Almost ten weeks ago (all but two days) Karen and Dylly Dyls arrived for the summer. It has been a spur of the moment decision made after Karen returned to England in April and decided that she did not want to be surrounded by buildings and people, with roofs on the skyline, any more; she decided that she needed space, and the plan was hatched for her to come to France for the summer and see what life showed her.
Because, as we know, life will always show you the way – if you listen!
And what a summer we have had: from house hunting all over the Pays de Loire, seeing sad lonely houses to grand houses with neighbours that looked as if they should be playing a banjo and sitting on a porch! The house was stunning, neighbours were creepy!
There were houses near stunning villages, with river walks nearbye, and beautiful secret gardens, and Karen came close to making an offer, but none offered this view…..
Over the months we have all had people visit us to stay; and lessons have been taught; in that sometimes you cannot go back, where people you knew are concerned, and you realise that your life has changed you too much and you no longer have anything in common; or in some cases where people seem to think that you are a hotel, and their tour guide, chief cook and bottle washer, as well as chauffer! (It has to be said, that is the reality of taking an adventure such as this, and I really don’t know why!)
It was definitely a learning curve for Karen, she hasn’t even bought a property here yet, but it taught her what she wants and also how important it is sometimes to just say ‘No!’
We have seen each other every day during this summer of sport what with the World Cup, where Karen and I became football pundits, mainly commenting on if they had recent changes to their hair, or in one case how the England goalie looked better in green rather than yellow! You should have seen the look on Rich’s face! We took it as an omen when France won, an omen that we were all in the right place and making the right plans.
We have had fields of gold, hay bales of orange and gold, blood red moons, ghostly moons and starry starry nights….
There has been fun in the Swimming pool, with us laying on lilo’s on hot sunny days (too hot sometimes), and I will always have memories of looking up at the blue sky and saying to Karen, “who would have thought thirty five years ago that we would be doing this now! In my garden!”
The dogs have loved the pool, not least our darling Harley, and after nearly losing him last year it was a blessing to see him barking at the side of the pool for you to splash him. They have been on blow up aeroplanes, dunked and Dylan learnt to swim, as you can see from thr photo it wore her out!
We have had owls hooting at night, bats flying over our heads in the late evening and swallows teaching their young to fly and catch the late afternoon insects. Let us not forget the pink moths, dreaded bitey flies and the toads, one of whom scared the life out of Karen after coming into the kitchen and hiding under a bag
We have visited Churches, cathedrals, castles, medievil towns and waterfalls, all too numerous to mention.
Aperitifs have been enjoyed, with our French friends,; we have had BBQ’s with friends, liquer coffees, beer, and lots and lots of red wine.
Birthdays have been celebrated…
After Jen joined us we had a holiday within a holiday, and it gave us a reminder of just who your good friends are, those who come along with you for the ride and join in. It helps you know that they are the ones that you need on your mini bus of life…..
Of course we have had the Welshies, zoomies, toys, swimming in the pools, blowing bubbles for them, and sadly sometimes some fights (but they are terriers and they love each other too.)
Right now Wiglet is laying beside me lost, she has wandered round the garden looking for her baby, and huffed and puffed because she knows that this time Auntie Karen and Dylan won’t be back down the road today.
I have not even began on the topic of the vintage furniture, vide greniers, shoe shopping and having to buy a new car – I cannot tell you how pleased I am to finally have a French registered car, we are starting to feel, finally, that we are engaging with the country in which we live, and the country that we love.
But more than anything this summer we have laughed every single day, at each other, with each other, about what we have seen, and we have never judged each other. We have just accepted each other for who we are.
We knew that this summer would be a catalyst for Karen, as it turned out it has been a catalyst for all of us, and if all the plans come together a new adventure will commence. Adventures in adventures, isn’t that what life is all about?
So yes I have cried today, we all have. Tomorrow will be weird because she will not he whizzing down the road with the Dylly monster in the car with her. I know and understand that endings are new beginnings and you have to let go for new adventures to start; but I also know that the next adventure won’t be the same (we may not have old Molly kitten with us, none of our futures are guaranteed). So it us okay to feel that poignancy when something comes to an end.
There is one thing of which I am certain though … I know we are going to have one hell of a ride and it all started with the summer of 2018…….
To good friends, and good times………