Monday, 8 October 2007


Well there we are, the removal van is here (the pretty one with the painting of Chateaudun and the chateau on the side of it) and they have been loading since 7h00. I still have a chair in which I can comfortably sit and work on the computer (actually when I've finished writing this entry, I shall be playing Mah Jong to pass the time, there's nothing more I can do here). I still have my lunch in the fridge (which is staying here so it's still cold). I have stuff to make sandwiches for my supper. My little van is loaded up with cleaning things, my little suitcase, plants, etc. waiting to take me to Quimper this evening. And it's all a bit desolate and demoralizing. The cats really don't understand what is going on, I can't see them any more actually, I think they've decided it's time for them to get lost...
The weather is wonderful, I'm so lucky. If it had been pouring with rain, the house would have got much messier. The removal men are crossing the "lawn" to load the lorry over the wall and would have churned up a lot of mud. Let's hope it holds for unloading Tuesday and Wednesday.
I shall be back Friday to spend the night camping here before signing away the house Saturday morning. After that I shall just have to locate the cats and put them in their boxes (they're going to LOVE that!) and drive up to Quimper again. It's all falling into place.

Friday, 5 October 2007

On the Move

Funny time to be writing, as I have removal men all around me and packing cases in heaps and towers in every room. But I've been told not to worry and let them get on with it, so I'm sitting in a corner while it all happens.

I think this must be the worst experience of all my life! I sat in my bath last night, before going to supper with Jean-Luc and Marylou, who are kindly feeding me most of the time now, thinking "Why am I doing this? What ever got into me?"

The house echoes and resonates with every step and every word spoken. It's as if I'd never lived here. It's not the same place. My bedroom is the only room that has any semblance of comfort and order although all the bookshelves are empty and the bits and pieces gone. It's warm outside, especially for October, but the house seems cold. I can't light a fire, they've stacked cases in the middle of the sitting room in front of the fireplace.

We are Friday. They started yesterday afternoon, and arrived at 7h00 this morning to pack all day. I shall have to get through the weekend like this, then Monday they are coming at 7h00 to load a lorry. I shall speed up to Finistere Monday afternoon to clean the house before furniture is unloaded. Not long to go. It's just a rotten week. In a month or so I shan't even remember it, but I hope I recollect enought to remind me not to move again in a hurry!

We have had some splended weather. When I went up to Brittany last week, it was simply beautiful and hot, one could have been on the Cote d'Azur. I had a big smile on my face as I drove up and drew near to my destination, I thought "I'm not just going on holiday, I'm going to LIVE here". The countryside was wonderful. The house was not fit to sleep in when I got there, so I gave the van der Plaetsen's a ring and they gave me a bed for the night. I unloaded all the plants and stuff I had in the car, and since I didn't want to disturb them for dinner because they had family there, I drove to Audierne via Douarnenez along the coast. It was quite lovely. I wanted to eat at the Roi Gradlon where Mike and Mum stay when they go to Audierne, but it was Friday evening and a weekend of grandes marees so the place was stuffed with Parisiens and other "foreigners" who had come up especially for the peche a pied. They had no room for me to eat, so I went across the parking lot to a little shacky place just above the break water where they do moules and things. There were quite a few people, I ate on the terrasse although it was a bit chilly, and to be different didn't have moules but palourdes and a brochette d'agneau frites. I should have had moules! It wasn't bad but not fantastic, not expensive either, and I had the sea crashing against the rocks just beneath and the sun setting over the Baie d'Audierne. Not bad.

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

The last of the summer wine...

Last guests, last trips to the dump, last journey up to Quimper before accompanying the removal van, last of the sun or so it seems, it's getting very chilly.

My chickens and the duck went yesterday. People are so nice, the baker in Verdes (from whom I never ever buy bread but who tutoies me and calls me Caroline) sent her brother to catch them up with no help from me and take them off to his place. The barn is very silent...

I must go round looking for stray eggs so that they don't go rotten and surprise the Parisiens should they step on them!

The curtains have come down in my bedroom and bathroom and gone to the cleaners.

I've come to an agreement with the removal people and am not so worried about not having enough room in their truck.

So things are falling into place, and I can even take time out to write my blog.

The sun coming through the sitting room window this morning cast a lovely shadow from the bouddha on my mantelpiece. I didn't add sepia or anything, it was just like that.

Saturday, 22 September 2007

Back from England

I travelled to England betwen 13 and 17 September to visit the family. My Tatie Zizon was there from the States. I'd not seen her for quite a few years, so we good fun catching up and having a giggle! Nicholas came down from London by train on Friday evening. Nicholas, Zizon and I went down to Weymouth for a seafood lunch on Saturday. My GPS got us there with no errors except just the last few metres... What a lovely restaurant - "The Crab House" off Portland Bill. Had to book, but it was a beautiful sunny, hot day and we ate outside with a view of the sun on the sea. That's what life is about. Nicholas and I had the most enormous crabs I have ever seen, and Zizon had a very large sole. Plus ice cream and a bottle of Pinot Grigio.

Back to a roast lamb supper - all we do is eat in our family - then out on Sunday to Little Barwick near Yeovil for lunch to celebrate Zizon's 86th birthday. I didn't feel that good in the evening, so I forewent supper!

Grama cooking lamb and 3 veg for 5 people aged 90!

Nicholas and I left on Monday morning, I drove him (sorry, he drove me!) to Heathrow where he could take the tube into London to work, and I continued on to Dover to get the ferry. After a weekend of wonderful weather in England, it poured once I got back to France.

I stopped in Paris and had dinner with Yves at the Nouveau Village Tao Tao on Boulevard Vincent Auriol, 13e. We hadn't been there for a while, and the menu and the cook had changed, it was even better than before. I had a salade de pattes de poulet, my favourite dish, and the waiter as usual gave me a lecture before writing my order down to the effect that it was real chickens' feet, did I know? When I got out of the restaurant, I found that some hooligan had broken all the wing mirrors of the cars down my side of the street, so I had to get out of Paris half blind, not quite seeing where I was going.

Back to clearing out and trips to the dump before my move which is getting frighteningly close... and I have people staying in B&B this week which takes up time.

It's Yves birthday today, and my brother Michael's. Yves couldn't come down 'cos it's the weekend. Soon he'll have to take the plane to see me...!

Monday, 10 September 2007

So I finally did it...

I've been meaning to start a blog for a while now. Today seems to be a good time, when I have a month left before leaving Le Mée and setting out on another course... Not easy with the 'r' missing from my computer, there seems to be an 'r' in every word I want to write. So if some of my prose is a bit shaky, just put in an 'r' or two and it'll probably look better!

Yesterday Yves and I went to the Marché Bio at Boursay where I did pottery classes all last year. We left around 11h00 and got there in time to book a table at the village restaurant. Visited the atelier and saw my frog (which was gigantic, but has much diminished in the 'cooking process'), and my lion's head fountain which looks good. Lots of long-haired, besandled bio people, une race à part, but quite good fun. Until the meal, which is honestly the worst I have EVER eaten, school and various canteens included, and took 2 hours because service was so awful... It is a great tribute to Yves that he kept his calm!
Once home, Jean-Claude was in the woodshed clearing things out for me, so I had to go and help, which I didn't really feel like doing because I was trying to digest my dreadful lunch. But between us all, we got the barn cleared and sorted, I just have to go to the dump with several loads. It all lasted so long, and I was so late getting dinner, that Yves stayed overnight, although he meant to go home Sunday evening, and only left at 9 this morning.
The carpenters turned up at 11h00 and have detached Cécile's painting from the kitchen and replaced it with a sheet of plywood, and have done a really fantastic door for Nicholas' shower. Quite regret leaving all that for someone else. It look good.