Well, here we are, eight days into the New Year and we're still keeping up our resolutions! One was to devote much more time to learning French and we're both doing that. A friend of mine gave us a copy of the Michel Thomas course and Danny is doing really well with it. More importantly, he's enjoying doing it and I think that's half the battle; if you don't enjoy doing something, you're going to find every excuse in the book to avoid doing it and therefore you're not going to learn it. I am going over and over things I was taught in the last few months and doing my utmost to commit them to memory.
We're doing well with another major resolution too. That was...(wait for it..)... to get up early and get on with our day! For those of you who know me well, this will come as a surprise because for over 40 years, I always got up early and have always been a 'morning person'. For many years, I started work at 7am, even when I worked in London. And even on non-working days, I used to be up and about early with the only concession being that on Sundays, I didn't rush to get dressed or do anything in particular. When we first retired, we planned to continue to get up early, get all our 'chores' done in the morning then spend the afternoon doing what we wanted to do (as opposed to what we had to do!). I suppose it all went awry because as soon as we retired we were busy getting our house ready to be put up for sale then, as it sold so quickly and we knew we were moving to France, we were into a frenzied time of packing up our belongings. Then, last year was pretty upside down, first living in the gîte, househunting etc, then moving into our house and getting straight. So we've never really established a "routine" for our retirement. You may think this is not important; that we spent our whole working lives living by a routine. But what we've found these last months, is that we've stayed up later and later in the evenings, we've been getting up later and later (and even later!) and then somehow the days have just drifted by without us having spent time on our hobbies.
Well! That has stopped and we are making a point of getting up much earlier (not 5am like I used to for work.... that would be ridiculous!!!). We've stopped sitting around for ages in the mornings, drinking cup after cup of tea! Instead, after a couple of cups at most, we're getting on with whatever chores need to be done so that by lunchtime we're ready to stop, have some lunch then settle down to enjoy whatever we choose to do. And I have to say, we both feel rejuvenated by it. The days seem to be so much longer and fuller too.
Take today, for example. This morning we loaded up the car with our recycling boxes (items for recycling are not collected in our corner of France; we take them to a designated area at the local déchetterie or "tip" as we'd say in the UK), then went on to do our weekly shop which we do in two separate shops; Lidl (yes, I did say Lidl!) for the beer and dog food then our local supermarket "Super U" for the main shop. While there, we chose a nice baguette for lunch, came home, unpacked the shopping and by a little after 1pm we were enjoying our baguette, leaving the afternoon free for me to blog! (It would be unfair of me not to mention that in addition to the shopping, Danny not only did his daily chores of cleaning out the woodburner, fetching more wood in for the day and making up the fire but also did a pile of ironing!)
Now that the festive period is over and everyone's life has gone back to normal, it seems that some of you at least have started thinking about their holidays. Nothing unusal in that - when I used to go back to work after the Christmas break, I immediately booked leave for Easter! One of our friends and her family have already "booked" their stay with us in August and two of Danny's sons are starting to make plans for their next visits. So I thought this might be an ideal time to say that if you want to come and visit, it might be a good idea to start thinking about dates so we can at least pencil them in the diary. We hope to allow a few days rest between visits if we can as it did get a bit manic last summer!
We are still hoping that our swimming pool will be installed around March/April time and I know that will attract a lot of interest! Personally, I can't wait!