Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Moving in to our new home in France

French Village Diaries moving to France
The furniture arrives

Here is the final part of our moving to France story. If you have missed any previous posts you can find part one here, part two here and part three here.

French Village Diaries moving to France
Ed gets a ride in the removal lorry
The next few days were a blur of arrivals and departures, and that included the sunshine. The removal men arrived on 10th August, unloaded and left, but with our familiar things around us we were able to make up our beds, reunite Ed with his toys and start to make our new house a home. Ed’s little green and yellow bike that he hadn’t seen for a month was the first item to come off the lorry. This simple and unexpected gesture made such a difference to him and showed us the removal men were not only experienced movers, but good parents too.

The first night brought with it the realization that we were not alone. We might have moved into a small village but there was life and lots of it; the screech of the barn owl was both wonderful and terrifying and the mustard yellow carpet in Ed’s new bedroom (the only carpet in the house) was alive with fleas that were delighted to feast on fresh young blood.

We soon realised that shutters were the most wonderful things that enabled anyone (even a three year old) to sleep through dawn and wake up refreshed from a good night. The morning church bells at somewhere close to (but never exactly) eight o’clock were the perfect reminder that if we didn’t get up soon the boulangerie would have run out of croissants and I still love the fact that we can sit in bed with the windows wide open, listening to the birds, with the smell of freshly baked bread drifting in on the breeze.

French Village Diaries moving to France
The cats arrive 

We welcomed our first guests that week, Adrian’s parents, who had bravely made the noisy drive down with our two cats, Poppy and Willow. Their arrival meant we now had plenty of manpower to rip up the carpet and discover the local déchetterie.

French Village Diaries moving to France
Heading to the park in the sunshine

The weather and our moods often swung from stormy to sunny during that first week that ended with Adrian making the first of many trips back to the UK for work. I soon found myself alone with a three year old in a house whose creaks and grumbles were still unfamiliar, but I have fond memories of walks to the village park on sunny afternoons and big messy painting sessions held indoors as the rain and thunder played outside.

Things might not have gone quite to plan to begin with, but we were in France and had survived our first week and we learned that sometimes the best thing to do is to carry on without a plan. Things were new and unexpected then and everyday was an adventure and experience. We have since slipped into a routine, which is comforting, if not fresh and exciting but we both still pinch ourselves with the realisation that we took the huge leap to live our dream. We have a large house in France, with land and a privileged lifestyle that gives us plenty of family time together and we are very happy.

However changes are afoot once more. The Brexit vote has shaken the foundations of our life in France to the core and I can’t help but worry. I get that the EU wasn’t working for everyone. I get that it is a bold and exciting step to take, to put all that is wrong with the past behind you and step into a new future and the possibilities that holds. I was that brave person who set off to a new and unknown future. I embraced all the EU had to offer with my heart. Now my heart is broken.

We are EU migrants, given the chance to widen our horizons and experience life somewhere other than where we were born. We made the leap into the unknown because we had the right to do so. No one knows what the future will hold for migrants like us, from the UK who are now living in other EU states or those who have made the UK home. No one knows and so no one can reassure my worries or fears. The future in no-man’s land looks bleak, all we know is that our lives and rights will form part of the Brexit negotiations, which doesn’t do much to inspire a promising future.

I can only hope that we will have many more years here, being active members of our village and sharing our life in France on the blog.

Thank you for reading, liking, commenting and sharing these posts on social media. It has been great fun reliving those early days and sharing our adventure with you. Knowing you have been enjoying it too makes me very happy.