Part the first….almost there.

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It’s hard to describe my emotions right now.

It’s fair to say that in the last 24 hours I’ve had a full spectrum to process.

From mild panic/anger when our van driver failed to arrive at the appointed hour or answer his mobile phone to the euphoria of him arriving with 15 minutes to spare before we handed back the house keys, and still managing to get the van packed in time.

The house inspection was passed with flying colours thanks to the sterling efforts of JJ, who graciously used her ‘holiday’ to help us move house (again), and MME W who pitched in with some last minute scrubbing and mopping in addition to her translation duties.

And then the goodbyes began. First to my slightly mad neighbour and her out of control dog ( I will not miss the all night barking ), then to a lady in the village who I met very recently but who I am convinced would have become a very dear friend had we been staying. A little more emotionally fraught was a trip to the bar to say au revoir to the lovely patrons Mr and Mrs H. They have played a significant part in my life for the last 5 years, and I will genuinely miss them both.

But of course it is the last goodbyes that are the hardest.

Spending the last few days with the W family has been a joy for both myself and small person. Enjoying wonderful meals and perfect company the occasional evening game of badminton in the garden. It’s nice to know that I haven’t lost my touch 27 years on from the inter- house school badminton competition. I would just like to take a moment here to explain to Mrs W that even though we were in danger of being struck by lightning and your youngest child was crying her heart out for you, leaving the field of play in the middle of a match constitutes a forfeit. Which means that technically I won that little game of ours.

The absence of the 3 small people of the house will leave a huge hole in Moo’s life that will be hard to fill. The absence of the 2 large people of the house will leave a hole in mine. Mrs W and I may have taken a little walk before we left, but what happened in Saint Pierre stays in Saint Pierre. Suffice to say it was emotional.

And so we squeezed ourselves into JJ’s car around our luggage and set off for a night-time drive to Dieppe and the ferry that would take us to the start of the new chapter.

Small person is, hopefully, asleep in a ferry lounge on the top deck with JJ, And here in the cafe I sit, more physically and emotionally tired than I have been for a long time, still trying to process the last few days and all that they have thrown at us, and contemplate what the next few months will bring.

This will help 🙂

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A Bientôt

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A rare moment of solitude.

So a few weeks ago now I told you I was moving. I have barely stopped since.

The whirl of sorting and organising and packing has been tornado like in it’s intensity. I have never thrown away so much ‘stuff’ in my life.

When you have to try and pare down to the essentials it’s amazing how much you realise you just don’t need anymore.

As we are moving half way round the world we made the bold decision to sell off the furniture, move our treasured possessions into storage and travel ‘airline luggage restrictions light’. it has been quite a challenge to condense my life into one large suitcase. Even more so with small person and her vast army of toys.
But we are almost there. Which is just as well because in 3 days time we will be gone.

Wow, 3 days. It still doesn’t seem quite real.

We have enjoyed relative success with the dispersal of goods and chattels, with the very good folks of the Helianthus charity shop picking up the slack, not to mention the wardrobes, that we were unable, to sell.

So it comes to pass that we have no furniture in the house. Which with a few days to go might have been a problem had it not been for the utterly lovely Mr&Mrs W who have given us beds and food for our remaining time here with the bonus of warmth and friendship thrown in for good measure.
There are usually some regrets when one moves on, this time there will not be many, but one I have is that during my time here I did not spend more time with this family. I think they will never truly appreciate just how much they mean to me. I have had some dark days here in the past and the understanding that they were here for me has been fundamental in pulling me through a few of those, even if they did not know it at the time. So to them I give my heartfelt thanks. I will miss you all very much.

Even though we have spent the last 6 months planning and the last month preparing I’m sure it won’t seem real till I have handed over the keys and left the house for the very last time.

I woke up early this morning in an unfamiliar room and watched the sun creep into the morning sky. Dappled spots of pale gold peeping through the shutters, inching their way across the floor and onto the bed. Each tiny dot holding with it the seeds of a spectacular day. As the sun spots reach my face, small person stirs nearby and I realise that this rare moment of quiet and reflection will soon come to an end and the whirlwind of sorting and packing will begin anew. So I stop and close my eyes and swim in the peace of a quiet morning and revel in the promise of things to come.

A Bientôt.