After almost five years of moving apartments, packing boxes and accumulating more boxes that come with life, I am finally on my way home to Auge in France. I had not expected five years ago to be leaving London and setting up in Europe, it was always one of those retirement dreams, but circumstances, money worries, stressful day to day problems with the UKs ever increasing red tape and online brick walls that you cannot pass through, the dream came early. I am so relieved that it has. I am like a kid in a sweetshop, I am excited and just a little overwhelmed with the choices I will have going forward – from how to start new businesses, to exploring the area, trying to learn French and setting up my future here. Without family back in England, it is unlikely, unless business allows, and finances, to ever return. I thought I might be sad, but I am not.
I have friends I will miss and I hope they will visit, as they promise they will. I want to share my new home, like I was never able to share my temporary habitations. I want them to share the wonderful views I have across the meadows, the cows grazing and of the falcon on guardful watch from his perch in the tree thicket just across the field. To sit in the warm sun, enjoy our garden, the smell of herbs drying, sharing cook-outs and late evenings on our terrace. Still ness, air, lost moments of thought, to slip away into calm.
Farm life adds time to the scene, with Christian following a mapped out routine of feeding, watering, trimming hedges, cleaning ditches, harvesting hay, stacking bales and waving every morning as he passes our little house. Without his daily tractor tasks, we would surely loose all notice of time.
So give me a week or two, to settle, unpack, tidy the unruly weeds, spring clean out the winter spiders and waken up the house. My winter is retreating and I am looking towards the sun.