The second week of being in a new house is often frustrating. The enormously satisfying progress of the first few days is replaced by the feeling of ‘What on earth have I got to show for the last hour’s work?’ And that’s certainly been the case with us. So we’ve spent an utterly disproportionate amount of time doing the ‘simple’ tasks such as putting handles on an old wardrobe, sorting out the keys and trying to replace a built-in lightbulb in the kitchen. But given that Chris at least has been doing other things this week we are making considerable progress. The next big event is the arrival of all our Swansea things next Wednesday. We are already planning what to put where, what to give away and what to send to the tip as now being superfluous to requirements.
We’ve also been up to Courmettes twice to pick up things from there. On the second visit we were able to sell our old and faithful Octavia to a British couple. It served us well and we hope it will serve them well too. Before we got rid of it we did use it however for collecting logs. Given the very heavily forested area around us, it’s not hard to find places selling firewood.
We hope no one is expecting profound insights on the tragic events in Paris this week. Yes, there have been a few Je Suis Charlie posters in our area but not that many. And, sorry to disappoint you, we don’t spend a lot of time sitting in bars discussing politics with the locals. Actually, when you are still learning a language this is precisely this sort of sensitive, deeply felt topic that, if you have any sense, you tend to shun. It’s far too easy to be misunderstood. The real significance, of course, of these events is going to be in their long-term political and social impact. Secular Godless France (‘our only faith is that we must have no faith’) with its cherished history of mocking a Christianity that never answered back, is at a loss to know how to deal with an Islamic faith that takes insults less kindly. These are ‘interesting times’ in France.
But to end on a more upbeat note. Today was lovely and warm; we had our first guests (we inaugurated the famous guestbook) and also had tea outside. We also – and here sensitive birdwatchers may wish to grit their teeth – saw a Goshawk fly over. Not a bad garden ‘tick’.