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Changing Spaces

Updated: Jul 7

Life's a bit like that!

Firstly, so so sorry I've not had the time or inclination to blog but if I had, it wouldn't have been a very good read and we really owed it to ourselves, to take some time to settle in, do what we had to do and get to that sweet spot.

We got to that sweet spot just a few days ago and found that the temporary rental here offered us a much needed, peaceful harbour after a couple of days of getting it sorted. Then my youngest daughter arrived with an 'unknown to us problem' that was a bit of a shock and lets face it, not wanted here. I'm not going to say anymore, because I believe young adults need to own their shit and figure it all out in private. I truly hope she does and until then, her room remains made up and ready for the next chapter. She has a home and a loving family, she is much loved, always will be. We are very hopeful that in amongst all the chaos she finds a way back to herself and to us?

Life can be so challenging for young people nowadays, but there comes a time when these kids have to enter the door of real life and deal with whatever path they've chosen. They remain 100% responsible for the choices they make, be they good or bad.

Anyway, we arrived in France on the 1st of May and it's been an absolute whirlwind of some magnitude since. First we stayed at our friend's flat in a compound where we've stayed before, but pretty soon, we realised our renovation needed a huge reset, if it was ever to be completed. Whilst we were happy enough in the compound it was never a long term thing anyway. The flat we were in had been sold, we were on a weekly rent and so the clock was ticking a little too loudly. There really was no excuse to keep sitting on the balcony with the Dronne valley view, quaffing very reasonable French wine eh! He also found it tough to be inactive in terms of the renovation, which was by now 6 hours away.

We just needed to be there, bring on a new team and get it back on track. We did that. We also lived amongst the dust and debris gracefully, until it got on our last nerve and so the move here to the SW, just a week ago was very welcome and super timely.

We have moved 4 times in less than two months and we were more than a little frazzled and or disorientated. I guess that's not quite true, because I for one was totally fried. I'd been suffering with arm pain and of course googled myself dead several times, but the French medical system was brilliant and diagnosed C4 to C6 disks as being herniated. It wasn't my arm at all in the end, but the nerve pinching in my neck, felt in my arm and that was just horrid anyway, sending regular shock waves down my arm. It was super wearing and still is, but some much needed downtime has helped rest it a little. I have to admit to feeling a little frustated, but thats life eh?

There has been a lot crammed into a very short space of time and in just over two months as I've already mentioned, we've moved 4 times and set up 3 homes, of course I'm bound to be exhausted, we both are. The good news is that we really got the reno back on track with the right people and it's amazing what a difference this change has made, to how we feel about the place and the project as a whole. We now know absolutely and without reservation just how ripped off and lied to we've been. Years of bullshit, just because we weren't there to oversee it. We now also know how long things really take and if we'd had that knowledge at the outset, we wouldn't have been hoodwinked so easily. It turns out our problem was right under out noses all the time, we just couldn't see it! Sometimes people really talk up such a good game, it takes longer to figure it all out and anyway, we got there in the end! Shame about the crap that went before but we now own the golden ticket, we needed to ride the rest of the reno wave!

You know, the past sometimes has to be pushed way back into the abyss doesn't it, so's not to interfere with the future and so we decided to put it behind us once and for all, move on positively, even when we were dealing with having to put recent work right yet again. Stiff upper lip on show and move the fudge on!

The worst thing that happened was realising our trusted chap was actually a major part of the problem, especially with gossip. I also totted up his bills and couldn't fathom the lack of progress during his entire tenure. All the chat and all the complaining? 4 hours talking about every task and finishing a hour later! We had to give sail to that snarky sneaky snail in the end and ship it the fuck out of dodge! Some mothers children eh!

It was all a smoke screen in the end, but we got to the bottom of it and made a hard stand. It wasn't easy and it's probably not popular locally, but we really don't care anymore, it's our money and we won't waste another penny on people that think its a regular wage for very few hours and too little effort. He really did a few good pieces of work but it didn't come anywhere near in the end. He completely abused our trust in every way.

It's been such a positive experience to actually watch the renovation make real progress and finally take shape. Such a relief. Our vision is now rising out of the crazy negative ashes that surrounded it, for what seemed forever and it's pretty darn exciting. We have had so much progress just in the last two months, that it's clear we are on the right path with the right people, finally! There's been carpentry, plastering, finishing and blow me down, we even have wallpaper on a few walls! There's still a way to go as it's a big property, but we are absolutely getting there. That light at the end of the tunnel is in sight and we are racing towards the finish line in October.

We head back there on Friday and whilst it wasn't an easy decision to live so far away, it is super easy with the new contractors who are happy to keep us updated! Our trust isn't being abused now, which is such a relief and has given us the push we needed.

After a few more days at the reno, we will head to Uk because he has meetings and if I'm honest I don't feel up to it, but I will. The only issue with living in the SW of France is the many hours of travelling to get to the UK. I hate it and I understand that's why many people leave altogether or move to northern France! I get it but we do hope to make a permanent home here and not have to go back to the UK so much, at least I won't be.

This weekend we've finally started to get involved in French life for real and it's so good! We got up this morning had a little breakfast, did a few chores and then straight out for Brocanting, coffee and then lunch at a local bistro! Just fabulous! Probably the first day in months that we've taken care of us first!

Tomorrow, we are going to the first Sunday in the month local Brocante, which is said to be huge! I bought a few little treasures today which I don't need, no one does, but they make me incredibly happy, it's silly really!

The rental house is almost there, set up and working well and the constant Amazon deliveries are tailing off! Let's face it, he's very happy about it as he box anxiety! We did have the wrong address for the property initially, which wasn't fun! Who knew a property could have two addresses? Not me!

The weather has been odd to say the least. Often warm but dull and really stupid humid. Summer really hasn't quite settled in here yet, but the light sits differently here and I love it. I also adore the cafe culture and I am very unwilling to give it up even for a few weeks.

So as you can tell, life goes on apace and its really is going to be like that until late autumn I fear. It is what it is, right? The doggo's are doing well, they seem very settled. It's such a pity we need to trek back, but it's unavoidable.

I've embraced 'feral in France Donna' and again, I'm unwilling to give the natural look up now. My hair is bouffant frizz, completely unruly, my lashes and eyebrows are invisible and there are no extensions or enhancements of any kind! I really don't mind, I truly think I make a gorgeous scarecrow! I just throw something, anything on of a morning, don my Chanels and get going with the day, no fucks to give. Amen!

Lots of Love

D x

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