Adjusting to Living in Two Houses

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Well, so far, I’m not doing so well! Relationnel came back to Paris on Sunday night by car and I followed by bus and train on Monday afternoon because I had to wait for the EDF man to increase the wattage. When I caught the metro in Paris, I suddenly realised that I had left the keys to my Paris apartment in Blois. Fortunately the train was late so Relationnel was home by the time I got there. I’ve now borrowed the keys from my cleaning lady.

When I took my shower in Paris, I had trouble getting used to the taps and the shower rose being at the wrong end! Then when I woke up during the night, it took me a while to work out where I was. That has never ever happened to me before. I am always totally aware of my environment the minute I wake up. I walked into the bookcase, then the divider before I finally realised I was going in the wrong direction.

Next morning, I was about to set up my computer (I had taken my CPU to Blois to transfer everything to my laptop but never found the time) when I discovered I had left the multi-socket thing in Blois as well. Sigh. Relationnel brought home another one at lunchtime but in the meantime, I had a rather frustrating morning trying to work with the laptop which doesn’t have all the files and programs I need.

I had no problem adapting back to my Paris kitchen though. It’s so much more practical! I don’t have to kneel down to take things out of the oven for a start. I pull out a drawer to get to the saucepans instead of bending down to find them in a low cupboard. I have plenty of bench space and a high stool to sit on when my feet are tired. The sink is made for people over 1 m 70 and there’s lots of food in the pantry (though nothing in the fridge …).

However, when I walked into my office, I was greeted by two flowering orchids (birthday presents from Leonardo in the past) and some African violets that had bloomed in my absence but I had missed the tulips on the balcony altogether! I hope that the wisteria will still be in bloom in Blois when we go back at the end of the month. I adore wisteria and the Loire is just full of it at the moment.

We have always made the choice not to have a country house or a beach hut so that we are free to go where we want on holidays because we love discovering new places. As a result, I don’t think I have ever spent more than one week at a time in any place other than my home of the moment, except maybe two weeks in a house near Albi about 10 years ago! So I don’t usually have any trouble remembering where I am.  When I spent the day alone in Blois on Monday, I really felt at home which I guess is what made the transition to Paris more difficult.

All the downstairs rooms are now furnished and decorated even if there are still a few details missing. You can see the photos on the website for the gîte under Accommodation: www.closeriefalaiseau.com.

This time, to make the transition a little easier, I dug out one of the two sweat shirts I wore most days in Blois. I immediately felt better. Maybe there is something to Linus’ security blanket after all!

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19 Responses to Adjusting to Living in Two Houses

  1. Jill says:

    Interesting…I would have thought the stumbling around in the dark would have happened at the new country house! I guess after all the hard work in Blois by the time you got back to Paris you were perhaps totally ‘epuisee’! As in….didnt know if you were Arthur or Martha 🙂 (is that an aussie saying????) Jill

    • Fraussie says:

      Strange, isn’t it? The “épuisement” was probably there too! I’m searching for an equivalent expression in French, but can’t find one.

  2. Bonny says:

    Speaking of stumbling, I have just stumbled on your blog, old thing. Remembering that the 21st is a day of significance for you, and being of maturing years myself, my thoughts after all these years, turned to wondering how you were and what you were doing. It being a lazy Friday night here, and also moi being at a loose end, (not feeling like watching the Anzac test), on a whim, I googled the required name. I was excited to find your page and blog and have been utterly engrossed reading about your adventures. I have just now been amused reading the washing machine post from earlier in the year, which reminded me that I had clothes in my top load wish wash which I had duly set on drip dry. Honest!!!! I have just hung same garments under the house. Some things never change for some of us in Ayr, NQ!! So I just had to reply. Hope you have a great day on Saturday and receive a bunch of Roses from somewhere.

  3. Fraussie says:

    So great to catch up with you! Brings back the years! I’m still in contact with Maureen, Eunice and Bernadette.

  4. Alex says:

    Wisteria is one of my favourites too. Just lovely.
    I enjoy reading your blog so much. I’m relocating at the end of this year from Cairns Australia to Rouen France to be with my partner.
    When reading your writing, and following your experiences I get a strong sense that I’m at the very beginning of a big change and huge learning experience.

    I wish you a happy day Fraussie 😉

    Alex

    • Rosemary Kneipp says:

      Thanks Alex. Relocating from Cairns to Rouen will certainly be an exciting change! Is your partner French?

      • Alex says:

        He is! He’s originally from Paris and now lives and works in Rouen.
        I spent almost three months there at the beginning of this year. Freezing cold but just beautiful! I can’t wait to see France in the sunshine.

        • Rosemary Kneipp says:

          Then you know Rouen at its worst! Lovely town. We spent many Christmases in the area and always did our Christmas shopping in Rouen. Definitely better in the sunshine though.

          • Alex says:

            My flight is booked for the beginning of November so I’m in for a Wintery Rouen Christmas myself!

            Lovely talking with you Rosemary.
            I will keep in touch 🙂

          • Rosemary Kneipp says:

            Beginning of September is not far off. You must be excited! Hope to meet you some time.

  5. Alex says:

    Yes the count down is on. Two weeks! I couldn’t be more excited!
    It’s all happening at once it seems – as my solo exhibition opened last Saturday (I am a painter here) and now that that is all sorted, it’s a mad dash to organise the apartment and pack my life into a suitcase! I really feel like I’m gearing up for an adventure.
    It will be so nice to be reunited with Guillaume. Also only a few days after arriving, I’ll begin french lessons with Alliance Francaise in Rouen.
    I’ve been studying French on and off since High School but it has never been intensive enough to really develop or stick. I think this will be my time, as you can’t be lazy when learning becomes a necessity!
    I will let you know how I go 🙂
    Talk to you again Rosemary.

    • Rosemary Kneipp says:

      Hi Alex, good luck with packing your life into a suitcase! I added a trunk when I left … It’s a good move to begin French lessons shortly after you arrive. It will give you something to take you out of the house immediately (as well as being useful!). Do you already have friends through Guillaume?
      I look forward to hearing how it all goes.
      And best of luck with your solo exhibition.

      • Alex says:

        Hello Rosemary,
        Today is the day. I’ve spent the last three days driving down to my sisters house in Brisbane, and tonight at midnight I’ll be saying my goodbyes at the airport. I’m excited, but I’m more nervous than I imagined I would be!
        Yes I agree that beginning language lessons right away is a good plan, for all of the reasons that you mentioned. I did have a good mutual friend in Rouen through Guillaume, but she has recently moved away! I’m hoping to meet some nice people through the French class though. I sure I will, and if not, I will have plenty of new things to figure out and keep me busy!
        I can imagine it would be easy to feel lonely and disconnected without a good grasp of the language so it’s going to be my main objective, and I’m prepared to work hard on that.
        My second objective is to work toward having a small exhibition of my work somewhere in France, so I’m happy that I wont be lost for direction.
        I will let you know how I go with that! It will be interesting to see how my work is received here!

        Ok!… It’s time to check my tickets, passports, and luggage for the 23rd time 😉

        I’ll be in touch.
        Enjoy your day Rosemary

        • Rosemary Kneipp says:

          Hello Alex,
          By now you should be in France! Welcome!
          I’m sure everything will go well.
          Stay in touch and maybe we’ll meet up soon (I’m sure you will be able to do day trips from Rouen to Paris).
          Rosemary

          • Alex says:

            Hello Rosemary!
            Yes, I’m well and truly in France. 🙂
            It has been a turbulent time! Changing countries has been so interesting and so challenging! I like to joke that, for me, doing every little task here is either an adventure, or a real pain in the bum, depending on how you look at it! haha. There are so many differences here that I couldn’t comprehend before leaving Australia. The language, the weather, sure… but it’s the little things that I’m discovering, some I can’t yet put my finger on, or get my head around. Like the french sense of humor! 😉 I can see now why you write your blog!
            I am now in my 9th week of french lessons, and although I’m not at the point that I can hold a conversation, I am beginning to vaguely follow conversations, and I can get by at the shops, and post office etc.
            Rouen really is a lovely little city and I’m enjoying my time here with Guillaume so much.
            I have even commandeered my neighbour’s spare room to use as my painting studio. Luckily for me too, that my neighbour a very lovely, speaks fluent English, and has a taste for drinking tea! 😉 Perfect for when my brain needs a break from desperately trying to understand French all day long.

            Yes one day it would be lovely to meet you. I’m sure it would be fun to exchange and although the metro still scares the boots off me, I love to visit Paris.

            I hope that your Christmas was lovely, and that your new year has started off on the right foot.

            Talk to you again!

            Alex

            Ps- I love the article – “How to Look French”, I have often wondered if I blend in, but I don’t think so!

          • Rosemary Kneipp says:

            Hi Alex and welcome to the world of France, French and the French! I’m glad to hear you’re doing well and that your level of the language is gradually improving. It’s wonderful you have a painting studio too. So kind of your neighbour.
            The metro isn’t nearly as scary as you would imagine and the train trip from Rouen is very short. Maybe in spring you’ll feel more up to coming. Also, since the train arrives at Gare Saint Lazare, you wouldn’t even have to take the metro because you could walk to lots of interesting places (and even to the Palais Royal!)

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