I've been pretty much offline for a few weeks as I suddenly felt so tired that I wasn't up to doing much of anything at all, what with the heat and the after-effects of all the excitement I suppose. But, I have started taking time to sit and read and I'm delighted as it was something I had missed since giving up work. I have so many books sitting begging to be read so I'm really glad that has kicked in again. It's been really hot too, so slobbing around reading was probably one of the few things I was capable of, to be honest!
So what's new? We still haven't received the website for the wedding photos but it can't be too long now! I can't wait! Oh and I'm thinking the kids will be able to pick up the keys to their new apartment any day now - they must be so excited - I know I am! To that end, I have been slogging away trying to empty so many of the trunks my ex had down in the basement so the kids can take them for the move. So far I have emptied seven huge trunks - and I think I probably have another four or five to go! What the heck my ex thought he needed all those trunks for is beyond me! We didn't need more storage, we needed less stuff! I have a pretty large basement so it was easy to just keep stuffing things down there, forever to be forgotten - or until I ended up going through it all. Just a case in point, a couple of years ago I bought an above-ground inflatable pool because when it gets hot here it gets hot! But I didn't see the point in having an in-ground pool in a place like this. Too much snow and too much work. So I was talking to my neighbour about measuring up the best spot to locate this pool in future (I'm thinking on my terrace rather than on the grass), but when we opened up the huge box that I thought my pool was in I found a shedload of fishing stuff! There was so much stuff, I tell ya, we cudda bought a fishmonger's store with the value of that stuff (and I don't ever recall him catching a single fish)! Still, I guess as long as he got pleasure out of it it was ok, but now I'm left with reels, boxes of bait, the stools and the bloody fishing jacket! I have been slowly going through it all, throwing the rubbish and will take the rest to the charity store if I can't find somebody locally who would like it. But have you any idea how many bloody pockets there are in a fisherman's jacket! What a pain in the butt it has been emptying all that stuff and getting it sorted!
I'm trying to get myself into some kind of routine now where I get some decluttering/ cleaning/scrubbing done every day, work in the garden for a while, maybe some sewing and also trying new recipes. My house has always been "clean enough" but now that I have the time I want to go through it from top to bottom once and for all, starting with my kitchen. It's not much fun to do but so satisfying when it's done, isn't it! All this industry means that for once in my life I have a very slight tan on my arms and my legs are no longer lily white - more like very, milky coffee-coloured - since I live in shorts and t-shirts (all nicely offset by the mozzie bites at the moment, sadly)! Not sure I've seen a bra or a pair of shoes in quite some time either (TMI?) and it's bliss. However, all this energetic output is somewhat dependent on getting a decent night's sleep - which isn't happening too much at the moment. Some bloody dogs from way over the other side of the field shown in my header picture barked all damn night last night! I know all about "living in the country and accepting the noise". I have no problem with that, but this wasn't the farmer's dogs - I know where he lives (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) and it's further away - so I'm pretty certain it was in the houses beyond the field. I'm surprised somebody didn't shoot the bloody things (I can see the farmer doing it), but I'm pretty sure someone will have complained because it goes on all night, most nights and they are big dogs with a loud bark! Anyway, other than that, I'm enjoying trying out new recipes and getting the house and garden into some sort of order, although it's early days as yet. I especially love my beautiful hibiscus bush at the moment, but by god do they drop all over the place!
Actually, right now I'm watching "Escape to the Château", which some of the Brits might know. I love Dick and Angel Strawbridge! He can do anything and she doesn't have an uncreative bone in her body! What's more they work so well together and seem so nice! It's a programme I really love, showing the hard work the Brits who move to France and renovate old homes/châteaux have to put in, but I'm sure their (amazing) experience isn't true for most!
And finally, last Friday I was invited to lunch chez J and M with other former colleagues. I shared an office with J when I first came to Geneva and she and her husband are lovely, she is a fabulous cook and he is a wonderful host. All of us (except her hubbie) having worked at the same place, we naturally talked shop most of the afternoon, but M took it in good stead! When the subject of Brexit inevitably came up, a couple of them teased the cr*p out of those of us who are British only, saying we were gonna get kicked out (we won't!)! But, what was more interesting to me was one of the guys saying that yes, there will probably be a trade deal between the US and the UK, but no it isn't gonna be an easy deal because, in his opinion, the US will insist on three things being included. Maybe not immediately, but included ultimately. And those three things were access to the NHS (the National Health Service) - say what!!!!!!! That has always supposedly been non-negotiable (or at least until it becomes "negotiable", I guess). Two, the US would insist on being able to export "bleach washed poultry" (or whatever you call it), and three, they would also insist on including the exporting of GM food to the UK, which isn't allowed under EU regulations!!!! It's scary stuff but I will be very interested to see if he proves right!