Home Again

Ah, me, the end has come and we are home. Arrived back in GB, to our little spot in London about 24 hours ago. We are still recovering – washing, sleeping, emptying huge email in-boxes – due to aforementioned difficulties with IT on the Continent. Blogging was bad but email was impossible. Oh, well, we went for a big break, so that includes not-communicating with the rest of the world. No TV either, so the federal election in OZ passed us by too. Perhaps that was a shame…

It was bliss to be back in the matrimonial bed last night after a month on air matresses – so noisy in the night as you roll from side to side, unbalancing like a top as one of you gets up for a night time loo trip, not to mention the challenges of intimacy! And wonderful to return to a washing machine, normal plumbing and my iMac.

But none of us wanted to leave. Despite the various and entertaining short comings of our little (it’s bigger than our terrace here in London but little cottage sounds right) rural French cottage – plumbing, cooking, heating, incredible amount of dust, outrageous and cheeky flies (as mentioned) and the bloody wasps. Truly, I think the only wasp free meals we had were in the restaurant. Even lunch down the main drag on Tuesday found a visiting wasp or two. Have meal – have wasp.

It was relaxing, it was miles away from normal (weasel word there – what is normal?) life; we had abandoned the rest of the world and moved among laid back friendly people who cared not where we were from or what we did. We even managed to be mistaken for locals being asked directions twice while walking beloved wolf. The food was lovely, such wonderful cheese and French breads and pastries – and cheap. We ate and drank well and importantly (for beloved) economically. We had picnics at the lake; walked in the woods, in the village and by the river, where child and dog splashed; we sat in the sun and read.

Beloved re-conquered War and Peace and Verdun, not to mention I, Claudius, a Balzac, the new Dan Brown and a bit of Stephanie Meyer, plus Mister Pip and Dorothy Rowe’s Why We Lie – my research reading. My list is not as wide ranging or ambitious. But I managed to get through 2 Why We Lie books, Nick Kent’s Dark Stuff, The Men’s Room – an old Ann Oakley (remember the TV series? It was the beginning of my Bill Nighy passion), a Bowie biography and AS Byatt’s The Children’s Book – disappointing, I have to say. Baby girl read The Host and some other teenage thing plus her usual array of Manga.

Reading is truly one of life’s greatest pleasures and to sit uninterrupted in the sun and around the kitchen table (not up to sofas yet) after dinner is bliss. You can read your book all day – luxuriate in it, think about, chat about it – share it. We all loved this bit of being in France.

But why did we all want to stay? Was it the reluctance to return to the real world, to face up to some of the grim realities that await on our return – the rejoining of the financial struggle; return to the diet; response from my supervisor re latest chapters; school and work?

Quite predictably, we didn’t want to come back to the grind, to life as it is, despite the various short comings of the French house, the bizarre plumbing, the odd weather – 4 days of brilliant sun followed by 4 days of thunder and rain; and our ever-present insects.

No, we liked the out-of-timeness of the location, of our holiday. We had a complete and absolute break, and to want to stay testifies to the success of the holiday. We’ll go back again next summer, but next time we won’t leave the esky in the car with the dog on the return ferry trip for him to chew into and eat the remaining brioche!

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