Thursday, 8 November 2007
I managed to persuade the tutors that I can cope with intermediate French and they allowed me to stay, (although my performance in the lesson last week was less than brilliant!) However, when we in France I was able to join in some conversations at the basic level, understood the gist of what was being said (except when Ian was talking about building things) and was able to explain in French to my potential neighbours what I did for a living; something we had practiced in class the week before. Learning a language is a hard process however as this week in the class I felt like I was a beginner again! I think you have to accept that when trying to master anything new you have to deal with the plateaus and the negative days and not let them get you down too much!
We paid a quick visit to the land in France at the weekend! Ian needed to meet with the builder and agree the contract and we wanted to make sure that all the necessary procedures with regard to starting the building work had been finalised. It was also good to go over and begin to get a feel for the seasons over there. It was quite cold; below freezing at night and damp in the morning although on most days by early afternoon the sun was out. The fields and the vines were a wonderful shade of gold. On Saturday we went over to the land in the morning. The mist was quite thick and we couldn't see the other side of the field so we guessed the position of the house a bit. The builder joined us and we took a tape measure and marked out the four corners of the house. I was a bit surprised as it seemed really small when you look at the outline (not that I ever thought it was big!). The builder reassured me that it was better that it was small as there would be less cleaning! We then went back to the builders house and discussed various building technicalities (most of which I didn't follow). The rest of the weekend was spent agreeing the fine details, talking with the neighbours, keeping people informed of what was going on and generally trying to reassure people about any disturbances or upheaval. We achieved a lot; the contract is signed, the builder is planning to start digging in two weeks and hopefully by next summer we will have walls and a roof!
When the mist had cleared I stood in the outline of the house, roughly where the bedroom window will be and looked at the view. I definitely think that waking up to that view will be a good start to the day!
Unfortunately I didn't take a picture on this visit, but the one above was taken in summer from what will be the top of the drive way. The house is about 10 metres away.