(the misadventures of an expatriate corporate dropout)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

pretty tired!

well, this semi-job stuff is really cutting in to my days! I'm just about worn out ... (smile)

I know I know, happens to the best of us ... but I'm juggling quite a bit these days trying to keep up with the garden ... including harvesting and preserving the fruits and veg ... keeping the yard cut ... trying to clean house every now and then ... searching every Wednesday for old furniture to renovate, renovating said furniture for the shop (finished three pieces thus far plus one for Étienne's bedroom) ... and various other sundry items.

in the face of a heat wave no less.

yesterday something kind of cool occurred. I was in the shop and a little lady with a younger woman entered. She was excited to tell me in her rapid french that she knew the property ... in fact, as I began to comprehend I realized she was the daughter of Monsieur Briant, the former owner. Her eyes were welled up looking around at the renovated forge where her father used to work. She was so pleased to see so many original touches remaining! Jean-Yves reminded me, "the photo, Kim...the photo". Ah yes, we had recovered only one personal item in the house and that was a very tiny photo of a man holding the hand of a young girl, standing in the garden. I ran to the house to retrieve it.

It was her uncle, the brother of Monsieur Briant. She asked to see the garden and I also showed her the new kitchen with the 2 new windows. She gave me her address in la Rochelle.

They also bought some things. In fact, they got a few extras that I forgot to charge them for ... oops! JY and I had quite the lunch yesterday with aperos and a bottle of wine ... so I was a bit perky, to put it nicely! lol.

well that was fun. I'll have to see about scanning that photo and sharing it.

Blogging is getting tighter and tighter, now that I'm supposed to be doing 3 of them! two shops and mine ... le sigh.

but I keep hope alive!


La Framéricaine said...


I do so love this story of disparate universes of experience being bridged by a few kind words and, of all my favorite things, a photograph!!! I am sure that you have preserved, in a very special way, the memory and validity of your visitor's past. I do hope that you will make a pilgrimage to visit her in La Rochelle. As we know, French people don't just go around handing out their address to every Tom, Dick, and Harriet!

One of my favorite books about France is called "Celestine." It was inspired by the finding of a small cache of letters by a British historian who was house-shopping in Le Berry near George Sand's home in Nohant. She found a home in La Châtre and produced a book that put a tiny slice of French life into high relief. Your story reminded me of hers!

amy said...

Oh, I've been meaning to look for the book La Framericaine mentions and had forgotten the name - sounds like a lovely story. How pleased the lady must be, thinking of her old place getting a new life.

We missed you in Chalus - I thought of you and your last post as we started a song with the line "She smokes, so what? "

Randal Graves said...

That's what you get for trying to have a life.

Kathleen said...

read through your blogs tonight... i got busy all of a sudden (that's a good thing) and haven't been in touch too much. but, you naughty girl you.. taunting that much too staunch Englishman... actually it reminded me of something a cheeky American would say, we all seem to spring from the same kind of puritanical baloney...