Saturday, 9 October 2010

The Realities of Life in France whilst undertaking a House Renovation Project

I am writing this in reply to comments from Susan at Days on the Claise. 

In the 5 to 7 years that we have lived here, moreover and in particular within the last 6 months of being an owner of a "Maison Principale" I have thought that the Reality in France is different from the Reality in England.  Of course, I expected La Vie to be different and wanted it to be the adventure it has been, because unbeknowingly,  apart from holiday experiences, that is why we chose to live here. We wanted life to be different and it has been that, most certainly it has!

In actual fact, the  Reality of living life anywhere in the world is that life is not much different from how one lives LIVING in any country, city, town or village except that the environment and people are different.  Therefore of course experiences, actions and reactions with people, places and things to do are not the same.   One brings ones person, packages and baggages.   Suitcases are put down and unzipped.  Out fly the good and the not so good, the objects of memories, as we all try to make sense of  living life on earth.  Despite the past and present, and because of the past and present I am so glad to be alive for whatever the future may provide.  Forget these wandering thoughts of SweetpeainFrance and her attempted philosophy... let's get back to basics!

Yes, I  discovered on Day One of owning my very own little bit of french land and property that we had unwisely decided to think we could renovate almost overnight.  
What madness overtook us with the rose-tinted spectacles that obviously were worn when I had learned not to wear them?   
What ridiculous notion sprang into our heads when we have much experience between us of previous period renovations in England? 
Nothing, yes, not anything, not even experience, prepares one for the timescale of travelling for DIY shopping, the actual time spent in the lovely DIY shops, plus the logistics of getting the materials from a to b.  Never mind how much time has been taken at home deciding on what to buy and making the lists, as well as not to mention the time spent in returning items, nothing, yes, not anything prepares one for French Property Development.  Nothing primes one for the sudden,  (Was it so sudden? or Have I been living under a stone?) increase in the cost of employing an artisan! 
Nothing, yes, not anything, prepares one for the unforeseen and unexpected changes in all sorts of manner of moments which will remain unexplained.

There we have it...
My eyes feasted upon a dream, the mind thought of the future, the hands waved in the air, the voice spoke, the wallet was assessed, we decided it was manageable! 

My new resolution since the beginning of January 2010 has been to attempt to be more positive. Increasing Negativity has been a feature of my life for several years and in order to combat the increased anxiety levels which were making me ill,  I decided that enough was enough and that I wouldn't worry anymore about making decisions that were difficult to make and that I would just try to let whatever I needed for my own growth and my own personal development to come to me.   If I made a mistake in how I looked or thought or spoke or behaved then I would have to pay the price and deal with myself more rationally!
The house came to me unexpectedly when I had given up the search!
Whether it WAS or IS what I have been searching for will one day be revealed! 
It sort of is and sort of isn't!   It's a house!   It can be made into a home. 
I'll put on red shoes, click them thrice and magically it will all be done!  hahahahaha!
Yes, there are some days when I think "Oh, I don't need to look in the next field like Billy Goat Gruff!"

Seriously for me though,  I really do EXPECT that problems and challenges will be resolved as each day passes.   In fact, I am glad that certain decisions were not made earlier.  I have had time to reflect and review what it is I really want.  I am not worrying!   As long as the roof will be good (I know that will be dealt with next year whatever the cost) and the house will be dry.... and it will have at least basic washing and heating facilities then that is all that matters.  As long as I have my very best of friends and family to help me live my life and to share something of their lives, then I am happy and hopefully contentment will arrive and I will be able to move onto all the other things I would like to achieve in my lifetime.  Think of a life without restoration of houses and homes!

Five years ago the shops were reluctant to exchange or re-imburse purchased goods.  At least now commerce in France recognises that the client has some rights... and of course it makes sense, for the happier the client the more the client will feel 'bonhomie' and return as a good customer should.

It's a pity and yet probably a mercy that we can't return the damaged personal goods of our personal lives!!!!
It's also a pity that the successes and magical moments cannot be repeated.
I try not to waste my hours  ... but sometimes I can't do anymore, I can't do better ... the brain and the body seem to just go on strike!  I don't push myself like I used to!
The saying is that we should:
Live life each day as if it were the last!
I am trying so hard to do this... It is my aim!

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