Sunday, 30 December 2012

Another year.....May You Never.....

Another year almost gone. It's been interesting but with some stress and much moving. Against the trends, we managed to sell both our Spanish house and our Swedish place. This enabled us to move back to France, where work has gone on apace on the house and we now have the relative luxury of central heating, and a virtually re-wired home. There's still a bit of upstairs re-wiring to be done, but basically the place is done. The wood-burner is working well and the Hens are giving us a couple of eggs a day. So we should be settling into quiet, French village life. But......

Unfortunately, and sadly, our daughter, LVP, is locked into a protracted and bitter custody/ Access (Residence/Contact in new legal tender) battle with her former partner. He simply snatched the grandsprog, Hamish, about six months ago and has refused access entirely. So she's going through the court system for an order. A lengthy process that frustrates me as a former lawyer!  Hopefully, however, all will be resolved in due course, as they say, with some certainty etc.

As a result, we've taken the decision that we must return to UK just to be closer to her for support and help. J's flying back over to UK on Jan 15th, and I'm planning on moving over a few weeks later, once the new kittens have their Passports, anti-rabies jabs etc in place. They've an appointment with a local vet lined up for January 3rd, then we must wait 21 days before they can enter UK. So, I should be over by the end of the month.

Not at all what we had planned, to say the least.  We'll probably aim for the Welsh Marches region, as it's an area we know well and where we still have many good friends. It's also not too far off from LVP in West Wales. For now, we're searching for a suitable place to rent so we can make the move as effortlessly as possible.

The weather here has been very wet, but not as bad as UK, it seems. Over Xmas it was fairly mild but windy at times.  We're off to a Hogmonay party at some nearby Brits place tomorrow evening. Frankly, given the general position, we're not really looking forward to it. But we have a generous invite so will make the best of it. If nothing else we'll no doubt meet more of the local, expat Brit population.

The two new kittens are growing apace. The little Tom, we call Ginge, is endlessly curious and constantly looking for trouble, it seems. The other, Ali, is not so timid now, comes when called and can be handled with ease. However, she doesn't seem to be putting on much weight - despite eating heartily - and is now being outstripped in size by the other one:

Her markings are coming through now, and she appears to be a silver tabby, albeit with blue eyes - so some Siamese in the mix, I'd think.

Rocky has become lazy and exploded in size to a full-grown, big cat. He's still adorable but is big. Easily the biggest cat we've ever had!

A typical pose by the stove:

Charlie, my old favourite, has not returned. I worry a bit that he might yet show up - after we've returned to UK. We'll have to leave contact details with some of the villagers in case this happens then I can shoot over and hopefully collect him. Fingers crossed. I do miss him immensely:

The village has put on a small, dog-eared Nativity scene. Tattered but a generous gesture for such a small place really:

There's also this strange creature, which we assume is meant to be a Camel, though heaven knows what else it might be:

Even the Mairie/town hall is decorated:

And finally, here's some photos of the village itself; no French village being without its dominating church, of course:

Which comes complete with a recently created, huge always empty car-park:

Otherwise, it's a pretty sleepy hollow:

And the farm where we get our lait cru/raw milk from the cows is the building on the left here. A  family unit, largely organic in nature and run by a friendly family:

Most mornings we have a visit from this cheeky, hungry chappy. A lovely Green Woodpecker:

Well, that's about it. I hope everyone has a great New Year and has survived the festive period so far.  I've enjoyed following many Bloggers; a journey of interest and amusement that varies almost daily. I look forward to continuing my vicarious travels and thank all of those Bloggers out there. Maybe we'll meet some of you sometime, somewhere down the line.

And yesterday, I had a message from a fine US Dobro player - possibly the best in the World - telling me another very fine lap-steel/Dobro man had passed on. It's been one of those years, it seems:

The harbinger:

And the poor one that passed: The harbinged (presumably):

And just for the Hell of it....a fine sentiment, whatever: and another sadly gone a few years ago. One of the greats:


  1. Sorry to hear things have taking a turn - the you didn't want it to. Hope the move back goes well and LVP gets things sorted too. Hope 2013 works out well.

    1. Thanks for the good wishes, Andrea. You too/two, have a great New Year. Maybe see you sometime, if I can make it oop North!

  2. Nice to catch up with you ~ sorry your plans have gone a bit agley :( hope things turn round soon for you all in the New Year xxx

    1. Thanks, Jacquie. Have a great New Year, with months of pleasure on the holding. I've enjoyed the journey! Maybe see you, like Andrea, if I can make it up.

  3. Hi Iain, Hope your plans and move to Wales goes smoothly and that everything turns out ok for your daughter - what an awful thing to happen. Good Luck to you all. If you have time and fancy a trip out to a canal get in touch we’d love to meet you both.

    1. Hi Carol, Again, thanks for the thought. Be careful what you wish for.....we're both very keen on NBs and often spend time wandering along the Cut. The Gloucester & Shapness is a firm favourite of ours. If I spot R&R anywhere on our mutual travels, I'll definitely give you a shout. Best to George.