French Country

My life in France is not what I expected.

Teletubbie bye-bye

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So Robert would be 78 today. Looking at this photo, which was taken in 2010, that seems about right. It's odd because I always saw him as he looked in photos when he was cavorting around Europe in his 20s.  As Jacques and I were wandering the country roads yesterday, I tried and just couldn't capture an image of the rolling hills around here, of how they remind me of Teletubbie Land. The hills are, well, you've seen Teletubbies, you know. Low, green, not a lot going on. They are lovely and soothing. Someday I'll get the shot right, so I can show everyone.  When my dad died, forget any sort of coping. We kids all sat in my brother's room in the garage, hiding out from the adults. Our friends got it. The adults did not. When Douglas died I would race home from work so I could turn on Teletubbies. They lived in the moment and never had big problems. I had to be kind of quiet about that, as my friends were adults, that being age-appropriate, and would never have understood. These days, I don't have to turn on the TV or search YouTube. I live in Teletubbie land. I can tune out my French comprehension, so it's all just sound. Bad things come but then they go. My life here could be seen as some sort of Teletubbie escape mechanism. Fine by me: for now, I'm sticking with it.

So Robert would be 78 today. Looking at this photo, which was taken in 2010, that seems about right. It’s odd because I always saw him as he looked in photos when he was cavorting around Europe in his 20s.
As Jacques and I were wandering the country roads yesterday, I tried and just couldn’t capture an image of the rolling hills around here, of how they remind me of Teletubbie Land. The hills are, well, you’ve seen Teletubbies, you know. Low, green, not a lot going on. They are lovely and soothing. Someday I’ll get the shot right, so I can show everyone.
When my dad died, forget any sort of coping. We kids all sat in my brother’s room in the garage, hiding out from the adults. Our friends got it. The adults did not. When Douglas died I would race home from work so I could turn on Teletubbies. They lived in the moment and never had big problems. I had to be kind of quiet about that, as my friends were adults, that being age-appropriate, and would never have understood.
These days, I don’t have to turn on the TV or search YouTube. I live in Teletubbie land. I can tune out my French comprehension, so it’s all just sound. Bad things come but then they go. My life here could be seen as some sort of Teletubbie escape mechanism. Fine by me: for now, I’m sticking with it.

More Before Stuff

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Neready-8

It's difficult for me to take and post photos of the house looking bad because I like it so well. I gravitate towards images that make it look more or less how I want it to look at the end. But here you can see how big the weeds have gotten; yes, Jacques is standing in that photo. You can also see how degraded the exterior surface of the house is. In time the contractor will power-wash the walls and put something called rendering, a sort of hard plaster finish, over the gray area.

It’s difficult for me to take and post photos of the house looking bad because I like it so well. I gravitate towards images that make it look more or less how I want it to look at the end. But here you can see how big the weeds have gotten; yes, Jacques is standing in that photo. You can also see how degraded the exterior surface of the house is. In time the contractor will power-wash the walls and put something called rendering, a sort of hard plaster finish, over the gray area. The upper photo shows rising damp in the entry hall. The house was protected from rising damp until the heat was turned off when the house was listed for sale, two or three years ago. Once the heated floors are installed, the foundation will dry out and this will no longer be an issue.

Day Trip to the Coast

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This is my new neighborhood. This corner of the Marais Poitevin is closer to the coast than am I, so it is flatter and wetter than around my house. Still, it gives you the idea. That sky is the same in both places and it will clear your head out in 90 seconds flat. So, lesson time. The Marais Poitevin is a marsh. Over time folks have created canals and these ditches, which allow the adjacent ground to drain. Some of the land is used for farming  or salt making or preserved as wildlife area. Some of it is developed; you would never know you are in an area designated as a park. All of it is windy, so we are looking at adding a wind turbine or two to the house.

This is my new neighborhood. This corner of the Marais Poitevin is closer to the coast than am I, so it is flatter and wetter than around my house. Still, it gives you the idea. That sky is the same in both places and it will clear your head out in 90 seconds flat.
So, lesson time. The Marais Poitevin is a marsh. Over time folks have created canals and these ditches, which allow the adjacent ground to drain. Some of the land is used for farming or salt making or preserved as wildlife area. Some of it is developed; you would never know you are in an area designated as a park. All of it is windy, so we are looking at adding a wind turbine or two to the house.