I wonder what you’ll think when you read this? Will you be as surprised as you would be if you heard that the couple down the road, the ones who always seemed to be such a great team, always doing things together, are getting divorced? Or maybe you won’t be. Let’s see.
We’re leaving. Selling up. Returning to England. We’ve loved it here – we love it still. We believe we’ve made friends for life: we’ve had unforgettable times.
But in the end, the call of family and England itself was just too insistent. Throughout our time here (seven years full-time) I’ve had recurring bouts of home-sickness which Malcolm never understood until very recently, when he too got suddenly and painfully afflicted. We realised we don’t want to grow old here. I don’t want to find visiting family more of a circus than it already is: I don’t want to miss out any longer on my grandchildren growing up. So it’s time to go, whilst we’re still young enough to re-establish our English roots.
In many ways it’s an odd time to choose. The house has developed from the unappetising near-hovel that we bought (but which, oddly, was love at first sight: why?) to a comfortable and spacious dwelling with a pretty nice large back courtyard where we spend all our time in summer. We’ve only just finished the en suite bathroom, for goodness’ sake.
This last week we’ve been talking to estate agents, and realising that in tough times we’ll certainly have to use one – the French still usually prefer word-of-mouth and adverts in ‘Le Bon Coin’.
We’ll certainly be here till March: maybe longer. A lot depends on whether the house sells. And because the next move in England will be, we hope, the last one, we need to get it right. So a temporary pied à terre near Ripon seems quite on the cards at first. We’ve already started looking.
Don’t jump ship yet! There’s still quite a few months to go on sharing our Life in Laroque. And as for the next phase – who knows?