Updated: Aug 7, 2022
Hope floats.....never loose hope.
Hi again! I'm feeling very compelled to blog today, even though I really don't have a lot going on at the moment, post holiday and all that. I never really wanted to blog just to fill a space or because it's expected, been there, done that, got the t-shirt! It truly kills creativity. Also, these long summer halcyon days are for enjoying, right? You must surely be outside, soaking up those precious rays? Still, you humble me by following my story, I don't want to bore you to tears, but I do want to bring you along for this next chapter. Thank you. Bear with!
That said, I'm aware of a couple of moans and groans about my blog 'supposing to be about life in France'. I promise it will be, as we head back at the end of this month to give it another good go. I've been having a break in order to 'heal' from being pulled and pushed by people online that didn't have my best interests at heart. Thank you to those that do, I love you, you know who your are. The healing is going really very well and I feel so much more like myself these days. I feel much lighter.
We are hoping to get The French Wreck finished and on the market and then start looking to buy again. That chapter goes on. Meanwhile, we've been super brave, given our previous French rental disasters and taken on a little farm house in the Deux Sevres area for 11 months. No, we haven't seen it, other than on the internet. Yes, its daunting and possibly another little moment of madness, but we really didn't want to sign up to anything long term, just in case. This could go two ways! We could indeed still be in the same position in June next year and looking for another rental, to get us to the golden Three years accounts or not! We spoke to a broker recently who wants to look at our two years books in January. There is hope. Of course we may not need to borrow if The French Wreck is sold by then? It's all to play for.
When you move to a new country, do remember you start your financial life all over again. If you start a business as many Expats do (sorry if 'expat' offends you, insert whatever suits) you have to wait three full years to be considered financially stable. I also hear that lending is pretty rare for incoming post Brexit Brits, so do your homework really well before taking the leap!
Also, signing up to this new rental unseen might be a folly, true. Still, we do have to trust that everything will be as the Landlady promises and that everything is clean, tidy and serviceable. I'm sure it will be fine! We said that we would never ever rent in France again and yet here we go again! Wish us luck.
The half life? In theory it should work? Could work. Well, I guess it would work well if nothing else comes along to thwart it, such as ill health. I can totally understand why some people have already sold up, because it's not an easy ride. Also, travel costs and all the issues at the border, strikes and all the chaos that reigns post Brexit and Pandemic can add insult to injury.
Meanwhile, we will be back and forth for a few months, until the UK hide out has its own new adventure. This kinda makes things a bit uncertain and a little hard to plan around. We've done it before and the only thing I do know for certain, is that everything will be okay in the end. However, it will be a sweet relief to finally get the keys to the forever door! I have to be brutally honest and tell you that I sometimes believe it will never happen!
Saying that, I do often wake in the night, wondering how we will ever settle? Can we? I mean we've been on the move one way or anther for 33 years! I often worry that we aren't 'settlers' and as my DIL says we are just 'posh gypsies'. It will be a hard habit to break. These days I do find myself more on my own side when 'settling' is mentioned. I've never understood why I get the blame? I'm a home body. It's his career that is the challenge. His job is in brand new infrastructure and its never on our current door step! Why anyone would ever think I enjoy moving around the world so much, I have no clue! I do it for love. I do it to support my chap who provides for his family very well indeed. Yes I've made many sacrifices along the way and I do have some regrets, but even if I could go back in time and change anything, I wouldn't. This is our unique story, this is our life together. one day we will be old, the travel will stop and our stories will be amazing. We won't wish we'd lived our lives any other way. We will be tired but we won't be boring.
I know, I want nothing more than my own front door and yet I'm very picky. Choosing the ONE is getting harder every year. Settling is also quite frightening and as I've said before, he and I are polar opposites when it comes to bricks and mortar. He is definitely hankering after another Wreck! I do laugh rather hysterically at some of the links he sends me. They are utterly horrifying! Let's face it, most French homes are in a state of disrepair and then there are those barely held together with hope and spider webs! He rather likes those. He will be their saviour and we will be bankrupt!
This fractured French adventure may yet have a happy but dramatic ending? Who the fudge knows. I feel like I am gently pushing him towards the lesser wrecks but he's from Yorkshire and likes his money in the bank, just saying. He is also a real stickler for doing thing properly! There's none of this painting over broken damp walls. No! My chap has those cranky old walls reframed to protect from further problems and that means our renovation is more expensive and takes way longer but lasts another100 years or more.
Waiting in the wings to grab the piggy bank, my son, recently had a lot to say about our life choices. He most certainly doesn't want to inherit a chateau he says! I had to remind him that he has two sisters with which to share any coppers or brass buttons left at the end of our rainbow! Also, that his Papa and I are barely middle aged and intend to live very well until we clock up a century or more! Further more, this is 'our life' and we intend to live it and spend it ALL! *insert evil laugh here......I wish my own parents would spend their pennies, bless em! No one needs to leave money for their selfish kids to waste...Dear Ma & Pa! Live your darn best lives and give the rest to a charity! That's my advice. Live like you are dying to make memories not just dying to continue propping up your ungrateful offspring!
Talking about what will become The French Wreck no.1 (she says hopefully, but not too wrecked), he's off for a quick visit next weekend, to bring on some new renovation talent. I know he will be so relieved when we can visit on spec shortly, another good reason to take on this new temporary rental. We will be near enough to make a difference. I may well yet be seen with a paint brush in hand, if he will let me!
He's well aware as am I, that this renovation is taking way too long, simply because we aren't there to push it a long, get value for money and indeed make sure we aren't having our leg taken up! Remote project management isn't for the feint hearted but is for fools. He has a lot on running his own business and managing various other family issues. His lovely dad is poorly and undergoing a lot of treatment at the moment. Our eldest daughter is incommunicado again. August is her birthday month and we will never stop hoping that one day she is back with us. Her team have encouraged her to cut ties with us again, they don't even deny it. We are Beths only advocates and we make it difficult for the team to neglect her and so they ensure we can't bother them. She is without a care plan at the moment which is such a worry. The last time we saw her she's was in a dire state. We can only hope she reads this and contacts us. Get in touch Beth, we are waiting to help.
He's at our sons house today, doing Dad DIY jobs. Monday see's us taking the youngest back to Uni, if her estate agent actually does his job, which sadly remains to be seen. She's half packed which means the dining table is piled high with her 'stuff'. She's a real Last Minute Mary our youngest child. Never really ready to go until the last minute and leaves her room looking like a hurricane visited when we weren't looking. However, these days I pick my battles well. I will miss the kids when they all move out again, but I won't miss the 24/7 kitchen hours, the mess or the house feeling like Piccadilly Circus! Also, I will very much enjoy not having the enormous food and utility bills or him in doors moaning about his bank balance. I hear him. The thing is, we miss them when they are gone. They are loved.
I am looking forward to being back in the thick of it in France. This period back in the UK has felt like a temporary measure that was dangerously becoming very permanent. Everything happens for a reason and in some ways its been a blast being back, very easy, very familiar. It turns out my hubby didn't really need to be here for so long. His UK client didn't call on him to be in the office very much in the end, thank goodness. He can now go back to the very occasional visit to the Big Smoke. Still there is the possibility of a fly in our French Dream ointment and its called California!
What's this you ask?
During the pandemic he was working on a very large bid for an infrastructure project in Cali! After many delays, the project should get going next spring and we have to decide wether we mix our French life with life in California! It's a big ask! Do we have room for one last big adventure?
I fought against it for a while, but then I had a light bulb moment and realised that things are less stressful when both expected and planned. So I decided for once to work with him and his mad job. We sat down for a 'warts n all' chat and I gave him the green light with a few caveats. If he wants to go, he can, we can, but our main lives must be in France. Will it work? Will we go? I guess time will tell. I do feel that I had to have some say, some control over this next possible (hopefully the last) adventure in order to, really feel like I am an equal participant in our life together. My anxiety which has gathered pace over the years, is mainly caused by all this moving around, uncertainty, lack of roots, grounding and all those negative emotions connected with 'home' or not having a 'home'.
Home is where I believe I will blossom and one day, happily die, die happy.