Friday, 8 September 2017

What the hell are we doing?

8 September - Five go to France

Some dates, usually related to stress-inducing health check-ups, make me jittery. This morning, I had nothing medical marked on my calendar, but I was on edge. I took the dog for a long walk and, in my please-don't-recognise-me-and-try-and-say-hello clothing, I marched around the Plateau. By rights, I should have at least registered the view. It is spectacular and the long stretch of beach on one side of the peninsula, the lake on the other and the natural vegetation in between is deserving of at least a glance. But, I trudged on, eyes averted under my brown fisherman's hat.

I only worked out why when I was drying off my hair afterwards. Just over eight years ago, I was standing in front of a different fogged-up mirror doing this same mundane task and somewhat angrily pointed my hairdryer towards the glass. I fully expected it to crack. We had been planning our year in France for years, and nothing, but nothing, was going right. And yet, come September 8 of that same year, five of us, against the odds, went to France.

That's why I was agitated. It was the anniversary of the start of a period in our family life that was unique, special, and to which I return constantly. Not physically, but emotionally.

This morning, one of my girlfriends (thanks, Kylie) shared an article. Despite it being one of those, for me at least, dreaded introspective articles, I read it. Entitled, 'The Difference between Healing and Changing', it didn't go far enough for me to truly appreciate the article, but it did make me stop and think...that, now, back in Australia, I still have not managed to move on from our French life.

Writing 'But you are in France, Madame' was helpful albeit unintentional, and our changed location, where we live, is undoubtedly spectacular, but if I could be heading to the airport right now to start our adventure again, I would.

Coincidentally, this morning, on another doddle around my usual web links, I landed on a winery in Provence, Mirabeau; created by a family of five, who left a busy corporate London life in August 2009, just like us, and headed to France, just like us. Strange how different lives, inspired by the same objectives, are led in parallel.

I console myself by reminding myself that I was in France, Madame, and can be again.


  1. Argh. I almost hate to tell you that the weather has been exquisite, the vendanges progressing nicely, la rentrée well under way....

    1. I am genuinely happy for you. I appreciate the upbeat, feel-good stories that remind me of the France that I cherish.

  2. I think, I'm not certain, but I think I know exactly how you feel. When our daughter was five, we spent almost a year in France. Even though there were compelling reasons to return to the U.S., it was hard to stop thinking about how beautiful our lives were in France. Now our daughter has grown, and we have returned to France. Still full of magic, but we do miss our little girl.
    By the way, you do appear to live in a very picturesque part of Australia. Hope you will be able to enjoy both locales in their finest seasons.

    1. Hi Ellen, I try! Much of the time I do appreciate and enjoy this very beautiful part of the world, but there is something bewitching and compelling about our French life. I take your point, though, about family. I didn't know that you had spent a year in France when your daughter was little. I guess I've got a lot more to learn...