The ugly business of saying good-bye


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

My computer is torturing me


“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

Eating local


You really can’t get more local than your own driveway.

The cherry tree is the size of a small house and heavily laden but we hadn’t noticed the fruit was almost ready until the truck delivering the new fridge took out a branch and knocked a couple of hundred  to the ground.

What a day!  A cherry harvest and a new fridge (there simply wasn’t enough room in the tiny temporary one for both rosé and food for the children. Sacrifices had to be made).

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Perils of the home straight


Nerves of steel are required to drive this road every day

Whoever dares to question French courageousness needs to drive on my road.

Countless fearless Aixois commuters do it every day of the week. Twice. At speed.

The road is as wide as a catwalk model’s ankle.

Steep ditches line each side of it.

Huge trucks travel at ferocious speeds on it.

Tractors and trailers, graders and even horses and carts can be seen on it.

Yet the only one who is terrified is me – leaning pointlessly toward to the centre of the car where it feels a tiny bit safer.

Continue reading