And so today has been a funny old day. But more of that later.
The past week has been so busy getting everything organised for our summer in France. And yes cutting the grass is on the agenda, but that’s Tuesday’s task!
Like my friend Moira said recently in her blog, moisfrenchadventure – and by the way, I am so proud of my friend that her blog has been named in the Top 25 blogs about living in France, a real achievement as there are hundreds – I too have become a woman of lists.
There are things we need to take with us – Branston pickle, salad cream, HP sauce, proper English teabags – I have never been tight, but I am not paying €5 for these little tastes of home. The shopping bags are brimming!
Dylan, of course, is a demanding, though not spoilt (well not much) little Welshie and so I have to organise her various leads, bowls, bed, food, collars, harness, favourite treats. Her toy box including owl, always her favourite, who has been missing in action as I, never a domestic goddess, failed to sew owl back together after Dylan played rough a few weeks ago.
I have my stuff to pack – and yes cutting down on the shoe quota was not easy. Yep, my new car takes a whole lot more than my little Peugeot, but it’s not an artic lorry – restraint Karen, restraint!
And besides do I really need LK Bennett’s in rural France – mmm probably not!
Things to organise in the house – nothing like having house sitters coming in to make you finally clean out the knife drawer! And discover tins in the back of the cupboard that went out of date in 2009. Please say it’s not just me!
Food, litter and more treats to buy for the cats who are not joining us on our trip.
I think Dyls and Pixie, my clever tortie, know something is up, as for the past nine months they have fought like, well cat and dog, but this weekend a peace treaty seems to have taken place and they are inseparable, stretched out in my sunny garden, with Dyls occasionally licking Pixie’s ears as Pix purrs in delight!
Odd, but let’s take the wins! And I do think animals have a rare sixth sense.
So we are almost ready. The practical stuff is done. Dylan will go to her last puppy class tomorrow. Though we are looking at puppy classes in France – mon dieu, pity les chiens there! I am saying goodbye to my friends where I volunteer, then having a farewell lunch with two old friends. Although one is coming to visit and relax in the house I have rented in a typically pretty French village, not far from my friends Mois and Rich.
I am so lucky that I can work remotely, so that’s all organised – yep there might be the odd trip back to London, but it’s only an hour to Southend airport so not insurmountable – and hey ho rather a chic commute!
And there’s the book to get done and finished. Oh I love a deadline! And another collaborative project that is really exciting – watch this space…
Emotionally it’s been a bit different. A bit more scary. And from nowhere a few tears fell today. Maybe it’s packing up my house that has made me look back at all the things that have happened since I moved here 16 years ago. Maybe it’s because I know change is in the air. It’s like a rollercoaster I have got on and have no idea where it will lead. I certainly didn’t expect to be going to France. But I have to be brave enough to do it.
Face those fears. Fall off that cliff.
Which I know is stupid as we are only going for the summer. At the moment. Who knows might buy a house out there. .But perhaps it’s the realisation of all that has happened that’s making me reflect on a lot of things today.
So as I can’t put it better than Mark Twain ….
I am looking forward to sitting on a terrace looking at the views of wide sweeping landscapes, rather than the back of garages.
Of wandering round beautiful towns like Sainte Suzanne and stopping for lazy lunches and rose.
Of seeing the rose gardens in bloom at Lassay Les Chateau and then going to the tabac for the best ever coffee.
Of exploring vide greniers on Sunday’s.
Looking up at the stars glittering in the purple night sky with no pollution to tarnish their twinkle.
Of visiting the lake and beach at Ferte Mace and eating moules and frites. Of celebrating my puppy Dylan’s first birthday and my friend Rich’s birthday (same day, but not going to give away his age!) on Bastille weekend.
Naturally, a summer of Welshies.
And celebrating my birthday and a new life – as last year I had only just left the world of magazines.
What a difference a year makes.
Who knows what the summer will bring….