December 30, 2014

AN AMAZING YEAR, MONTH BY MONTH

JANUARY

2014january 

A visit to the France Show in London, then we call in local estate agents to value our UK house and we make a start in getting it ready for sale.

FEBRUARY

2014february

After weeks of cleaning, sorting out, chucking out, tidying and some decorating, twenty nine years of accumulated possessions are thinned out, the photos are taken and the house is ready.

MARCH

2014

The house goes on sale on 1st March.  Three days later it is sold.  We feel a mixture of surprise, joy and sheer panic.

2014march

Nick’s mum celebrates her 90th birthday.

 2014march32014march2

After some rapid house hunting, we find one we like in the UK, only a few miles from the old house and close to my dad.  And very small.

APRIL

2014-2

I form the Loire Valley branch of the Clandestine Cake Club and the first meeting is held at our little house in Le Grand-Pressigny.

2014-3

  We have a table with friends at the village vide-grenier.  It chucks it down all day and we give up at lunch time, having made 90€.

With the sale and purchase going through slowly but surely in the UK, we begin house hunting in France and spot this one.  After numerous unsuccessful attempts to get to see it, I put a note in the letter box asking if it is still for sale.  By the time we get back to the UK the next day, there is a message on the answerphone – to say yes.

MAY

2014may

Most of our furniture and belongings are removed to storage, ready to be delivered to France.  We have no idea where or when we will see all our stuff again.

JUNE

2014june

We move into the new house in the UK and the rest of our belongings are delivered.  That’s when we find out exactly how small it really is.

JULY

2014july2

House hunting continues in France and we finally get to see the longère that we’re interested in.

14th July4

We enjoy moules et frites in the village square on Bastille Day.

AUGUST

2014august

It’s the Comice Agricole in the village.

2014august3

Our friends Colin and Elizabeth are presented with a wedding gift from the cake club.

2014-5

We accept a surprise offer on our little house in the village and decide to buy the longère.

2014august2

Knowing that this will be the last summer in our little village house, we make the most of our last few weeks there.

SEPTEMBER

2014sept

On 1st September we sign the compromis de vente for our new house and our friend Ken helps out by acting as translator for us and the vendors.  We all celebrate together over lunch.

2014sept2

The sale is completed in record time and, with a huge amount of help from our friends, we move out of our little village house, only two weeks after signing the compromis.  We say a fond farewell to the place we have loved and enjoyed so much for seven years.

2014sept3

For the second time in three months we find ourselves surrounded by boxes of our stuff in a new house.

2014-8

Four days after moving into our new French house, we get a small, eleven week old kitten and we call her Daisy.

  Daisy1

Two weeks later, little Daisy disappears.

OCTOBER

2014oct4

The kitten is still missing when our furniture from the UK house arrives in France.

2014oct

We now have two of everything – two dining suites, four sofas, way too many chairs and a spiral staircase to get the stuff upstairs.

2014october6

2014october7

Two weeks after she disappeared, Daisy is returned to us.  She becomes and indoor cat for her own safety and my peace of mind.

2014oct7

My dad comes to stay for two weeks.  The weather is unusually good.

2014oct5

Another cake club meeting is a big success.  The cakes are fabulous.

NOVEMBER

2014november

November is glorious.  Warm sunshine and beautiful autumn colours.  Plenty of leaves to sweep up and walnuts to collect.

Nick turns 60 and retires.  My dad turns 86.

DECEMBER

2014december

On December 1st somebody flicks a switch and winter arrives.  The boiler stops working.  We battle with the cold and the mud.

I turn 63.  We dash back to the UK just as work starts outside for the new fosse.  With only one week to go Christmas becomes a blur of frantic preparations.

2014december3 2014december4

On Boxing Day it snows, grounding us for several days.  I finally get round to icing the Christmas cake.

2014december2

We celebrate our wedding anniversary – 20 years.

It’s the china anniversary.  The trouble is, we have no room in either house for any more china!

So that was our year.  Chaotic, crazy and exhausting.  There were ups and downs.  Moments when we wondered if we were completely mad and moments of great joy when we felt like the luckiest people in the whole world.

WE WISH YOU ALL THE VERY BEST FOR YOUR HEALTH AND HAPPINESS IN 2015.

HAPPY NEW YEAR !!!!

20 comments:

  1. What a wonderful way to remember your year and what a year it was!
    You've survived and are still smiling at the end.
    So many opportunities to celebrate and a lot of hard work
    Good luck and best wishes for 2015, which will see your house transformed into the home you want it to be.

    And...there is always room for more China. What better excuse can there be than a china anniversary! We look forward to seeing you 'china of choice'.
    Love from Gaynor and Tom xx

    ReplyDelete
  2. Happy New Year to you both! Here's to hoping that 2015 will be a little less hectic and more settled, so you can sit back and enjoy your first year in the new place. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. "It’s the china anniversary."....
    No room for any more china....
    so why not make it the China anniversary...
    and visit the Great Wall and other sites over there.

    This year you MUST take a rest!!
    Looking at this post you packed three or four years into one!!
    So a trip abroad wouldn't do you any harm at all...
    and it is cheaper from France according to "The Connexion"....

    But if you decide to rest here...
    why not buy or commision something in china for the new garden...
    I'm sure that Magali could come up with something...

    Happy New Y'era to you both...
    not forgetting Lulu and Daisy...
    May 2015 find you able to finally relax....
    and get on with relaxing!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love your review of 2014 and I am going to say openly that I may steal the idea. Much better than the auto-generated Facebook year reviews!

    I'm just getting back into blogging and am enjoying keeping up with the little Touraine blogger group, blogging friends of Walt and Ken's apparently.

    Happy 2015 to you!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Happy New Year to all of you from Sweden. I have enjoyed reading you blog and looking forward for new posts in 2015. Jaana

    ReplyDelete
  6. We may well do a "Betty Carlson" and pinch your review idea too! It's a great idea. Only hope 2015 is a bit less hectic for you than 2014 was!! Fingers crossed, then! xxx

    ReplyDelete
  7. WOW what a year!
    Here's wishing you and Nick & not forgetting Lulu and Daisy all the very best for 2015 with time to wind down and relax in your lovely new French home.

    ReplyDelete
  8. You had a great year by the look of it (apart from the actual packing and moving -- that's always crap). All the best for 2015 and I hope it means we get to see a bit more of you.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Many, Many Felictations for 2014 and 2015.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Happy New Year and good luck with the renovation work!

    ReplyDelete
  11. When things go so fast and smoothly, it's a sign that it was meant to be. I hope 2015 is as good a year for you as 2014, if in different ways. Happy New Year.

    ReplyDelete
  12. What a marvelous summary!
    You are a most fortunate person.
    I hope your 2015 is your best year yet!

    ReplyDelete
  13. What a great and busy 2014 you had. We wish you an even better year in 2015, good health and good food, more time in France...and more of your blog for us, your readers!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Oh, what an enjoyable read! I'm just catching up with your previous post about the fosse, too-- wow. Wishing you and Lulu and Daisy a wonderful 2015!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Just catching up on Blog reading and very much enjoyed sharing your 2014. We feel we are on the same journey in 2015 as you were in 2014. Very best of health and happiness as those are the only true things that count. Leon and Sue

    ReplyDelete
  16. What a brilliant review of an extraordinarily busy and fruitful year. You certainly won't ever forget 2014! Here's hoping this year will be a bit more restful. :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. I'm exhausted! Please have a rest in 2015!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sharon, that is most definitely our intention!
      Mind you, we have the new kitchen to put in and a garden that needs creating..........

      Delete
  18. Hello Jean,

    Such a rollercoaster of a year, but what excitement lies ahead.

    As one gets older there is a tendency to stay with the safe and familiar but we do believe that by taking on new adventures one really does stay young and alive.

    We wish you every happiness in your new homes for 2015 and beyond.

    ReplyDelete