Anybody who thinks we are on some sort of permanent holiday here might be surprised just how busy we are here. Is it a good or bad thing when you have so much on that you don’t really have time to stop and think what you are doing? We seem to be getting a bit in that mode here. Day follows day with meals to prepare, emails to write and a hundred other chores. Interestingly, this week, we have not been off the site since we returned from church on Sunday afternoon. That is not a complaint; it’s just that we seem to be busy people. And it’s thirty minutes hard drive to get the nearest small village.
This week has seen progress in some minor things. We finally got forms completed and sent off to register with the health service here. It involved getting our birth certificates officially translated (fortunately all this can be done on line these days). Chris (who is trying to get into his office as close to 8 am as possible) was able to have various Skype and email conversations with people which will hopefully set up future projects. Unfortunately, his computer decided to die with a vengeance on Friday (a holiday here) – probably a hard-disk failure says a visiting IT person – which is particularly frustrating as he had the hard disk replaced just before we came out here. Technology is wonderful when it works. To go back to less high-tech matters, Alison was counting keys this week for the multitude of rooms here.
This week also saw a most spectacular thunderstorm on Wednesday where the heavens really opened and water ran down the paths like torrents. We had to dig out our Welsh waterproofs to keep dry! And in a reminder of a previous existence, Chris had email copies of his ex-students’ A-level results, which in geology at least, were mostly gratifyingly good.
We may be remote, but we still seem to get visitors. In addition to some families staying, we invited the local shepherds, from the farm down to the road, to an evening meal. Most of the sheep are in the high Alps at the moment, but will return in the autumn to graze on the estate. We’ve also hosted someone working for a similar organisation to A Rocha: “Plants with a Purpose”. On Sunday at church we met someone who works for the Intercontinental Church Society; he and his wife were here on holiday and were happy to accept our invitation to visit Courmettes on their last day in the region. It turns out he has a parish near Warwick, and their daughter goes to St Paul’s Leamington, where Alison was brought up and where we were married. It’s a small world as they say, but we stay in contact. As long as the technology works….