Posted by: kathandroger | May 31, 2010

A year in the Vienne!

Perhaps not quite as catchy as the Peter Mayle version, but a full year has now passed since we arrived here in the Vienne. It is hard to believe that time can pass so quickly, but on the other hand we feel so at home here that it seems we have been here for years! One of the reasons for writing our blog was to remind us of all the things we have done, places we’ve been, people we’ve met etc. over the months – and eventually years – and to remind us how the place was when we moved in…it is so easy to forget! Given our anniversary it seems apt to take stock for a moment on the past 12 months…

The thing that stands out for both of us is the welcome we have received here and the ease with which we have been able to integrate. True, we have got involved, but nonetheless we never expected to be invited to so many things or to be made to feel part of every group we have joined. The people of St Remy, our local commune, couldn’t have been friendlier. We have referred to our dancing lessons many times in this blog and the dance group have been wonderful (even is our dancing hasn’t!). Getting involved at Ethnicite, our local troglodyte site, has been both fun and educational. We have met a great bunch of people at the Restos du Coeur  in Chatellerault, and latterly the cycling club at Dange St Romain have made us feel very welcome straight away. In addition we have met numerous people in different places, many of which we already count as good friends. So I’d say that what we have enjoyed most over the past 12 months is getting to know people here, feeling part of a community and making some good friends.

Being France, getting to know people and enjoying the good life – eating, drinking, dancing etc – are inextricably linked. So that’s gone well too! We set out to learn more about the local ways of life – not just food, but culture, gardening, ways of the countryside – and we have probably just scratched the surface, but I am thoroughly enjoying learning more about where we live (Poitou-Charente and Touraine have a huge amount to offer!). As we cycle a lot and also walk Boudie every day, we have done loads of exploring and have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the forests (of which there are many), tracks, country roads and villages. We have also enjoyed getting to know the markets and some of the local towns.

A bonus too of the past year has been the number of friends and family that have been to visit. It’s great building a new life here, but even better if we can also get together with our established friends and our families. It helps living in such a lovely place!!

On the home front, looking back we have achieved a lot in terms of getting our house up together as well as the garden (the potager was a huge success last year…this year not boding quite so well!). It is on the barns where things have progressed at probably a slower rate than we would have planned. However, it has meant that we have had time to look around, choose our workmen carefully, and think things through before launching into a major project. So in hindsight we are actually happy we will not be starting until the autumn. (It also might give the exchange rate time to improve…please!!).

Boudie’s had a great year too, or so she says! She loves barking at passing tractors and the post lady. She enjoys digging holes where she is not supposed to. She enjoys chasing things in the woods. She loves markets and cafe culture… Above all, she loves the space to run around. 

So all in all it has been a great 12 months for all 3 of us. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and we look forward to the coming year with excitement.


Responses

  1. j’espère que la France vous plait et que Saint Rémy a su conquérir votre cœur.
    Vous avez en tous les cas celui des gens des caves
    bon anniversaire


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