A favourite quote and a way by which to approach life.

Today is the tomorrow that you worried about yesterday.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

The first few days

The cottage in France was about a mile out of the village of Le Laroux, which itself is 6 to 8 miles west of Fougeres. We never actually worked out exactly how far Le Laroux was from Fougeres, because going in one direction the sat nav said it was 6 miles and going the other the sat nav said it was 8 miles. Weird. Anyway, the cottage is lovely - converted from a large barn, with 3 bedrooms (1 double and 2 twin), 2 shower/bathrooms, a large living area, a long and substantial kitchen, and a lovely patio area directly outside the kitchen door. Next to the patio is a fence that seperates the patio from the garden, which has another old barn in it, under which M and N (bro and S-i-L) had put a large paddling pool for the boys, and has hooks for swings. Then behind the barn is a large hay field that also belongs to N's parents (they own the cottage), which is looked after by one of the local farmers and in return is given the hay the field produces for his animals. N's parents could do loads with the field and the space they have there, but it's so lovely having the field there that I'm pleased that so far they've opted to keep it as it is.
For the first couple of days of my stay M, N and their boys were also there (there's a second cottage in the same building, that's connected to the first by an adjoining, lockable door. N's parents don't let out this other cottage, but keep it solely for family use.), and it was so lovely to see Oliver and Daniel again. I hadn't seen them since their christenings at the end of March, and even in that relatively short time they've both changed a lot. They're both so adorable :o) As M, N and the children were leaving on the Monday after I arrived (on the Saturday), Mum, J (step-dad) and I spent a lot of Sunday looking after Oliver and Daniel so that M and N could pack. I didn't mind that, although it was a bit of a shock to the system to be looking after two very active young children almost as soon as I arrived. In the afternoon Ollie was really tired, but too afraid of missing any of the action to have his usual nap, so we tried to encourage him to have a lie down outside with us on his blow up bed.

As you see, Oliver wasn't having any of it and promptly put his shoes back on. Quite remarkably for a 2 1/2 year old, he put them on the right feet (which was a consistent thing, not just a one off), and then deftly threaded the velcro strips through the eyelets.


So then he decided that some gardening was necessary, particularly watering the lawn. He ran backwards and forwards to the paddling pool to fill his tiny, yellow watering can and spent quite some time diligently watering the lawn. Not very suprisingly he got bored before he'd done the whole garden, but the activity kept him busy for quite some time ...
... until it was time to play on his ride-on Thomas the Tank Engine ...









... which Daniel found very interesting ...










... and then enjoyed having a go on with big brother, who didn't mind sharing at all.







Later that day, when M and N had done a lot of packing and Oliver understood that he was leaving the cottage the next day, he ran up to me while I sat on a rug on the patio with Daniel. Ollie threw himself onto me, gave me a huge cuddle and said, 'Aunty Becky, I will miss you.' My heart melted, I gave him a big cuddle back and told him that I would miss him too, but that I would come and see him at his home before too long (I'm hoping to get down to London to see them sometime in July or August).

The next day they all left and Mum, J and I were plunged into sudden silence, whereupon we did very little except gather ourselves, got used to the calm, relaxed, read, chatted and enjoyed the sunshine. Idyllic.

Mum and J have came to the cottage last year as well so Fougeres wasn't new to them, but they took me there for a fairly brief initial look around. Part of the town is relatively new, but this is only in relation to the chateau, which originally dates back to 1000 AD. On this occasion we didn't go inside the chateau (J and I did that later in the week), but we walked around the outside of it ...

... went into a church across the road from the chateau ...
... and then wandered slowly through the town gardens ...
The rest of the next couple of days were spent very lazily enjoying the sun, the countryside, and the fresh, clean air. And on that note I leave you for now with a sunset view from the room that was my bedroom.

5 comments:

living_with_ba said...

Looks like you had fun...

B said...

looks amazing becky. i'm jealous! :)

fizzycat said...

Beautiful place.

S said...

Sat nav can have trouble with distances over hilly routes. Maybe that was why it said 6 mile one way and 8 the other?

BeckyG said...

Joey, B and fizzycat, it was all those things - fun, amazing and beautiful :o)

S, you could be right about the sat nav thing ... except that the area we were in wasn't very hilly ;o)