Updated: Nov 21, 2018
It’s happened. The long hot summer, which actually carried on until almost the
last day of October has come to an end. We’re finally waving goodbye to the warm, sunny days that we’ve enjoyed almost endlessly since the end of May and have finally succumbed to lighting the wood burner. The year isn’t over yet, but as we enter month 11 of 12 I think it’s a good enough time to look back at everything that has happened this year in this new life of ours.
It would be quite ‘un-British’ of me to not go into some detail about the year’s weather. Let me be clear, just because we live in the south of France doesn’t mean we have consistently good weather. We had consistently bad weather for about the first five months of this year. The local farmers were completely baffled and not best pleased and everyone said it was ‘inhabituelle’ – or ‘unusual’ to you and me. Then around mid-June everything changed, the switch was flicked and what ensued for four and a half months can only be described as (mostly) scorching, dry, heat-wave weather with barely a droplet of rain. We’re very much hoping for a somewhat drier winter this coming year, but we’re more than happy to welcome the hot weather back in Spring!
Family and friends
It’s fair to say that since we arrived here in France we’ve had A LOT of visitors. Not only family, but also friends and plenty of neighbours! This might be rural France but on some days it is anything but quiet. It’s always lovely having people visit, even though things are a bit chaotic around here.
It must be hard for our families to have ‘lost’ us to France, but I hope that us living out here provides a new type of ‘family time’ where they can enjoy not just seeing us, but also the countryside, the lifestyle and (most of the time) the much better weather.
One bonus of having visitors is an endless supply of goodies (everything from baked beans and Marmite to hot chilli sauce and halloumi) but the one thing we continue to crave is a good old curry!*, they do So in times of crisis we’ve teamed up with some friends we met out here, who by complete coincidence also happen to be from our home city of Coventry and we’ve created the ‘Cov Curry up’ - a regular curry-fest to meet with friends, drink beer and eat lots of curry. A great antidote to missing take-aways!
*I should add there's a great new pie shop in Saint Antonin (La Noble Pie) who also do a curry night on Monday's. Unfortunately we can't afford to go every week, but it certainly does do a good curry (though we also have to add more chilli!).
Pimping our accommodation
Our gardens have undertaken an ongoing transformation since we arrived here, with most of the hard work done by Jim and a lot of the weeding done by Jim’s mum and dad when they’re visiting! There are dozens and dozens of new trees and shrubs and when it’s all in full bloom it’s such a beautiful place. There are probably hundreds, if not approaching a thousand new plants in the ground, as well as old stone walls demolished and rebuilt. And in the same way that we’ve been pimping the garden, we also took some time at the end of the summer to pimp our cabin accommodation, which has now got a lovely new paint job, a more spacious walk in shower, new bed linen and the biggest towels known to man!