Spring has rushed into summer so fast this year, that the post I usually write at the turn of the season is two months late. The reason for this is that we have finally found what we have been looking for these past years: a place of our own! But let’s begin where our last post left off: at the beginning of Spring. A time where we started to recover from a tumultuous time with multiple moves with a newborn. We were still not sure what we wanted in terms of our own place, but we were trying not to get frustrated and were looking forward to a summer of just living our life in one place, without too much happening.
We had just started to put up the yurt in our new backyard, when we went to see a house with a real estate agent. It wasn’t for us – amazing view but too much work for too much money -, but the next day he sent me another one he just got in. When I saw the photo’s and read the listing details, I quickly realised that this could be it. It sounded like it was exactly what we were looking for, so we needed to act fast and we did. Contrary to the usual slow proceedings in France, we signed two months later. So much for a relaxing summer with not much going on! Needless to say we were super excited anyway. It fulfils all of our wishes, or has the potential to do so in many cases (read: it needs a lot of work, hehe).
I know we were impatient and done with the uncertainty, but looking back now I’m so glad we have found it now and not sooner. I have had two years of getting used to the French culture, systems and language and boy am I glad about that. Actually owning our own house and all the renovation it needs is quite overwhelming already. Being a newcomer in France on top of that would certainly have stressed us out big time. I am now at a level where I do not necessarily look forward to a phone call in French, but I know I can manage (no more sweaty hands, haha!). We feel comfortable seeking out French professionals and craftsmen instead of only using the Dutch community, like many Dutch do here. And we feel like it’s key to a good integration in our new community.
Frida has gradually been spending more time at the daycare center. I love it there: it’s clean, they’re really friendly with both parents and kids, it’s subsidised, they get home-made meals and they are very much about letting a child develop in their own rhythm. Frida loves it too, and we feel it’s been really good for her. Not only will she learn proper French this way, but she also gets to spend time with other children her age and she’s free to roam around all day with and endless supply of toys. Those three days enable us to work, or lately to renovate the house.
To top off all the awesomeness, I found a horse ranch close by. I’ve been riding from age 7-18 and I’ve always missed it since I moved out of the house and no longer had the opportunity. This ranch is absolutely perfect: they have the kind of horses that I prefer (anglo-arabians) and I’m allowed to go out on my own into the woods. The Morvan is even more beautiful from horseback! So I am not kidding when I say that I can’t really think of anything that is missing right now. I mean, of course it’s not perfect and things go wrong (like our truck who suddenly won’t start), but all the ingredients are there. Now we just need to find the right balance.
I promise the next instalment will be all about the house since that’s been the main theme this summer! And will be for a while to come, I imagine…