One of my main reasons for keeping this blog is that I know a lot of people who dream about chucking it all in and moving their lives to France. I meet them on Internet travel forums, and then in person when they travel through the Loire Valley. And I meet them because of this blog.
Did you read the article about abandoned blogs in the New York Times this weekend. The writer says that 95% of the 133 million blogs that have been started have not been updated in at least four months. That means that 125 million blogs have been abandoned and fewer than 8 million are still active. Eight million! It wouldn't do to have unrealistic expectations about what a blog will become. You either just do it because you want to, or you don't.
When I started blogging I gave myself wide latitude to write about any and all aspects of life in rural France, from the markets to the weather, cooking, wine, history, tourist attractions, and local people (without violating their privacy too flagrantly). As a result, I don't really have to search very hard to find topics. This is a blog about tout and rien. A lot of it is about photos, because I enjoy taking them.
One thing about living the life, or at least my life, in rural France is that I'm much more in tune with the weather and the seasons than I had been for many, many years. Maybe it's age. Or retirement. When you go to an office every day, be it an academic office (or classroom) or a company office, you spent most of your time inside, interacting with a computer or with other people. You ignore a lot of what is going on outside. Only when the weather somehow inconveniences you do you pay much attention.
Je parle de moi, bien sûr. Maybe you're different.
In my case, moving to France also meant going into retirement. If I had a job here, my life would be unfolding in a totally different way, of course. It's hard to tease out the aspects of this life that are specific to France and separate them from the ones that are specific to having quit the workaday world, left the city for the country, scaled life back, and tried to simplify things.
As so many retired people say, it's hard to figure out how you ever had time to work a full-time job and also keep your everyday existence on track, much less build lasting relationships with other people. Even after having chucked it all and gone into retirement, I'm busy all the time, just trying to keep life on track. Trying to enjoy it.
And life creates its own stresses. Isn't there just always something to worry about? The cost of milk or meat or bread. Or oil. The value of the dollar. A leaky roof. The dog running away. A bad cold or high blood pressure. Gaining weight. The car breaking down. Rain and wind ruining the garden. Dust and dog hair all over the house. Grass to be cut.
Here in Saint-Aignan, we've gone into another rainy period. It was a wet Saturday. And then it rained on and off, with some hard showers, yesterday afternoon. A little of this will be good. It means that we don't have to water the garden. It also means that it will be hard to get out there and do the weeding that needs to be done.
It's not enough rain to prevent us from walking the dog, because she expects it and she doesn't at all mind getting damp. So we still get out of the house and breathe fresh air.
It has already started raining again and they say showers will continue all day. The wind blew several of our tomato plants down yesterday afternoon. Walt just tied them back up. A minute ago, the bread lady delivered a fresh baguette for the day. We have lentil salad and a ripe cantaloupe for lunch. And a lot of housework to do. La vie continue.