A week to go. A week!
What a strange limbo this is.
I went out to buy fruit the other day, paused at the end of the driveway, sighed, and turned left instead of right.
What a coward. Instead of heading to my favourite little fruit shack up the road, I went to the big, bland, unfriendly place down the road, spoke to no one and slunk back home with my inferior produce.
It’s so stupid to be avoiding the Raspberry Man who I have enjoyed talking with so much over the last 18 months.
Today I realised why I’ve been doing it. The business of leaving is messing up the business of living. Continue reading
Sometimes it rains.
Sometimes there is work to be done.
Sometimes there is traffic.
Sometimes the food is average.
“Madame, vous aller pleurer d’émotion.” [Madame, you are going to weep from emotion.]
The Monsieur paused for dramatic effect then presented a tiny cup of amour de poire, a delicate pear wine produced high up in the French Alps, a cork’s throw from the Italian border.
I knew it was a good idea to step into this curious little shop.
“You’ll get stuck in there,” Sabbatical Man had warned, eyeing the many signs at the door that suggested an eccentricity of proprietorship and eclecticism of wares that would make a quick browse impossible. Continue reading
Face down in the white, skis at odds, snowflakes up my left nostril, I practiced mindfulness and observed silence.
The silence of the mountains.
The silence of a metre of fresh snow.
The silence of The Instructor, a relentlessly positive man, finally lost for words.
Clarity came at last.
Skiing is suicide and I am not ready to die. Continue reading
“No backups for 277 days.”
That’s what the laptop tells me today (although I am backing up – just not to the hard drive in New Zealand that my homesick laptop prefers).
Two hundred and seventy seven days!
Each day a new number that looks a lot closer to 365 than it did five minutes ago when the entire year stretched out before us.
Our year in France is evaporating – one bland, un-ignorable, inaccurate Apple warning at a time. Continue reading
Camera too small, landscape too big.
I was struggling with this problem yet again in Iceland, on the side of an enormous glacier, when an Australian approached.
We exchanged adjectives and smiled at the view.
“Still,” he said. “It must be just like home for you here.” Continue reading
It’s Hitchcock round my place.
The chickens are taking over. Continue reading
“Why the bloody hell do they build these monstrosities?” the cross English woman shouted at her terrified little husband. “Why? It’s just so bloody awful!”
She was glaring at a sparkling new adventure playground in the final stages of construction high up the side of a Swiss mountain.
The husband nodded sadly and watched his wife pull her hat down over her ears, stretch her waistband high up under her bosom and storm off to start the bloody nature walk she had bloody come here for.
Meanwhile the five of us, absentmindedly wiping her spittle from our faces, were spellbound.
[A story with a happy ending]
What a teeny tiny difference between the words well and unwell.
Just two letters of the alphabet. Continue reading
The quality of this photo reflects the mental state of the photographer
That’s the soft little exclamation many French people make at those unexpected wee moments in life.
A coin slips from your grip. you spill a little wine, you crash your car into the ditch…
That was the sound of Sabbatical Man’s perfect driving record evaporating in one teeth-suckingly embarrassing moment when our leased car nudged, teetered, then hurtled off the road, scraping, banging and crashing its way along a steep trench.
Yes, the very road referred to in an earlier blog.