We have had our house closed up since we took possession at the end of August, and are abut to head over for the first time, to get it set up for renting. Now is when things get real fast. It turns out that when buying a house in France, buying the house is actually the easy part. When it comes to furnishing the place, I am reminded just how much work is involved in turning a house into a home.
One of the first things most people ask us when we tell them our plans is: Where are you going in France? When we tell them we are going to a small town called Quillan, about 40km due south of Carcassonne, the next question is Why?
So why Quillan? And why back to Quillan? On the one hand it’s a thoroughly researched choice. On the other hand, there’s something entirely random. And then, there’s the chance that fate has a hand…
Two-and-a-bit years after our last Grand Adventure, our family is heading back to France. This time it’s largely a known quantity. Same town – Quillan in the French Pyrenees. Same school. Almost the same house – just a stone’s throw away.
But this time is different.
With three weeks to go we are on the final countdown to our departure for Quillan and the list of things to do is finally getting shorter.
I recently read Atul Gawande’s Checklist Manifesto and am a great fan of lists. But, between the lists at work and the lists at home; the lists for me and the list for him, they’re starting to drive me crazy.
Until this weekend, I was suffering from that warp phenomenon where the lists get longer as the time gets shorter. I seem to have turned a corner in the past few days and have been able to strike off more tasks than I’ve added. Yesterday I even managed to add a task just for the satisfaction of striking it off.
Now if I can just get my work list to start shrinking I’ll be sorted…
In early 2014, we took our family to live in France for three months. It was great, but if we hadn’t been absolutely determined, it wouldn’t have happened. Aside from sheer inertia in the face of the relentless reality of daily family life, probably the greatest barrier to going was the cost. Continue reading
Booking our accommodation was one of the earliest steps in our preparations. In fact the availability of suitable accommodation was one of the reasons we committed to Quillan rather than another of the towns on our shortlist. Continue reading
Today we went to the Mairie to register the boys to attend the local primary school. I’m pleased to report it was even easier than anticipated. Continue reading
Practice does not make perfect when it comes to flying. No matter how many times you fly between NZ and Europe – and we’ve been fortunate to do that route many times – it does not get any easier. Continue reading
“Wow. You’re brave travelling with a baby!” Or words to that effect. I used to ‘breezily dismiss’ this immediate response to our plans to live in France with a baby in tow. Until this week.
Last night I confronted my fears and phoned the principal of the primary where we would like the boys to attend school in Quillan. Continue reading