Seasonal Down Payment in France
After living all my life in the south-east of England, inside the M25, 20 miles from Central London, an area which is now the busiest, most congested part of Britain, I now count on one hand the number of cars I see in an average day. I can’t begin to explain how much easier it is to live in a rural area with 4 dogs, each with their own particular energies and needs. Rural France has a lot for which I’m thankful (although I won’t romanticise, there are struggles for me too, which I’ll write more about in the next book.)
When Michel retired we moved full time to France, something we’d had in mind since buying our house in 2000. So now, instead of fighting for space in Surrey, we live deep in the countryside of south-west France, the Nouvelle Aquitaine region, familiarly, the Dordogne.
It’s a picturesque area all year round. Every season brings something new. If we’d gone further south, while the weather would have been consistently warm, we’d have lacked the variations which I enjoy. So while I may comment on endless days of rain – I’m British – I also recognise that without the rain, the lush beauty we’re surrounded with would be absent.
For two decades we’ve been here in every season loving what each brings. Sometimes in our winter holidays we’d head out, only to be drenched within minutes. We’d almost regret leaving the comforting warmth of home. Since living here full time, we are no less enamoured by the surrounding beauty and pull of the outdoors.
Every season has charms, each day we see something new.
No walk is ever the same even if we follow the same path. Living close to nature brings an appreciation of its constant jostling for change. The selection of paths we follow is more limited than in previous years as a walk must accomodate Twinkle’s buggy. But with so many to choose from within easy reach we’re still spoilt for choice.
I’m always thankful we’re here with Twinkle and not managing her needs in a busy environment. I know it would not be as easy to provide all they need as it is here.
Right now, we scour every ploughed field to see what is sprouting and what will grace the summer landscape. We hope for field after field of jolly sunflowers and dread the dull monotony of hectares of maize.
We first came to this region, buying our house when our beloved Jasmine was just a few years old. She spent many a happy hoiday here as we flitted between the UK and France, busy with our careers and life. Never exactly caught in the rat-race but threatened at all times by its drag. Her spirit, and Susie-Belle’s now accompany us as Twinkle, Renae, Cerise and Albert Claude walk where she once did.
This time of year is incredibly vibrant with a wild rush of growth and natural energy everywhere. I see it is a pay off for winter gloom and a downpayment for the scorching heat of summer to come.