Number 32 has happened – 09 March 2019

I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend. Pat and I are have now moved (move 32 for me), we are in our rental place – La Jolie Maison (which means The Pretty House) which is a fairly accurate description. We have had our house at Beaulieu all packed up (this happened on Thursday) and today I am heading back to clean – this was meant to be a job for yesterday, but I decided coffee with a friend and art class were better options for me at the end of a busy and emotional week. Tomorrow I am going to sort out my desk area as Monday I am back at work.

Wallis (our cat) is desperate to get outside and I have given him 2 short forays out into the garden – the first wasn’t the best as Siena (our dog) decided to follow the cat everywhere. I did the second one while Siena was out walking Pat. Tomorrow as I’m home all day I will give Wallis the opportunity to get out and about properly. Our landlady – who lives next door – is ecstatic to have a cat nearby as she has wanted one for a while – though I’m not quite sure how their big dog will take to him.

So for now we just will have to wait for our final signing for the house to go through – which should be Monday the 18th March.

I will miss our house here in France, Pat and I have put a lot of “us” into it. I will definitely miss my bath (though I can, at least for the next week, go back to Beaulieu and have one). However part of the sadness around moving is the loss of the plans we had – the things that were yet to be done – such as the spare room and a pond in the garden. And I can’t yet plan for the next house as I have no idea where and what that is, but I am planning on enjoying the fact that we now only have the responsibility of keeping this place clean – that’s it, no maintenance, no garden work, which in some ways gives us our weekends back and we have plans to explore as much as we possibly can while we have our weekends relatively free.

For now, à bientôt, from our wonderful part of France – Delia

Bonjour Paris – 19 January 2019

From the photo I think most of you will be able to tell where I’ve been this week – yesterday (Friday) to be precise. Yesterday was an early start for Pat and I as we awoke at 4:30 am and were in the car by 5:00 am on our way to Limoges to catch the 6:04 am train to Paris. Thankfully we had made ourselves some coffee and brought a couple of croissants which made the just over 3 hour journey a lot more tolerable (and cheaper than buying from the cart on the train).

Guess Where I am?

We arrived in Paris to then figure out the ticket machine for the metro, a dash up to the platform and jumping on the train that was waiting to discover it was the wrong train – so off at the next station and we backtracked and then got ourselves on the correct train.

We were heading over to the 7th arrondissement for Pat to do some of his Australian Visa medical things and for me to explore the Musée Rodin and then for the two of us to have lunch and then head to the Eiffel tower – something I actually haven’t done before. I thoroughly enjoyed the Rodin Museum. It was a gloriously sunny day and even though part of the gardens were closed (the museum is housed in Rodin’s home and gardens) I started with a wander around the parts of the gardens I could get to and enjoyed it alot.

Then into the museum itself, which is a wonderful building with work by Rodin and some works by other artists he owned – I came across a painting which I loved – L’ete (Summer) by John Lavery painted in 1904 – it is a big painting but something about it really spoke to me (maybe because I’m in the middle of winter?). He was an Irish painter and after googling him I don’t recall seeing his paintings before, but I do like them. Please note that this photo does not do the painting justice.

Summer

I then met up with Pat once he had finished with the doctor’s, we headed over towards the Eiffel tower near where the laboratory was for his blood test – this didn’t take long and off we went to lunch. We both decided to have just the plat du jour and a glass of wine – however after watching some of the desserts passing us by to go to other tables – dessert was ordered – we both felt incredibly full after our lunch of bread, steak, chips, salad, red wine, water, cheese cake and coffee! We then walked our way to the Eiffel tower. My original plan had been to go to the very top of the tower and have a glass of champagne but we had discovered that the top was closed during January for maintenance. So we thought about having lunch on the 2nd level, but because we didn’t know what time Pat would be finished with his medical stuff we just decided that we would chance it and see if we could get a ticket when we got to the tower. Unfortunately with it being a lovely (but cold) day the line to get the lift to the 2nd level was too long. So we just explored around the tower, and even just doing that was worthwhile.

So we then had to do the journey home, a stop at the train station for picking up a sandwich to munch on the train journey back to Limoges. We eventually arrived back to our house just after 8:30 pm. A sit down and a glass of wine before crashing into bed and sleep at around 10:00 pm. This morning we slept in and then headed off to get Siena from our friend who looked after her while we were in Paris.

While I may have another trip to Paris before we head back to Australia but if we don’t, and this was my last trip to Paris – I’m more than satisfied.

For now, à bientôt, from our wonderful part of France – Delia

Welcome to 2019 – 5th January 2019

Well it is cold! Silly cold, but the sky is blue and we have been out and about on some lovely walks over the Christmas/New Year break. However, it was back to work this week. Always hard to get back into the routine after a lovely relaxing time off.

Pat and I have spent the last couple of weeks madly trying to find a place to rent. Looking at if we want furnished or unfurnished, if the place has internet or not. We think we have found a place – not that far from where we currently live which has 2 bedrooms and internet. Pat is going to do a final check of the internet on Monday and if that is fine, we’ve a place to move to. We’ve also started the dreaded clean out – getting rid of things that aren’t needed (large amount of clothes off to the clothes bank today) and getting rid of those items that just haven’t been used in a long, long time (cocktail glasses!).

I am trying to make sure that this blog doesn’t turn into a “moving house” blog as I don’t think that would be of interest to many people, but you never know. I am looking forward to our trip to Paris later this month and also I’ve started planning my other trips. We are heading to Prague in May (I’ve always wanted to take Pat there) this will be a romantic long weekend away for Pat’s birthday. We then have to factor in Berlin and Amsterdam – 2 places high on my list to visit. One friend has also suggested joining her in Dublin at the end of May (long weekend as bank holiday in UK) so that may also be happening – there is just so much to see and do!

Our Christmas tree will be coming down tomorrow, I’ve really enjoyed our tree this year, it has so many items on it which hold memories – the wooden fish from Contis Plage, the bauble with water lilies (Monet’s garden) the Viking ship from York and of course the Venetian mask from Venice. It is lovely to have these reminders of the places we have been. I’m willing to take any suggestions of places that you think are a must do in Europe.

For now, à bientôt, from our wonderful part of France – Delia

Number 32! – 22nd December 2018

On the 22nd March 2014 I wrote the following in my blog (back in the early days!)

“…I’m looking forward to never moving again, well at least hopefully not moving for at least 20 years!!! So what number move does this make, well it will be house/home number 29, but move number 31 – as I’ve been back home a couple of times – this also includes 3 overseas moves.”

Guess what, move 32 is now going to be happening! This will be a surprise to a large number of you. But to let you know what is happening, back in October Pat and I had a big discussion about our future and where we wanted to be and what we wanted to be doing. We ended up coming to the conclusion that for me being near my family and saving for my retirement were 2 very important things so we made the decision to pack and up move to Australia.

This was not an easy decision to make, as I really do love being in Europe and travelling to all the wonderful places that are here. But it is time. With the decision made we put our house on the market and Pat has started his Visa process. We figured that the hold-up would be the sale of the house. We were wrong! The average for selling houses in our part of France is around 2 years and with all the Brexit stuff happening that really has extended out to 2½ years. We had an offer in around 8 weeks, surprise to us but a good one. We’ve signed the first part of the paperwork which is good; the 2nd part should be signed in early March.

So we are now madly trying to decide what needs to be packed up and what we don’t need to keep. We have started to sell some items on-line – like our cement mixer, scaffolding, yesterday we sold my bike (I’ve had it for 5 years and the guy buying it asked if it was new – sort of shows how little I’ve ridden it).

We’re now need to find somewhere to rent, (consider France or UK if you know of anywhere). Why? Pat’s Visa is now the hold-up, this can take over a year, but we are hoping that it will be simple as nothing needs translating and we have been married for over 10 years. But we will see, Pat has to head up to Paris next week for his biometrics and then in January for his medical tests (I’m heading up in January with him – just for the day – so that I can go to the Eiffel tower – which I’ve not yet been too).

We would like to be back in Australia for Christmas 2019, however – there are also a large number of places that I want to make sure that I get to in the next 12 months. We also need to do all the paperwork for importing our pets – yes Siena and Wallis will also be making the journey as-well. Not sure how much they will like it, but I can’t live without my fur babies.

One thing I am doing is putting together a list of places within Australia and nearby that are must visits – so far we’ve got Queensland (to visit Pat’s son), Singapore (it’s changed so much since I last visited), Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and the Adelaide hills, Tasmania, might even get to New Zealand finally. Would love suggestions of places that are worth visiting.

So for now, à bientôt, from our wonderful part of France – Delia

Almost Christmas? – 8th December 2018

The Christmas tree is up and our Christmas stockings are out and there are already a few presents under the tree. I do love Christmas, though it does feel strange to have it in winter after growing up in the southern hemisphere and having Christmas in summer. Our newest addition to the Christmas tress decorations is this small Venetian mask – which we both loved and I feel does a good job of representing Venice. I really like our tree decorations now as they do all represent places we have been which is lovely and as we got to reminisce about the places we have been to together.

I loved Venice and it was hard to get back into the swing of things back here at home once we got back, especially as it has been wet, cold and grey for most of the past two weeks. Work has also been very busy, which sort of spoils the holiday feeling.

Back to France, today I met a friend for coffee and we then went to the local Christmas market, I was looking for stocking fillers for Pat, not a lot there really, but I did get a couple of items. Pat and I are only doing stocking filler gifts this year as we want to put our money towards travel next year. So far Amsterdam and Berlin are on the list – I would like to add Prague as Pat has never been and I’ve always wanted to go back. However, there are so many places I want to see and to do too many returns just seems a little silly, but when a place is amazing and a deeper exploration needed then one must return. But as all this travel costs money, things may have to wait a little while.

So for now, à bientôt, from our wonderful part of France – Delia

My new normal – 3rd November 2018

Hello all, it is sunny but cold in our part of France and I’ve just switched the heating on. We’ve had a nice but busy week. Pat is getting more business and I’ve picked up a couple of new clients so I’m also busy. I’ve come to the realisation that, being that busy is actually my new normal. I came to that conclusion while in art class on Friday afternoon – when I said that I was busy, I realised that is the way it is most likely going to be now. Can’t really complain as it does mean I’m earning more money. Which would be good as Pat and I want to do a bit more travelling next year, short trips.

This week we haven’t done that much, but we did get out to lunch on Wednesday, which was really nice, got to catch up with quite a number of people that we haven’t seen for a number of months. We also went to a restaurant that we are having a Christmas lunch at (for Pat’s camera club). This is also a restaurant that is open for Christmas lunch on Christmas day. This is an unusual thing in our part of France, and we have been looking for a place to have Christmas lunch, but I think it may be a little bit far from our place to actually travel to on Christmas day. The search continues. We had been thinking about doing something a bit different this year for Christmas but we just haven’t got ourselves organised enough.

I’m coming to the end of a painting this week and realised I hadn’t taken a photo of my last painting – so here it is. This was from a photo I took on a beach in Cornwall back in 2010 – such a long time ago.


So for now, à bientôt, from our wonderful part of France – Delia

Glorious Autumn – 21st October 2018

Moving from Australia to Europe has really made me appreciate autumn. A lot of my European friends think I’m mad that I like autumn so much but I really do like the feel of it. There is such a definition of seasons here, it is so obvious when one season ends and the next begins. With autumn the leaves turning brown (and many a time of having the song California Dreamin’ running through my head) and the nights getting cold, but we are having such glorious days with warmth and sunshine. It is all so lovely.

We had an interesting visitor this week, on Friday I headed off to my art class, and as Pat was heading off to walk Siena, I shut our bedroom window. That evening when we went to bed, we discovered a little wren nestled in the join on our wooden beam, it was definitely settling in for the night. After a brief effort to try and get it to head out the window we gave up and decided that would be a job for the morning. So we were woken by the soft song of a bird in our bedroom. Thankfully after a little effort we were able to get it out the window in the morning.

Not a lot else to say, we’ve been enjoying the sunshine during the day while we still can. Our neighbour is harvesting the falling chestnuts, the cranes have started the migration south and the flowers are starting to fad in the garden. I do need to get my bulbs planted so that we will have a wonderful spring display – so that may be a job for this afternoon.
My photo’s below from our time at the beach.

So for now, à bientôt, from our wonderful part of France – Delia

It’s been a while… 6th October 2018

Autumn has arrived and I can also safely say that Pat is definitely on the mend, which is all good. We have had a wonderful summer and it is still warm enough during the day to not worry about a jumper, but it is cool in the mornings and the evenings, so much so that I’ve started the process of packing up my summer clothes and getting my winter ones out. It has been an interesting process as I’ve had to also get rid of clothes that no longer fit but some of them are ones that I like, but thankfully there isn’t that much that needs to be replaced.

I really enjoyed our trip to the seaside a couple of weeks back. It was fantastic and so relaxing. I really enjoy being beside the sea, especially when there is a white sandy beach. We were able to do some lovely walks, which Pat really hasn’t been able to do for a while so that was great. Siena loved it and it was great to actually exhaust her.

We went for a lovely walk today around a nearby lake as it was a wonderful day with the sunshine out and no breeze, very relaxing and something we really enjoyed. The rest of my week has been very busy though I have started back at art class. I will admit for the first time I really struggled to choose a picture to paint. I’ve ended up with an Australian wildflower which I didn’t know/recognise (a Spiked Andersonia if you are interested). I’m not sure how it will turn out, but I think this painting will take me some time.

Tomorrow’s plan is to get back into the garden to try and sort a few things before the autumn really hits, I did some transplanting of plants last weekend and so far they all seemed to have survived. I have however ripped up the courgette and squash plants that I had in the garden and I’ve only got 2 tomato plants left (though I didn’t have many and they didn’t go well this year) and after tomorrow – no tomato plants, but I will be putting my bulbs in so that I have a fantastic spring display – hopefully.

Do have a look at the below blogs, Pat has still been blogging over the past couple of months and there are some good photos.

So for now, à bientôt, from our wonderful part of France – Delia