Thursday, March 05, 2015


Things are getting real around here and we're getting so close to being able to blow this joint. The girls and I are flying out to France together in two weeks, TWO WEEKS. I am going to stay there with them for three weeks and then fly back to London to shoot a wedding with Nye, who will (who will) by that point have finished redecorating the house and putting in a new bathroom and finding a tenant and cancelling our contracts with various service providers - which I have no doubt will take up at least two of those three weeks. After we've done the wedding we will drive back together, our car laden with the crap that we just can't live without. 

While we're in France I will get getting drunk the girls settled into pre-school where we have a meeting with the head teacher a couple of days after we arrive. Pre-school (l'école maternelle) is provided four and a half days a week from 8.45-3.45, totally, completely free of charge. FREE. When I say I love France I'm not - 
 like 98% of bloggers who 'looooooooove France' - talking about cheese, wine with lunch and girls in striped shirts and messy up-dos on bicycles, I'm talking about this; social provision, for everyone. (I do also like wine and cheese, it has to be said.)

The village is small and there are fifteen kids at l'école maternelle, W&P will make seventeen. Twelve of those fifteen kids are boys which pretty much guarantees that at least one of our girls will love it immediately. The pre-school is attached to the primary school which, as part of its learning garden, has it's own row of vines. It's important in France that children now how to grow grapes from the age of five.

It's the thought of this, of taking the girls down the hill to school and then spending the day in the peace of the mountains and the forest, that is getting me through this hell of packing and donating and jettisoning what we own. We're taking with us what we can fit in the car (plus the three suitcases W&P and I will drag across London to the airport). We're leaving about ten boxes of books and toys in the attic, selling or donating all of our furniture and creating an epic pile of landfill with the shit that is of no use to anyone. Aside from one epic meltdown from Puke when she realised that we were donating all of the clothes that she had outgrown ('I WANT TO KEEP EVERYSHING FOR EVER AND EVER.') it has been a fairly peaceful process. 

Nye and I worked through our hoarding tendencies a few house-moves ago and are now more or less on the same page about what we get to keep and what goes. More importantly than being on the same page though, we are more or less capable of turning a blind eye to each other's weaknesses (his; speakers, cables, bits of bike, mine; books, art supplies, 'sentimental things'.) His mutterings that if it weren't for me and the girls there would be no clutter in his life and that he would live in an empty room with just a stereo and a bicycle (doesn't that sound pleasant?) have decreased in frequency and my ability to respond with hysterical laughter and a knowing eye roll instead of screaming YOU'RE SO FULL OF SHIT before making an itemised list of every single piece of crap that he owns and pointing out how much bigger his crap is than mine, has blessedly strengthened. Dudes, we have grown


  1. I can feel the sunshine already.

    1. Me too! I think about it roughly every 3 and a half minutes.

  2. You mean France has more to offer than "cheese, wine with lunch and girls in striped shirts and messy up-dos on bicycles"???

    You may have just broken the Internet.

    (I am super happy for you and also have been enjoying learning through things you've tweeted about how England is becoming distressingly more like America than I previously thought. The privatization of London article sent me down the rabbit hole, so thank you!)

    1. England is going to hell. It's sad and it's scary and I'm really glad to be getting out.

  3. We - the in-laws and dog-in-law - eagerly await your arrival with rosé in the fridge and a whole new landscape of clutter and crap as we carry on building this house on its hill in the magic mountains. Sunshine has given way to rain for now, a gift for the thirsty grapevines. See you three very soon!

  4. Not quite the same (not at all the same, really) but we recently left a big uk city for a tiny rural village with a school up the hill and wild deer and nothing else. It's heaven.
    No grape vines though.
    Best of luck!


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