave them, I mean the cat’s haven’t even come out of the bedroom yet, other than to eat and hide in cupboards!

So off we set on yet another charabang outing which also involved taking the Welshies for a walk.

One of my all time memories of Ireland are the freshwater glens that run down from the mountain. I promise I will write of them often, not least because I have promised my Welshie furry son that I will show him the sunlight sparkling on them. Since he was ill late last year it has been my motivation through all this change to take Harley on the Irish beaches, and to the glens up the mountain. But on Friday we found a pretty little part of the town where a glen ran gurgling and bubbling into the open arms of a small bay.

I was so excited to find it, and it was absolutely stunning to watch as it ran into the sea, so beautifully lit up by the late evening winter sun. And just to make things really perfect we had a lovely chat with Finnola, who was so excited to tell us it was her birthday tomorrow.

The Glen Running Into the Arms of the Sea

We just stood at this bay, watching the light change, and as it did so everything else changed, as if a faerie was painting the land and sky in front of us.

Sunset in Donegal Ireland

On the way home I asked RD, who trusted me and came here having never been here before, what he loved. He said the scenery, the atmosphere, the friendliness of the people, being able to just chat to people and on and on. Eventually I stopped him and asked what didn’t he like, he immediately responded and said ‘nothing.’

Rosie

Sunset in Dungloe Donegal Ireland

The Journey Through The Mountains. Twice!

The Derryveagh Mountain Range

We left France on the 30th of December, picked the cats up at 15.45 and we were on our way…RD, myself, two cats, two Welsh Terriers and a van crammed so full of stuff we were afraid to open the doors! RD had come up with the ingenious idea of making the Welshies a little cabin in the van, which was piled up so high with pillows and throws (important to us in making a home) that the Welshies could see over the top of our heads!

On we drove through Normandy and Brittany in driving sleet and rain with the cats meowling in the back and us frantically spraying Feliway to calm them down, I had a distinct case of Deja vu, of our journey into France nearly six years ago. On arrival at the port we had to scan all the animals ourselves, due to Covid restrictions. That moment when we had to open the dog cage into which both the cats were snuggled was terrifying, with the smallest gap I could get my hand in and scan them, as RD blocked any escape route as much as he could. The thought of them getting out and being lost at the port didn’t bear thinking about. But all went well and they remained snuggled, albeit stressed in their ‘cat campy’. Someone said to me that I should leave them behind, it’s expensive moving animals what with jabs and vet approval, but that would never be an option for us. We believe that when you make a commitment to an animal you make a commitment as if it were your child and where we go, they go, even if we have to do without. After that we had the distressing job of locking the puppies into cages in the kennels, Harley was so distressed he ripped his bed apart. Distressing for them, very distressing for us.

Dirty with no oven and no room to move. We couldn’t wait to get out.

We had a cabin arranged for which we were truly grateful. The house I had booked to stay for the ten days from leaving Montaigu and travelling to Ireland was bloody awful. It was dirty and the stairs were the ladder stairs that the small French houses are fond of. They were so dangerous, and Harley fell from top to bottom of them. After that RD manafactured a small barrier from wood and bless him he carried them up and down those stairs every night to stop them being stressed and away from us.

An example of ladder stairs, trust me the one’s in the house were even steeper than these!

The beds were so small we couldn’t even sleep together, there was no oven (which was fun on Christmas day) and no garden attached as promised. It was a pretty town, but as is the norm in France, nothing was going on and it was such an awful place to stay it helped in our resolution to just get the hell out of France.

So when we finally got into our cabin we were so pleased for the clean and comfortable beds and shower and we slept reasonably well until the little man from the restaurant shouted from the loudspeaker at 8am that breakfast was now being served. Poor RD he was exhausted from everything and was in a deep sleep, so it was hardly any wonder that he called the little man something very rude and very insulting!

We arrived in Ireland at 3.30pm on the 31st of December, a meaningful time given the fact that we were starting a new life.

As we pulled out of the port everyone had to provide proof that they had completed the Covid form about where they were going to stay, and we totally confused the Irish port official when we wound down the window of our French van and proceeded to answer him in English. It was refreshing that he just saw my form on our iPad and waived us on. No bureaucracy, no provide a hundred pieces of paper, just a ‘Oh you’re English go on with ya.’ And that was it, we were on the road to our new life in the pouring rain. ‘Welcome to Ireland.’

Despite our worry about the animals we drove on from County Wexford towards County Donegal, through snow and rain, around Dublin, through Northern Ireland, and onwards for over four hours. We marveled at the beautiful Christmas decorations in nearly every town, and RD was so excited when he spotted a fish and chip shop, and a Kentucky Fry, and an Indian takeaway restaurant. I have never seen him so excited by a Tesco, bless him the man is easily pleased!

I sang the ‘Forty Shades of Green’ with tears in my eyes because it’s a song that my dad would sing to me often. I turned to RD and said ‘My dad used to sing that to me.’ To which he replied ‘What in the voice of Pepper Pig?’ And that was it, despite the stresses of the journey and worry about our animals we were both in tears of laughter, my husband is such a sarcastic bastard at times, but he makes me laugh every day.

But then the sat nav decided to have a dicky fit and off we went up, up and up again into the mountains, not on some main roads but by roads that goats would have difficulty navigating. We were climbing so high that our poor little van, fully loaded to the hilt was chugging away, as we got higher there was ice on the small roads, with snow piled either side of us, and sheer drops behind it. I knew RD was afraid, I was afraid: what if it snowed and we got trapped? What if we crashed in the remote mountains with the animals in the car? I found myself noting any houses we went past as the temperature began to plummet, and counting down the kilometers until the road changed. We were really frightened and it was only after we were at our final destination that RD told me that the tires were slipping underneath us. When we descended back onto normal terrain we both agreed that we would not follow the sat nav if it wanted to take us up such treacherous roads again.

Eventually we reached what we thought was our destination using the post code given. But it was just a caravan park, and nothing else. We drove back into the small town nearby at five minutes to midnight and found a crowd of people (I know forget Covid) gathered to hear the old priest ring in the New Year at the church. As has always been my experience we stopped to ask them the way and they all welcomed us and helped us. They even spoke to our landlords dad to get directions for us and gave us the directions for where we needed to be: two hours away, through the mountain pass! Bless the lady who invited us to get the dogs out and ring in the New Year with them. They all wished us well and asked us to go back to visit them in better times, despite RD smacking his head of the steering wheel several times!

Off we went again with their directions, our sat nav and directions that my sister, Beth and brother in law, Aidan, were sending us as we went. We had no internet connection, despite having paid for it, and were well and truly stuck without their help, and as I rang Beth for directions I found myself saying ‘Beth’ as if I were talking to Alexa, she was our personal Alexa for the night. But in all seriousness I know they were worried, the weather was turning bad and RD had been driving for over nine hours now! Due to this he decided ‘fuck it’ and went for it, but in one of the main towns we took a wrong turning and as we turned round we were passed by the Garda. Now this was after midnight when Ireland had just gone into tier five lockdown, Brexit had taken place so our UK driving license’s were technically no longer valid, and we were two hours away from where we were meant to be! Yep! They came back and stopped us!

The young Garda got out of his van, walked over to the French vehicle and asked ‘Can I ask you where you’re going and what your doing?’ I answered and he immediately said ‘Oh your English?’ That was it! We explained our dilemma and he gave us directions and wished us well, telling us to take it easy through the mountains but assuring us it was a main road we would be taking and it was clear. ‘Only in Ireland’ seems to have been a recurring theme since we have got here, if that had been France we would have been there an hour! We both giggled as we drove away because one of the cats had shit in the van, so when RD opened his window he must have thought ”Jesus, that van stinks of shit!’ We, at this point, had gone ‘nose blind’.

Errigal Mountain

Off we went through the mountain pass with the snow topped mountains all around us, lit up by the full moon. It was truly breathtaking, like being in a scene from ‘Lord of the Rings’ and RD’s breath was truly taken away. All he kept saying was ‘Wow Mois, look at this, Wow Mois I can’t believe it’. On one part there was a sign to say that there had been an oil spill, to which RD replied ‘Of course there has! It’s the only bloody thing I haven’t encountered so far, so there had to be an oil spill!’

Eventually we arrived at our destination right out on a peninsular, down windy little roads with crofts either side of us. We couldn’t see the church landmark we were meant to follow and we were absolutely knackered, but hey ho, we kept going, isn’t that what an adventure is about?

After unloading animals and feeding them and settling them down, we fed ourselves and fell asleep sitting up, finally going to bed at 7.30am. That will be a New Years Day to remember.

As our landlord said ‘Sure this will be a story to tell your grandchildren!’ He’ll get no argument there!

Welcome to Ireland.

Rosie

Ireland: The New Adventure Begins. A Little Taster

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Our Daily Walk. Ireland Truly Breathtaking

We arrived at 2am on New Years Day. Moving countries is exhausting, as someone said ‘You do like a big move don’t you?

Well if you’re going to have an adventure you may as well make it a big one!

I have lots to write about, but right now I have to take the dogs out as we cannot let them run free. So I thought I would share with you photos from our ten minute walk to the beach yesterday….breathtaking

The beach, surrounded by snow topped mountains
The Wild Atlantic Way
We’re going on this beach today
The Walk Down To The Beach
We Are Surrounded By This Mountain View
RD walking into the clouds
Sunset On The Beach In Beautiful Donegal
A Happy Man

I think it’s fair to say, I have a knack for finding a view! But that’s not hard on the beautiful emerald Isle.

Rosie

A Little Bit Of Paddy Has Finally Come Home.

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The View From The Boat As We Docked
In Rosslare Ireland

I have so much to blog about not least the journey to our current home in Donegal, Ireland (such a nightmare, but also funny if you have a sense of humour). But first I want to write about my dad, who was a big factor in how we ended up living in Ireland.

It’s taken me a while to write this because I wanted to pay homage to my dad, and every time I thought about what I was going to write my eyes would fill with tears; they are now, but here goes.

My Dad was Patrick Joseph Walsh, you couldn’t get a more Irish name than that! He was a Tipperary man, the youngest of a large Irish family. He lost his mother early when she was sent away due to a sanatorium for mental health issues.

My dad Paddy was a clever man, but education was not an automatic right in the forties in Ireland, and further education was not available to everyone. But despite that my dad won a scholarship to go on to further education, it was a huge prestigious opportunity. Sadly whilst the education was free the uniform and the books needed were not. Despite going cap in hand and asking for help nobody would fund my dad, so terribly disillusioned he left Ireland and set sail for England where he boarded in my nan’s boarding house, met my mum, and the rest they say is history.

When my Irish grandmother (who I never met) was sent away to a sanatorium it was my Auntie Maureen who became my dad’s surrogate mother and so whenever we visited Ireland it was Auntie Maureen that we went to. I still remember today her breakfasts of Irish herby sausages, eggs with the brightest yellow yolks, and her homemade soda bread. Of how she would listen to me (a small gobby child) with a half smile on her face, but she would always listen, a little bemused. Looking back now I realise that perhaps she could see my dad in me, and that is why she always listened. I was always full of ideas, the difference with my dad was that I was more confident than my dad and have always had the ability to not show that I cared what people thought. As I’ve got older I now just don’t care.

Sadly my dad never returned to live in Ireland. My mum wouldn’t go, she wanted to stay with people she knew, no matter how vile some of her family were to her and my dad.

One of my awful, ignorant arrogant uncles would call my dad stupid (let’s not forget he was a ‘Paddy’ after all!) you can probably tell I am not a fan of my mum’s family (with the exception of one aunt). I know now that was insecurity on the uncle’s part, because my dad could see through him, and knew he had more intelligence than the arrogant uncle would ever understand. Ever the ‘quiet man’ my dad said nothing, because he also knew that was the only way to deal with insecure idiots.

Looking back now there was my dad, highly intelligent having to put up with those arseholes, how he must have longed for ‘home’.

So on New Years Eve as the boat was docking in Ireland all those travelling with their dogs were asked to wait on the dog deck, and there we stood with the Welshies, watching as Ireland became a reality. As I stood with RD I could feel a lump rise in my throat and my eyes brimmed with tears, I felt such an overwhelming feeling that I had finally come home. RD looked at me and just got hold of my had, he knew.

It’s hard to explain that feeling, it was so totally unexpected. The last time I visited Ireland was in 1985, when my dad brought us all over for a family holiday. I knew it was beautiful, but I was too young to appreciate just how beautiful it really is.

As I stood on deck I found myself hoping that my dad was standing beside me, with a smile on his face, approving because finally a little piece of him had come home, in me.

This one’s for you Paddy.

Rosie

On the Boat to A New Adventure in Ireland

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I wrote this blog on New year’s eve, but the dreaded internet got in the way. I thought it was appropriate to say a final farewell to France. Of course I am now writing this in Ireland, but this is the final farewell. There will be a flurry of posts this week, so much to write about…..

31.12.2021

So we did it! I suppose if you’ve done it once it gets easier. We said goodbye to France due to arrive in Ireland at 3.30pm Greenwich meantime.

View from Deck

I have limited internet, so here are some photos of Ambrieres les vallees on our last day there. It was a very pretty town, and affluent, as indicated by the Marie’s office. But despite its affluence the town was still struggling to survive, as were many in France.

Enjoy the photos more to come from Ireland

Ambrieres les vallees, taken from the town that’s cut into the rocks
I fell in love with this weir and little bridge
The weir
The Marie’s Office in Ambrieres les vallees

Rosie

Looking Forward to Decorating My New Home For Christmas 2021. But Until Then…….

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Wiglet Photobombing Harley Christmas 2020

For me the best part of Christmas has been putting the Christmas decorations up. This year, due to our big move that’s not possible, so thought I would share some from the past 5 years.

Christmas 2017 Two Trees That Year
The Only Real Tree We Ever Had 2017 The Year Tom First Came To Visit
Mt Dickensian Garland Christmas 2017
Christmas: It’s Good To Be Home
Our Last Christmas 2019
Nothing Decorates Like Nature December 2015. Our First Christmas In France The View From Our Bedroom Window
December 2015
December 2016 The Hoarfrost Literally Blew Me Away. It Was Like Walking In Narnia
Our Home Made Deco Christmas 2018
Christmas 2018
Christmas Garland 2019
Twenty Years Old and Will Be Up Next Year In Ireland

And finally some photos of that fabulous Hoar frost, what a privilege it was to experience that phenomenon.

Mellow Christmas Folks

Rosie

Au Revoir Montaigu

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Montaigu on the day we viewed it in 2015.

So we said ‘Goodbye’ to Montaigu on Tuesday. It was an emotional day and as the day closed we sat in the awful gite we’re renting exhausted.

It was such a rush, as most moves tend to be at the end, that we didn’t have the time to have a final walk around our garden, or say goodbye to our neighbours. But we did say goodbye to our beloved departed cats Molly and Sophie, we know their spirits are not there, but we said goodbye anyway. I said goodbye to my Tree of Tao, and thanked it for healing me, and I took one last look at the view across the valley, never to be replicated. I will always treasure it as one of the gifts I have had in life.

Sunrise in Ambrieres Les Vallees
Misty Mornings Ambrieres Les Vallees
Summer Moon Over Fields of Gold. Montaigu Ambrieres Les Vallees

Although we will return to say goodbye to our wonderful neighbours we did meet with our dear, and wonderful French friends Martigne and Michelle, affectionately known as Cheeky.

Moisy (Rosie) and Martigne 2018
RD and Michelle 2018

They had called us the night before the signing, and when we arrived at their home there they were as welcoming as ever, with beautiful champagne and Tarte aux Pommes. They have both been so kind to us over the past five years. RD will never forget his outing with Cheeky to replace his tyres, that man has so much energy and joie de vivre it’s infectious. Martigne has been one of the kindest people I have ever met, but recently her life has been turned upside down having received very bad news about one of her sons, news that nobody can offer words that will help, other than to say ‘I am so Sorry’. It made me think how much change has taken place since our BBQ at the end of the summer: Mark and Nadia splitting, us leaving, and now this. My heart goes out to my dear friend.

As we left we threw Covid caution to the wind, as is necessary sometimes, and hugged deeply, and we all cried. I’m crying now. It’s a constant reminder from life that everything changes, and sometimes those changes are hard, and heartbreaking. But necessary, as they have to be. I will email Martigne often with photos of our new life, she will be one of the very few people I will stay in touch with from this adventure.

It was a subdued journey back to our gite through the dark French countryside, it seemed as if all the houses were shut up, disappointed in us for leaving. As a very tired RD drove I found myself singing in the bleak midwinter softly; it seemed to calm the dogs down and we trundled on, frighteningly homeless, and somewhat bewildered.

Our small van was crammed with the last minute stuff we hadn’t packed. I have been sorting through it yesterday and today and find myself becoming more and more mercenary: towels that have seen better days, oven dishes that take up so much space, glass containers, all going, let’s make space for something new. This is a bigger move than when we moved here: with a twenty hour boat journey, as well as a total of seven hours driving. We are now changing our plans, letting them go and letting life show us what we should do re our treasured possessions.

The dogs are stressed to the max, and me, the person who used to try and make Christmas perfect is sitting surrounded by this….

But we don’t care, we have each other. We’ve been contacted by many caring friends, and we have our son and pets. What is Christmas anyway,

For us it’s about the New Year now, when we toast to our old, and bring in the new whilst looking out to sea in Ireland.

Au revoir Montaigu, it’s been a blast….

Happy Christmas everyone, in this strange year let’s make it a mellow one.

Rosie

The Sun Setting December 2020. The End of our French Adventure

Saying Goodbye: Memories Are Oozing Out Of The Walls

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This photo is the last sunrise that I will capture from my garden in France. As I sit here writing this I am in my jimby jambies (pyjamas for those who have just stumbled across this blog) RD is sitting opposite me in our red chair with his eyes closed, he’s exhausted and it’s only just coming up to eight in the morning.

The packing up of our house is coming to a close now, with still so much to do. I am wide awake because I woke up with so many words in my head, hence I am sitting in my blue chair writing this post.

The blue and red chairs, where we sit each morning are old and tired, but still comfortable, like old friends. We have decided to leave them here in front of our picture window, for the new family to enjoy, if only for a few weeks and months before they start to make changes. This place where we sit has been a place of solace and comfort at times, a simple thing, and that’s what this adventure in France has been about: learning to just ‘be’ and enjoy the simplest of things. I suddenly find that tears are pricking my eyes as I write this.

Our Place Of Calm

I woke up this morning and said ‘goodbye’ to my bed, it’s an old friend that I won’t see for months, I hope our reunion will be sooner rather than later.

When I came down to the kitchen this morning there were no kittens to say ‘Good Morning Girls’ to. They went off to the cattery yesterday. There we were, all emotional that we were tearing them away from the garden and house they loved, worried for them. There they were snuggled in the heated beds in the cattery even before we got out of the door, happy to be away from the mayhem. Tilly never came back, when she came to visit it was her goodbye to us, telling us she loves us, but she has chosen to live in France with whoever is caring for her now. We understand that, and will always love her so.

I find that there comes a point, when you are moving home, where the memories of the times you had there seem to seep out of the walls. You can almost here them, the voices, the laughter, the tears. I am an empath, and so I can, at times, literally feel and hear them. When I went into the kitchen today to make our first cup of tea I stood at the end of the room, where our five cats would be first thing, mewling for their breakfast. I wrote about the cacophony of cats that would greet me each morning back in 2018, not realising that it would change days later when Tilly left home. Today I stood in my quiet kitchen with my eyes closed and I could hear them all, and see them all, the memory brought a smile to my face and tears to my eyes. Sophie died in 2019, and Molly died last New Years Day. Memories.

As we pack the house the rooms have begun to echo, and just this last week I have thought of Livermore, and Dylan and our summer of fun, heard the laughter and the splashing of the pool.

I have thought of Nic and the girls, and giggled at all the things we laughed at, mainly RD!

It’s only natural at this time of year that Christmas’s come to mind, not least when Tom has come to visit, especially last year, when he surprised us and I looked out in the garden to see him standing there, not knowing he was coming.

The memories are also there of when we have sat with our last five euros, not knowing if we can feed our animals, let alone us. Of cutting up the trees in our garden to provide us with some heat. I distinctly remember the January in 2019 when we started to question whether we were holding to our dream too tight. And that has been our biggest lesson, to believe that what you need will come and it will; and it always has. We have faith now, in ‘life’ leading the way. So much that we also know when it’s time to listen and make change.

As I write this I realise that there are no memories of anger, or harsh words, In this house and think that just about sums us up.

No matter how much we love things they change, no matter how tight we hold on, and there is another lesson: ‘Let Go’. We have learned that well, it’s given us the courage to make this move now.

We move to a gite this evening, today is going to be a busy but poignant day.

The sun is setting on our adventure in France.

Rosie