The ugly business of saying good-bye


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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

Tears and pears in the French Alps

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

Tasting snow

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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

My computer is torturing me

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“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