A sight for sore arms

Things to do this week: get our first covid jabs, enjoy Heather’s birthday whilst preparing for our covid jabs and admiring the supermoon, enjoy a birthday meal out with friends post covid jabs, add the twenty-five recent purchases to our Etsy page (see below), sell some Etsy items, post some Etsy items, arrange some gite insurance, get the shorts and t-shirts back out of the drawer. Finish painting Carole and Frank’s outside wall, about twenty hours of dog-walking, continue the search for an available doctor, post our tax returns, sort out a guttering issue and forget about the rapidly growing weeds in our garden for another week.

After a period of a few months being envious of the UK’s vaccination numbers, it appears that the French (EU) system is now kicking into gear, with jabs almost readily available. Our first will be this Wednesday making for a lovely birthday treat for Heather. A previously arranged birthday meal had to be hastily rearranged as it was Wednesday or who knows when for the jab. No biggie, but any big day drinkies will have to be delayed until our return home. As our covid jabs were arranged with a pharmacy in Saint-Brice-sur-Vienne, about 15km from Rochechouart in a series of phone calls spoken only in French, we’re hoping we have the details correct and haven’t arranged a cut and blow-dry at a coiffure in Oradour-sur-Glane.

Wednesday will be a day to remember, a birthday not to be forgotten. Two tiny jabs for us, two giant leaps towards more freedom including a return back to the UK later in the summer to hug our families for a very silly amount of time. Friday is birthday meal out day at Le Soleil Couchant, a lakeside diner at the Charente leisure lakes, one of our favourite local walking spots. We’ve waited six months to enjoy our first meal at a restaurant, though our regular home dinner dates with friends have been a more than enjoyable alternative. Heather’s homemade desserts are going down a treat, and her constant supply of shortbread is invaluable to the house-builders next door. I’d love to say I’m able to participate to the supply of delicious home cooking, but I can’t. The cook book that Heather’s daughter and son-in-law very kindly got me for my birthday is somewhere… if I find it I’ll crack on with those mouth-watering recipes.

Last weekend we were beyond excited to receive what we thought was our first booking for our gite. Having answered a couple of pre-booking questions from a lovely French woman in the U.S.A who was going to meet up with her French sister for the first time in two years, we were confident we’d soon receive a booking confirmation email. Instead we received an email telling us that whilst she was asleep in the States, her sister in France had booked somewhere else. Our deflated moods were instantly puffed up when we received an actual, definite, confirmed booking from a couple in Ireland. The first of many, we very much hope.

May in France has in many ways been like May in Scotland, except about five degrees warmer. Those many ways have mostly come in the form of raindrops. I don’t think a cloud has appeared without it leaking. But, apparently summer starts tomorrow and with shops, outside bars and terraces re-opening and travel restrictions easing, Rochechouart will begin to bloom, to come alive and offer (almost) everything it has to its residents and visitors. It’s been a long wait but it feels like, at long last, that we might just be getting back to life as we knew it, to life as we love it.

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