Monday, 28 October 2013

Nous sommes arrivés (2)…

… at last. My timetable is much reduced; I only work on Monday (all day), and just the mornings on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, but it has been a long half term. Eight weeks. The students are tired and I am exhausted, although this is probably caused by a function of age and a desire to be elsewhere!


I’m fortunate to teach some absolutely lovely kids. I enjoy interaction with them and their parents and don’t find working stressful in the usual sense. I just find it exhausting. An early bird I try to be at school for as close to 7 as I can manage. The trade off is that I now leave as close to 12.30 as I can manage. However I can’t seem to summon up the energy to do all those things I’d planned to do in the afternoon.

Before you feel too sorry for me I am managing to walk, and to meet and enjoy the company of good friends for lunch on a regular basis. Tim is usually getting his lunch time sandwiches made for him and I’ve watched a few more episodes of Jonny and Jasmine looking for a ‘place in the sun’. But where is the redecoration of the front and back porches I’d planned to do? Why aren’t the wardrobes sorted and cleared? Why doesn’t my garden look ready for winter? Why hasn’t Percy (Tom’s car which is laid up for the duration) been cleaned and covered to protect it from some of the ravages of time? I could go on…


Even thinking about these things makes me tired! The journey out to France, once looked forward to with anticipation, even when we were driving to the Alps, has now become a grind. This time, taking the advice of various friends, we left home at 3am to avoid the traffic jams. We avoided the traffic jams, but encountered closures and diversions. The M6 was closed at J13-12 and then at J6-7, the M25 clockwise had a section closed and then to cap it all the M20 was closed at J1-3. Luckily for us we travelled around the M25 anti-clockwise and this meant we avoided the M20 closure. For once there was only a short delay on the shuttle.

We were towing a trailer so our speed was reduced and our fuel economy almost halved. To cap it all our telepeage transponder stopped working!

No photographs of the journey but by the time we’d unloaded, topped up our energy levels with some tea and cake we were ready to walk the range and enjoy a glorious sunset. With the sunshine on the clouds you could almost think they were mountains in the Alps or the Dolomites. Don’t tell Tim I said this but the photographs fail to do the actual sky justice. It does, however, make one marvel at the workings of the human eye!

Home to hot soup and a quiet evening in front of the box, watching Strictly and X-Factor. Sunday lunch with friends at La Renaissance in St Hippolyte, with our first visit to the Lansyer Museum in Loches – more about this tomorrow.

Home from home and my cup runneth over…


  1. Gaynor, how I can relate to every little bit of your post.
    We find the journey such hard work these days and it is such a relief and so worth it when we finally arrive!
    I hope the weather perks up a bit and that you have a lovely week.

    1. Thanks. The sun is shining as I type... :o)

  2. Bing, bong!! Good morning campers!!
    And welcome home...
    I'll bet you wondered what hit you yesterday morning with the horizontal rain... ten Centipedes fell in about two hours... I was up at Civray, sitting in the car and waiting for the ordinary rain to ease when it hit... texting Pauline who is in the UK this week. So I retexted that the rain had "gorn horizontal"...
    and stayed put in the car and listened to t'H'Archers Omnibus... then went and got the wine I ordered when the rain eased off enough to make sense of stepping outside... then came home, slowly, because the roads were still awash!!

    Meteo60 says that the weather will improve after this blows through... and at the moment it looks to stay dry for the week, so I can get another mow in!!

    I know what you mean about getting down here...
    'Twas that journey that finally made us move permylike!
    I was taking three days to recover at each end...
    and the weather was all too often like it is this morning at this end...
    mostly because of our allotments keeping us busy during the summer...
    we came out of the main growing season... now, Winter and early Spring!!
    Keep well... see you soon.

    1. Thanks, Tim.

      I hope we get some sun and like you we'll be mowing too!

  3. Best wishes for a blissful 'break'! We can't make it to our house in the Lot in less than 3 days and two night stops -- my husband would do it in less time, but I refuse! It's exhausting, but once there, like you, it all seems worthwhile -- until we start to consider the long haul back!

    1. Thanks. If anything the drive back is worse. Not necessarily delays more the tiredness combined with some sadness.

  4. I do not envy you the journey.... We have made the decision not to drive when we go to our home in France... we always fly. It takes about 5 hours door to door, including waiting time at much better, especially when you only have a limited time actually in France. So....roll on the time when you can have more time there, and maybe your French car waiting for you when you arrive, cool calm and refreshed after a short flight ! Enjoy your stay. Jx

    1. I think your plan is a good one.

      When we had our apartment near Evian we would always fly out for breaks of a week or two but drive out for the long summer break. Often I would drive out on my own and Tim would fly when his work allowed. It was always very easy to pick up a hire car at Geneva airport and we were definitely less tired. Overall it probably didn't cost a lot more especially if you take wear and tear into account.

      When I retire we will probably leave a car here and negotiate with friends to do reciprocal trips to the airport at Tours.

  5. Reading your feeling of exhaustion brought back lots of memories! Not that I haven´t felt exhausted since I lived in Spain, because I have, but that grinding exhaustion has now left me. I do hope a break in your lovely French home recharges those batteries...and that the weather is a not a negative factor!
    Oh Loches, how I love Loches!! Have a lovely day. A lovely week.

    PS Going to have to try some other tactic re. Les Basses Granges. A big blank on all my threats and intentions from both the ex and the notaire!!

  6. Loches is always beautiful. Even though the Wednesday market is busy and full of Brits it is still a nice experience.

    Pity about a lack of progress re the house. Could you engage the Spanish equivalent of the Notaire to write on your behalf to make it all more official?

  7. It has to be said, our motorways are a nightmare. You just can't go anywhere these days without getting caught up in roadworks. It does sound like a miserable journey, but you are there now, so enjoy.
    The photographs are gorgeous. I can only imagine what that sky looked like if these pictures don't do it justice (I won't tell Tim).