It's Christmas Eve and all is quiet! Well not really but I decided that I really must try and make a quietish few minutes to update my blog just in case anyone wants to read it after receiving my Christmas card. As you can see from the more limited number of entries this year I have rather got out the habit of regular posting. As usual there is much I could say but somehow the urgency or the need to say it passes as I get absorbed in the many and varied things that make up my life. I think that has been the biggest change since making the move here; and that is that although we do have a routine, each day is different.
So we have been here over a year. You would think that would be long enough to get settled and feel part of the furniture, but no, I feel like we have only just arrived. We still have both vehicles on UK number plates, my French is a little better but we still watch mainly UK TV (although we do actually have a French TV arial but realised that there is just as much cr*p on French TV as there is in the UK). However I can now spend a whole day in the company of French people, listening to and speaking some French, without getting the headache from hell.
In order to improve my French and maybe to see if I can get some work as an Occupational Therapist, I have been spending one day a week at the local nursing home as a volunteer come student. Sometimes I am not sure that I want to bother, but what it has done is to help me feel more part of French life rather than the ex-pat community. I have also done some occasional work in Bordeaux, helping occupational therapy students evaluate research papers in English. It has been a very steep learning curve and I am not sure that I have really got the hand of it, but spending the odd day in Bordeaux is a nice change from the country from time to time.
Apart from these activities most of our time has been taken up with trying to make progress on the house. We have worked hard but these things take time, and we are still semi-camping in two rooms. However we now have the basics of a swimming pool, the foundations for the garage, a half a front garden, a drive and are making progress with the plumbing and electrics. Next job is to build the garage so we can decant our things there and then finish off the final floor in the house.
The other thing I have done this year is get a dog. It was something I always wanted to do but could never even think about when I lived and worked in the UK. So, now we have a Gremlin, a 7 month old Australian Cattle dog, who as I write is chewing his tail to pieces in an attempt to alleviate the frustration of flea bites, a short attention span, exitability and rageing hormones! I am now a member of the Club Canine de Bergerac, where Gremlin continues to embarrass me by being a b*gger with me but behaving himself when anyone else takes his lead!
So now I am off to prepare a shrimp pasta thingy and drink some wine to celebrate our second Christmas in France.
Happy Christmas to you all.
get relief from hi