On the otherside

Updated: Feb 10


And so the half life begins again.


Betwixt France and Uk for a while...........we are here, we are in and he's already been to London Town to work for a day. 'Things have changed' he said.......'people don't seem so office centric anymore! Thanks to Covid for that gift I guess'?


The pandemic that keeps on giving eh!


The journey here was a real faff to be honest. The first part to the one night only in a pretty chateau wasn't too bad really. Arrived in the dark at around 5pm, told off by the French receptionist for getting there late? It was a Saturday night and the place was dead, closed in fact. As soon as I checked in, she shut the reception down, turned on half of the alarms in the chateau and fled to the safety of her Gate House. So typically French, shut when they should be open. No supper available for miles, no cork screw for the wine and no milk for the coffee. For 300 euros I want service and in France it is rarely given willingly. Luckily I had champagne in my car and he stopped at a service station for ham,cheese and crisps! Love a 'Hamidge' me!


I was baffled by the lack of outside lighting and it was a real struggle navigating the dogs up a slippy ramp, into a lift and into the room. Fizzy was completely foxed by the lift thing, would get in but then get straight out again but the room was glorious and in the end that's what we needed for our weary bones.


'Mr Bloody How Much' was a few hours behind me in his little red lorry, packed to the rafters with a few of our belongings. We were both tired from packing up at the other end but a glass of cold French fizz solved most of our poor deposition. Why we had to do it this way, I will never know? I'm too old for this caper now and I just don't want to anymore. FACT. DIY moves are hell, there's really no way to make the process calm, easy or glamorous and despite what people say, no, it never gets any easier!


Leaving the chateau in the day light was lovely as I could take a few snaps for my chateau collection. These are the small wins to travelling. She sure was pretty Madame Chateau but truly lacking in life and service! The breakfast was same, same......no pastries for me and despite warning them the troublesome celiac was coming, no Gluten Free bread for moi, ham and cheese again then I suppose! He decided to use the egg boiling machine, but he wouldn't listen to me when I told him they were crap and to set the timer for 7 minutes, not 3! As a consequence we ended up with two wasted almost raw eggs and I don't think that won us brownie points with Madame Le Face-ache!


Expensive 8 hours in the hotel done, we got on our way and hit every weather system possible all the way to Calais! Bye bye South West France we will be seeing and missing you so much! I will miss the late autumn sun on my face and those spectacular evening sunsets. The tunnel was another pain the bum! Firstly, I went to the pet check in which was run like a dog camp for dogs with ADHD and their parents were no better! I stood in line for ages listening to complaints from people that didn't have the correct paperwork and or vaccines. 'Get the manager' they said.....'Non' said the po faced clerk! I didn't blame her! I mean come the fudge on mate....if your dog was vaccinated before the chip.......how can they tell? It was truly annoying to be stood in a queue when the French had clearly gone on their 2 hour lunch break! Two staff on and lots of fed up dogs did not make me a happy bunny. We sailed through with our French chipped and passported dogs! We weren't done! Next was to go and have my Covid vaccine status checked, then from there go and get my ticket. I kept looking at the clock. I had arrived in good time, sure but according to my watch my train went an hour ago!


Thank you to the chap that offered to hold my dogs for me, whilst I retrieved my phone from my car. Note to self: Do not travel with two spaniels without help!


The train was painless but too short a journey really. I only closed my eyes for a second and we were ready to disembark!


Remember to drive on the left Donna.........or is it right? No clue!


England looked small and tatty. The roads are horrific and the traffic a joke. The services are just awful but they do have Waitrose and that is good enough for me. Finding somewhere to walk the dogs was nigh on impossible whereas in France, we would stop off every so often and roam a few acres of park land complete with toilets!


No masks being worn here at all ever now. Quite strange as in France we've been wearing them since the first lockdown. Entering the service stations felt dangerous and yet also liberating. I often feel like I am suffocating in those dam masks frankly! Still, I will do anything to keep COVID at bay and will continue to wear that darn mask! I will not be a selfish twerp!


I reached my hotel pretty much as he was leaving the tunnel! I headed straight to the new house to pick up the keys as arranged. I had texted the agent my ETA several times with no response. Then when I got there in dark and my the wind was bitter, the agent was a no show! Perfect! Or should I say 'perfect storm'! This was B A D, as I had booked us into a hotel for a few nights which wasn't dog friendly! I had intended to crank on the heating and put the dogs to bed at the house for the night but now what?


So it was Sunday night and I was homeless! I went to the hotel cap in hand and begged forgiveness, but I needed my dogs to be checked in too please! They acquiesced to my request and gave the dogs their own room as ours was 'too good for dogs' apparently! Of course Fizzy was not impressed and wanted to be with me! So the whole thing became a game of room changes until we were all in the same room and no disturbing anyone! I have to say the staff were amazing! Super friendly and uber helpful!


By this point I was utterly exhausted and I downed a large one, got up to go to the loo and some old ladies stole my comfortable seat by the fire. I found another seat where two stranger joined me and proceeded to chat about their private lives........ordered some wine and sat in wait of his return. He arrived safely, we ate, then slept the deep sleep of the post move. The sleep were you are asleep before you hit the pillow and you don't move a muscle in the night! The sleep of the near dead. Glorious sleep!


Breakfast was okay, no sausage for me though!


To the house, get the keys and start unloading and that sorts of brings us to now really. Its 3 am and I've been awake for ages with a sore throat. Today is Friday and I've broken the back of the unpacking. It does feel like home already but I'm under no illusion that this is permanent, it's not. That said its a good hang out spot. We are due snow tomorrow and I am already getting used to the draughty grade listed windows, the cranky central heating and the country living. I've barely stepped out of the house except to get food. I need to walk it off and go to the pub tonight or maybe the cinema. I'm also on a mission to get back to work by Monday, but I've yet to unpack my new office!


The dogs have settled in nicely. There were some feeble protests from Fizzy on the first night. We had made the decision to oust the dogs from our room finally. It took a few hours of her yelling at us but she found her new home by the AGA and hasn't complained since.


This move has a lot of added pressure I feel. I think there's what.... 5 days left of November? I don't even know what date it is! Christmas is just around the corner and I don't even have a Fridge Freezer yet! I'm hoping it's delivered today? We didn't bring that much with us, well not the usual 40/60 ft container! These days post Breshit we have to pay customs on our personal goods and so we kept it to a minimum but still got a 900 euro charge!


Sod off Boris and chums you morons!


Yesterday, the kettle and toaster finally arrived! So welcome! I had been boiling water in a pan and toasting bread on the AGA, we managed! Posh camping he called it! I set myself a challenge yesterday, to empty the boxes in the kitchen and dining room and I did it! Snaps for me! Today, will be sorting the linen bags out. We will absolutely get there, I'm sure!


There are things we need to buy, of course but I'm trying to be good and planet friendly, buying second hand where I can but never a mattress, thank you. The kitchen here is vast but awkward and needs pulling together with an island unit before it will make any sense. The snug is cosy but everything needs some TLC and we will get there in the end, as they say!


More soon


Love and gumption oh and if its not for you, say so eh!


D x





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