Tomorrow is our last day in the UK for a while. We have a huge pile of stuff to cram into the car, along with the dog and cat and of course the bicycles on the cycle rack which perches on the tow bar. We never used them. When we had a minute to spare the weather was awful. When the weather was better we were frantically working to a deadline to get something finished in the house.
I’m so excited. Part of me is in panic in case I forget anything important because we will be in France for a long time. Another part is irritated that we haven’t finished the project we started last October – to renovate our 1960’s old folks’ bungalow. A third part reminds me that we are going to a civilised country where we can get everything we could possibly need and as long as we don’t forget the cat, the dog, our passports and theirs, there is nothing we can’t manage without. A fourth part tells me that we’ve achieved an awful lot in the last six months, transforming a tired old person’s house into a nice modern home, and what hasn’t been done already will still be there in the autumn and give us something to do over next winter.
This winter has been a trial, that’s for sure. The last time we had such a long, wet, cold and unpleasant winter was in 2012/13 and that was so awful that I decided I could no longer face battling my way to work in the snow and packed it in – retired before I got my pension because I couldn’t stand it any longer. What a good decision that was!
This winter has been slightly less snowy but incredibly wet, cold and grey. Not ideal for getting and training a new puppy, but what a joy he has been. With the renovations and the endless work on the house I feel that my lasting memories of this winter will be of mess, muck and mud. The mess and muck coming from the building work on the house and the constant shuffling of our belongings from one room to another. The mud coming from the inevitable ingress of the stuff into the house when you have a puppy that needs to “go” so often and the garden and all the local footpaths are ankle deep in slippery, slimy mud. Not to mention having a puppy that has learned pretty quickly that if he persuades us that he needs to “go” he gets a chance to chase the cat around the muddy garden whether he actually needs to go or not!
I can’t wait to get to France and put it all well and truly behind me. Only two more sleeps!