My Le Gassion is no longer mine ,

I sold my anchor on the 17th January, a friend signed for me as power of attourney I could not have signed away my home witout tears. There is so little left so much needed to be discarded – when I opened boxes to check what was in there, there were memories of at least 60 years but I was the only one who would remember them, Had I tried to transfer my memories to my children or my grand daughters would they have listened – maybe with half an ear and a placatory – that was funny or really- whilst looking at their i phones or i pads.

I am without anchor floating loose and not knowing where it will end, I do know that I cannot live like this for too long I have to have my own life to try to become a part of a community and to please God be of some use to others before the time comes to curl up my toes.


Look back and Laugh

The day after we drove to Reading and stayed at the George Hotel, more stairs and corridors than anywhere else I have ever known – en suite – no the loo was down the corridor so off I troddled and found the loo BUT did not know the number of our room eventually reached the reception area and asked for our room number and returned to my husband who thought that I had fled. The next day we went to a hospital in Newbury to see Brian’s sister who had given birth to our wonderful nephew Ian the day before our wedding, so we saw a scrunched up Ian and Valerie returned to Reading and then progressed onwards on our honeymoon. Was it calm and safe – what do you think ??

Look back and laugh !

We married in 1964 for a time I worked as an air stewardess for BEA and Brian worked at the Bells of Ouzely when it was an original public house with a fabulous restaurant, when England had class.

Our married life started as it was destined to continue, we were driving to stay in a really romantic hotel in Staffordshire when I realised that the tickets for our flight to Rome were in my home ( my Mum and Dad’s house ) OOPS ! About turn retrieved the tickets, forgot to turn off the lights so MAJOR tension when all the friends an neighbours returned for the “last” little drink.

We arrived in a Railway Hotel car park in Stoke on Trent and Brian went to enquire whether they had a room. He then instructed me ” don’t look as though we just got married ” ?? I may have enhanced it all in my mind by now but this is what I am convinced happened, a Manuel ( Fawlty Towers ) with white hair checked us in my unmarried husband ordered champagne and when we reached our room I took off my hat – YES – I had on an elegant fawn hat with a broad dark brown ribbon round, all the confetti fell out. Then a maid arrived with the champers !

More memories to follow, keep smiling

The word Brave, I t conjures up the sight of a soldier in full combat gear going out to fight the enemy, the real meaning of the word brave is to put one foot in front of another when you think that you cannot walk another step, it is facing up to a bully in the school playground when you are so scared that you feel that you are going to be sick, it is saying I believe in my God you can believe whatever you wish but my faith IS MY faith, it is the soldier, policeman, sailor,doctor all those people who put their lives on the line to help others. Standing up to bullies for our own sake may not really be enough we may have to be extra brave and stand between someone weaker than us to protect them from someone stronger than us and that is when we really need to be brave.

via Daily Prompt: Brave

Fare Thee Well,

We arrived in France September 2002 and started to search for a home here, we stayed in Lavit at a fabulous Chambre dHote for 1 month and then progressed further toward Les Landes but in the meantime we saw properties near Carcassone, in Luchon, nr. Maubourget in fact aprox 100 in all. Then we saw Le Gassion, my husband loved it at first sight and I hated it. It was dark inside, the roof needed replacing the bathroom was gross, the staircase to the loft was woodworm ridden. What was to love.

 Brian at this time was having a few problems and was having tests for prostate cancer and he was worried about that also that we had no home, it was decided that we would chance buying this house at least that would be 1 difficulty solved. The prostate problem was not a problem after all. difficulty number 2 solved.

We moved in and for about a week we debated whether we should try to resell. Then our team spirit kicked in, when we stayed in our gite we had met a lot of helpful people who were willing to tell us where to buy what we needed words in French for different appliances etc. So the Nice team started, swimming pool was a professional job and was taken care of the beams in the lounge all termite ridden were chainsawed down ( Please do not try to visualise that it was frightening. New beams treated twice against termites etc. coating of Chene clair  + 2 coats of ships varnish.

Noel and Veronique Suiffet were our constant companions he is a artisan macon building walls, coating the wall with chaux ( traditional) Brian and I going to Bordeaux to buy paint from Farrow and Ball who supply paint to all the old houses in England. Choosing colours and painting the rooms we wanted painting the rest was left plain. All the huge beams sanded and varnished.

The lovely fireplace cleared of an obscenity and a wood burner in its place , the terrace outside the the kitchen covered with expensive and attractive dalle plus a small wall.

99 llaylandii cut down to expand the view.

Those are the facts, we spent an obscene amount of money on Le Gassion BUT I have no regrets because my Brian had the vision I did not, he saw the peace the joy of being able to sit with a glass of wine and overlook the canopy of the forest. He could see more than I could see !!

In January, I leave Le Gassion with many regrets that I am not staying, my French is not enough to survive a Maison de Retraite and my sons do not need the problem of sorting things out for me. Also Le Gassion needs to be returned to French ownership Marechal Gassion was ousted for 14 years by the British I am sure he will be happy it will be back in French hands.

BUT  which wall has the glass jar that says it was under English occupation ( very friendly occupation )????

When I leave in January with the spirit of my far seeing husband I will leave with sadness but our home needs laughter, aperos, family and so whilst I can I will say without crying Fare Thee Well Le Gassion and Bon Chance to the new owners.

Gone but not forgotten

Today, I was going to write a factual report of my day but have scrubbed it out, OK woke about 6am feeling tense and sad waited till 9 to phone a friend whose husband was very ill and dying, my friend phoned at 8-40 her husband had died. The sorrow is not mine nor anyone else’s it belongs to his daughter,son and mainly his wife. The good thing about life is that we do not just touch the people in our immediate family the wife,son, daughter in laws and grandchildren but the people into whose lives we have introduced laughter a good meal, lots of anecdotes from our lives and a pleasant time of unity. A great deal more has happened in my day today but the farewell to a good friend transcends that. Farewell Ray thank you for the best ever Lamb Tagine  say Hello to Brian for me. You were a good friend and one we both treasured.

Daily Prompt: Silence

via Daily Prompt: Silence,

There is nothing quite like the silence in a library, it is a hushed silence not just of reverence but of people entering another world, a world not always of fiction but of knowledge, travel, adventure and then there is the fiction the historical fiction, present day and futuristic fiction. I have become a fan of kindle but there is no joy of walking down the aisles to see if new books have arrived there is not the smell of paper turned by years of people absorbing the same story. We are an electronic age but books as books and the silence needed to inspect, enjoy and read them is sometimes lost – the odd whisper of I have read that it is a really good read.

I now live in France so have no access to our wonderful English libraries but a Dutch friend gifted a book to me for my birthday The Dalai Lama’s byDavid Michie and another friend who is Irish gave to me a book Colm Toibin by Nora Webster. Impossible to leave out a book that I have just read ( Kindle ) Love in Exile by Ayse Kulin.

Silence is – I think – lack of noise but it does not impede the workings of the mind, it is also extremely calming in some ways but in others it could be planning for things to come. So interesting how many opportunities silence offers.