Thursday, 28 April 2011


Just a short one this....

Originally I was going to spend my first 3 weeks away in Normandy then set off south for Spain.  A good friend has popped over to keep my company for a few days and (I write this 19.27hrs, April 28th) I am at Cean Ferry Terminal with him as we wait for his departure back to blighty.  I will return to the Gite tonight and pack up a week early tomorrow.

Why?  I have been here 3 times in the last 9 months and the third week was to give me an oportunity to have my girlfriend (who has ditched me this week) over or travel to Spain to see her etc.  Alas, as I have said that is no more and i have itchy feet.

So, in the early hours of Saturday morning I will leave France.  I have set the satnav to Florance in Italy.  870 miles over the Alps.  More later.

Normandy 20th - 28th April

You know it’s funny how I only have the need or desire to write when I am on the cusp of being pissed.  I’ve been in Normandy now for 5 days (I think).  The weather has been magnificent.  I write to you sitting in the garden of the gite looking across lush green fields with yellow sunshine pouring all over of them.  It is warm – closer to 30 degrees than 25 I think – and it is April the 23rd 2011.
I like it here.  There is no noise.  At which point a sheep in the next field emits a loud “bleet” and I therefore must correct myself.  There is noise but very little of it is manmade.  Birds, insects and of course, sheep.  I’m not over looked.  So much so in the last several days I have been “nudey” sunbathing.  Anyone else contemplating this should be reminded that the average British genitals have not ever been exposed to the sun.  Think about this and compensate your exposure time judiciously.
On the first day in France I stopped off at the supermarket at Agentan and grabbed a quick £40 worth of supplies - Cavados, wine and some cheese, pate etc – usual.  Got to the Gite and, it was funny, it began to sink in that I was doing something big (2-3 months away - not just away but in foreign countries where I have not a “scoobies” regarding the language or culture) and I had started but there was no euphoria.  It was a feeling of something had ended and something new was about to start and i didn’t know what to do with this thought so I drank.  I went to bed at midnight and slept til 9am on the sofa.  It’s an old habit unfortunately acquired when I was married.  I got up, showered and set off for familiar ground namely a bar in Falaise where I know I could sit there for a couple of hours, read a book, have a couple of coffees and a beer and be left alone to watch the world go by.  I got there about noon and left about 2pm.  I have done that every day since and it’s great.  My social life here exists for 2 hrs per day reading a book drinking coffee.  Those who know me will be aghast!  Sorry boys but I like it!
After my “social life” the recognition I get back with my beloved baguettes about 4-5 pm.  I eat and do my second work out of the day.  That’s it and I have moved from the first night “now what?” to today’s “so what?”.   A major step forward I think.
I am writing this to you at 16.47hrs with the sun on my back.  I’ve lost weight and i’m working hard on my body.  I’m drinking a bottle of wine every other day.  With a couple of bottle of cidre bouche yesterday.  Oh and half a bottle of very nice 8 year old calvados.  That’s it.
Regarding the state of mind thing – ending and starting something new?  It’s bollocks isn’t?  Regardless of where you are and what you are doing one thing never changes and that is you - or me in this case.  I still have the same questions to answer at some point.  What to do next professionally, where do I want to live etc etc etc.  But fuck me I have power to make all those choices without constraint.  I have no employer and don’t need to work.  Whatever happens when I return to the UK is my choice.  And I’m writing this with this knowledge in the most beautiful part of France with a glass of red with the sun on my back.  I really appreciate what I have.  As much as I deeply miss what I have lost.