I cannot believe how quickly July has gone! Tomorrow is August, the holiday month, especially out here in France where the whole place just seems to shut down. This weekend is meant to be the busiest on the roads. The transition from July into August. Paris becomes empty of Parisians and, instead, fill up their countries other smaller towns fit to bursting.
Here, in Brittany, it is quite nice in some ways to see so many people, but always a pain when the car park is full. I asked some Parisian friends of ours why they never go abroad for their holidays but, instead, choose to holiday in their own country.’ Why go anywhere else when there is so much to see here?’ was basically the answer and in some ways you have to agree with them.
We have just got back from England. We went to Dorset in search of a new place to live. The ‘next chapter’. Having been away from the UK for over 7 years l was pleasantly surprised to find a corner of ‘our green and pleasant land’ relatively undisturbed, in fact, it was thriving. A new phenomenon ‘Farmers Markets’ were everywhere, ‘eat local produce’ was the big thing being promoted, and there was an overwhelming feeling of pride in the small towns we visited. Pride in their local individual shops selling locally produced meat, fish, beer, vegetables, dairy products and bread, mostly organic too. Pride in their music and arts, their local fetes and festivals. As l looked around me it was refreshing to see so many people supporting their independent shops and keeping the supermarkets at bay.
Interesting too to see so many people on holiday in England. I am sure l would have been met with the same answer from the Parisian if l had asked someone in Dorset why they had not gone abroad for their holidays. Rose-tinted spectacles off, l am fully aware of the economic situation too but that is what makes my ‘discoveries’ so much more interesting. Despite all the cut-backs, job losses, etc, England’s small towns are fighting back. And l didn’t want to leave!
We stayed in an old Railway Carriage in Eype that had been converted into a beautiful place to live, complete with kitchen area, living/dining room, a double bedroom, dressing area and bathroom. We loved it and as it was my birthday and our 25th wedding anniversary too, it made it a special place to be.
Back to reality, and here in France l have been scouring the internet for work in Dorset. There are a number of options open to us just as there were when we came to France, after all, if we could build up a small gardening business here, l am sure we could do the same back in England. I would turn my hand to most things so l am quite hopeful something will come along.
The garden was like a jungle by the time we got back but just in time to start picking the first of the runner beans, one of my favourite vegetables. Finely sliced and boiled there is nothing better on a plate along with a knob of butter gently melting among them. I will miss my vegetable plot as our cottage we have rented in Dorset only has a small courtyard. Still, as it is a winter let it will be nice to have a break from looking after such a big garden for a while and to concentrate my efforts on making a living as well as exploring the beautiful countryside and Farmers Markets!
So, where does this leave me with this blog? Very soon l won’t have a garden to compare with the writings of Mr Middleton every week which, in a way, spoils the whole concept of this blog. I am thinking of still writing up his weekly gardening advice and just adding my own thoughts and other practical tips from other books instead? What do you think?
It’s another lovely day out there so l had better tackle that jungle. I don’t want to leave our new owner a mess to deal with when he takes over in September. After all, us Brits do have a gardening reputation to keep to!