Thursday, October 14, 2010

Keep Busy!

That is going to be my mantra over the next few weeks and months while I get used to life here in rural France. As you know there is LOTS to do on the house, but just on an everyday basis, there are plenty of things to keep me busy.

My new schedule starts each day a lot later than I am used as it is so dark and quiet here! After breakfast I take the dog for a good walk, usually around 45 minutes. The first few days here the weather was gorgeous, starting a little cool but perfect for a walk (always uphill as we live in a valley) but by midday it has been in the 20's so no complaints there. Then I have to clear out the fireplace and lay the new fire, as it cools off quite a bit again in the evenings.

Then there is laundry, or cooking or gardening to do. I am trying to be disciplined about shopping, not wanting to be constantly driving back and forth to the shops, the nearest of which is a 15 minute drive away. So I stocked up well and got gas. This new lifestyle is all about downsizing and becoming more thrifty and green.

Then in the afternoons I have been attacking the very long list of jobs that need to be tackled. The first day I just cleaned the house from top to bottom in an effort to get rid of a lot of dust and cobwebs.

I have sealed the old oak floor in the kitchen, it is not staying in the long term but was in a bad state and never looked clean, it is definitely an improvement.

Yesterday I spent most of the afternoon cleaning up some of the walls in the living room, getting off some very stubborn wallpaper backing, sanding down some beams and getting them ready to paint. I can see the prep work is going to take a while but my goal is to get this one room decorated before our belongings arrive towards the end of the month.

Today I have had a lazier day, after the walk with the dog, I drove into the next town to pay some taxes, and have quick look in the local brocante, it is a great one. Whilst there I spoke to the owner about a broken finial on my lovely old bed and he thinks either will have a spare or be able to make one for me so that was a good morning.

It was very very misty this morning and only 4 degrees and it has taken until mid afternoon for the mist to burn off. It wasn't a lunch in the garden day as it has been the rest of the week.

This afternoon I got the fire going, I do seem to be using a lot of logs - even though I have the woodburner shut right down, about one an hour - can anyone tell me if this is normal? And of course a lovely conversation via skype with daughter and granddaughter (who thinks it is hilarious that Nana is in the computer).

So my next chore it to get some more logs in for the evening! Hubby will be back tomorrow and we have been invited up the road for dinner. And so goes my first week in my new life.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Fait Accompli!!

And it feels a little strange. It is hard to get over the feeling that I am not on holiday and that this is my life now.

As expected it was a very emotional few days, in fact I must admit to feeling a little panicked as the minutes ticked away. But I got my goodbyes and tears done and here I am.

The mission with the dog went a lot smoother than expected, although, as I thought, it is actually IMPOSSIBLE to move between Terminals 3 and 2 at Charles de Gaulle with more than 2 suitcases etc. as it is forbidden to take the baggage cart/trolley/chariot from one terminal to another!! I thought these items were for the convenience of the passengers - apparently not. So I did have to wait for my son in the station between the two terminals so we could take everything off the cart and carry it down in the elevator and get the shuttle train. This was the biggest hurdle in the whole proceedings and why I could not possibly have done it alone. There doesn't appear to be such a thing as a porter at CDG. Anyway it was done and we made it safely down to the house.

My son who works in a nightclub in London had worked til 4am and gone straight to the airport, whilst I had managed to get a little sleep on the plane, so between the two of us we almost made one functioning human being.

The drive down although long due to exhaustion was glorious due to the fabulous weather we are experiencing here. We have had a bit of rain over the last couple of days but Saturday the temperature was in the high 20's. Perfect for lazing about which I intend to do a fair bit of over the next few days, I feel I am entitled after the last few very stressful weeks!

Our son as always is very handy and helpful and yesterday we spent a couple of hours dragging a couple of trees which had fallen over the river back on to our land by chain sawing them into more manageable size pieces. Still no good for the fire yet as very green wood, but in a year or so....

As so life in rural France begins.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Long Goodbye!

That's how it feels. I leave the day after tomorrow. It has suddenly crept up on me. I am getting more and more emotional as I think about it. In a way I just wish it was Friday afternoon so that I can be happily ensconced in France with a glass of wine and all of "this" behind me.

I know that it great that my husband and I have this great adventure to look forward too, I know it is going to be great fun and we will get a lot of satisfaction out of it, but right this minute I am truly asking myself "why the hell am I moving to France and leaving behind my daughter, son and granddaughter?!".

Can you tell I am getting a little stressed? I am dreading the goodbyes. My daughter and I were in tears when we said goodbye when they left the house in France in the summer and I was going to be seeing them in little over a week! I just keep telling myself we will be back at Christmas (and blocking the fact that I will have to go through all over again then!).
If I am honest it is my granddaughter I am going to miss most. Watching her grow has been an absolute delight so I will treasure the close bond we have formed and will do everything in my power to ensure that bond continues in the years to come, no matter how many miles between us. Thank goodness for Skype.

Of course I will also miss my daughter but she is grown and we have been apart before, but we have become close friends over the last few years, especially since she became a wife and mother. We do spend a lot of time together so that is going to be a big wrench also.
And youngest son ....although I understand he is setting out on his new adventure an that he would have been going his own way anyway. Still it is not going to be painless.