New readers (and at this point you all are) start here.
Still lured by the twin devils of the ego and the aesthetic (see ‘Why this blog?’) I remain hell-bent on sharing – or making available, at any rate – my ruminations on such matters as happen to grab my fancy. However, as a first step it might be helpful, particularly for this category of ‘Le Quotiden’, to give a short description of what, in a previous life, I would have described as ‘the operating environment’.
Firstly and most importantly I must introduce the lady who, to my great good fortune, has elected to spend the last thirty eight years married to me. This paragon of beauty and virtue shall hereinafter be referred to as Sugar Magnolia, simply because “she’s got everything delightful, she’s got everything I need”.
Sugar Magnolia and your author have, as the strapline of this blog indicates, recently retired and moved to rural France. As such, it should be immediately obvious that we are Brits, although we lived in Abu Dhabi for the last ten years. For us, the past really is another country and being British is an accident of birth.
Now, though, we live in a small hameau, which shall remain unnamed but for administrative purposes is in the commune of Mezieres-sur-Issoire, in the Haute Vienne Departement of the Limousin region of France. Or, to put it more succinctly, the middle of nowhere.
A recent census – scientifically conducted by means of a two minute stroll from one end to the other – revealed that this rural idyll contains seventeen houses, no less than four (count ’em) street lamps and its very own postbox. In fact, we have all mod cons, including a weekly refuse collection and, most recently and most thankfully, mains sewage. On the downside, it’s three miles to the nearest shop.
The one word that all our new neighbours use to describe our location is ‘tranquille’. They are absolutely right. There is a through road but very little passing traffic. What you hear most is silence, occasionally broken by a plaintive sheep or a couple of birds squabbling over the breadcrumbs.
Our own house (aka Brokedown Palace) has been a major seven-year renovation project that has turned two crumbling pre-Napoleonic cottages into a proper home. I suppose I could sit down and tot up how much it has all cost, but I’ve no particular desire to do so. You can’t put a price on tranquille.