Saturday, 25 July 2020

Catching up......

So I have come back from shopping. It is Saturday.

Last Monday I had a trip out in Bluebell. It was a solo trip, the first time on the road for longer than ten minutes driving our new car. A town called Whitchurch was where I was heading. It was an easy drive, I knew the route, and it was early so no 'speed merchant' drivers had got up yet.

Drive done, parked up. Now into town, first to a shop which I had espied when on a recent trip with my OH, and which I had thought might sell some large ladies garments which I am sore in need of because most of my clothes are still in France. They did, and I was very enthused about purchasing some items to supplement my wardrobe, but it was when the lady showing me the items which 'I might like to possibly buy', and that included some special support tights, some granny-type underwear, some older-folk crimplene type cardigans, and some thick, ever- so-sensible trousers, that I became without enthusiasm and realised that people assess you by how you present yourself. And it came to me that I needed to redesign myself, that my 'anything goes' French farm look was going to make me look old, and although I am over seventy I am not willing to feel ancient just yet.

With these thoughts in mind, off to the bank I went to change the address on my bank account. Then off to a charity  shop to  buy some bowls and plates to supplement the 2 plates, 2 bowls, and three mugs which I brought with me from France. No masks in the shops were worn, but social distancing was maintained. And I noticed that the town was quite merry, with a good atmosphere and people stopping to talk with each other, still with social distancing maintained, but it was affable.

And lo! People sitting outside a coffee shop, and there I took of a lovely large cup of coffee and the most delicious slice of chocolate cake. I looked at the passers-by, and noticed how relaxed they were. And I though of how this lock down has suffocated and changed people, but how they were coming through it.....I saw this in their faces, and it moved me to tears.

All in all a joyful visit to Whitchurch, although the drive home was not so good because the 'people who do road works' had blocked off all the familiar roads, and had 'thoughtfully' made diversions, which had me going round and round along unfamiliar roads like trying to follow a tangled ball of wool. And then the joy of driving down an unknown lane and suddenly finding myself in the vicinity of Stanton village, which is where we live.

Off to the hairdressers on Wednesday. Made me feel better. DIY hair cuts belong to a French country life style.........

Just come back from our local village shop, which has been my favourite place to shop since I came here, but now I shall go up to larger supermarket in Whitchurch. We now have to wear masks again, according to the 'wisdom ?' of the UK government. I felt claustrophic in that small shop environment. For some reason social distancing was forgotten, the wearing of the masks seeming to make people think that they didn't have to keep their distance anymore. I also don't like breathing in my own carbon dioxide, so I shall forego that village shop until I can shop there without a mask on.  In a larger supermarket I can lift the mask up to breath some air now and again.

Have been looking at houses for sale, and found one which we liked, but was thwarted by news from our bank that we have to be resident in the UK for 6 months before they will enter into a transaction with us. Ah well, that house was not meant to be, and if it was then it will still be up for sale when our six months are up, which isn't long because we have done two months already. But for each day I am in the cottage I am becoming more and more at home in it. I think it has been a good transition place for us, and the wrench  of leaving our French farm is daily getting less and less, so I am glad that we are not moving on too soon. Leaving France was the most difficult move I have ever had to do, and has cost me a lot of anguish. When the time comes to leave the cottage then that anguish will hopefully be behind me. As I say, the cottage has been a good place of transition for both of us, and I feel blessed that it came into our lives. Now all I have to do is keep adjusting to this new chapter in our lives, although I don't think that new chapter will begin properly until we move on from the cottage. As I say, I am in no hurry.

I have new boots! So I have started my walks round the village, day one being yesterday. My new mobile phone, which was supposed to be also for taking photos for the blog, is not working. It was, but now is not, because BT (the phone company) fiddled about with it from afar and now it doesn't, and hasn't been for over three weeks despite daily calls to the BT engineers from my OH. Something to do with Covid and the lock down, which seems to be a good excuse for inefficiency. We can't exchange our French driving licenses to British ones, which are shortly going to be out of date, because no one is answering our emails our phone calls from  DVLA (driving license people), because of Covid lockdown apparently. I can't contact the Government tax office ( for national insurance (health), pension, and tax) because of Covid lock down......and so on. Not to worry, I have new boots, and sooner or later all those organisations which have become even more less efficient than what they were before Covid, will come and find us. I have new boots!

 I have gone on a bit, so thank you for staying with me. I sort of needed to talk myself out, and this I have now done! So, thank you.

Bye for now,


local alien said...

Some of your comments made me laugh. The old ladies clothes. It's what you mainly find here in Greece too and I am 67 and not old at all, but definitely fuller in the figure. Most of my clothes are too merry and bright but I seem to stick out like a sore thumb even when dressed in black. That is how it is.
Good luck with cottages, walking in new boots and officaldom. I wondered how you were getting on back in a country where you understand the culture and language.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Vera, glad to hear things are starting to normalize a bit.

When we moved here from Old Home it was gut wrenching as well. We lived in a rental for four years before we bought a house. For better or worse, it allowed us to adjust both the change from Old Home and find our way here so that when we did purchase, it was relatively comfortable and well thought out decision.

DUTA said...

Enjoy your new boots, Vera!
Yes, people are getting used to the idea that life must go on, corona or not. The virus is not going anywhere, so we'll have to learn to cope with it.
Hope you get the house you like.

Denise said...

So glad you had a lovely, cheerful trip to Whitchurch, Vera! And that you’ve had a new hairdo. And that you’ve got new boots! All ‘with it’ gals need a good pair of boots! x

Janice said...

Hi Vera, so glad to see you are settling in in your little cottage. I'm sure, when the time is right, the perfect house will come along. Will it have land? How soon will you be able to sell the farm in France? Enjoy your new boots!!

Vera said...

LOCAL ALIEN: Thank you for your kind words, and I am glad I made you smile.

Coming back to the UK has been more difficult that what we thought it was going to be......Covid has changed things, especially the time it takes 'officialdom' to work!

TOIRDHEALBHEACH BEUCAIL: Thank you for sharing your experience about the time it took to find your new home, and that it is best to wait until the right home comes up for us even if it takes a while to do so.

DUTA; You are right about the virus, life has to move on if we are going to learn to cope with it. As for looking for a new house,... it will come in time!

DENISE: Whitchurch was lovely, and had such a good atmosphere. My hair is now more DIY hair cuts from now on! And my boots are a lovely navy blue, and still pristine because I have not worn them in the rain yet! Hope you are well. Vx

Vera said...

JANICE: I don't know if we shall buy a house with land at the moment, but all things might change by the time we get to finding the right house. People are interested in buying our farm in France, but we are taking the view that it will sell when it is meant to sell. My boots and I are continuing to make friends!

Rhodesia said...

Ha, I am also not willing to believe that I am an old lady and I turn 77 next month. So glad that you are settling in, I really do not think I could live in the UK again, but each to their own. Take care and have a good week Diane

Vera said...

DIANE: I hope you have a good week too.

Mama Pea said...

A joy to catch up on what has been going on with you. I can tell you feel much lighter and freer in mind and spirit than you did back in France. All changes are hard, even the good ones. Something about we humans resisting anything that is "different" but I believe you and your husband have made a very good move. And may it only get better from here on out!

Vera said...

MAMA PEA: Bless you for your understanding. I have been struggling with this transition period, but it has only been two months since we arrived and I must not be impatient!