30 Apr 2010

The Simple Life

Sincere apologies to my fan club, as I never imagined that my moving abroad would mean I cease all communication on my blog for over 4 months! Mind you, I had anticipated a couple of weeks of 'twilight zone' disruption maybe and then hoped that - come the New Year - I would come unstuck, settled in my new life as a continuation of the good bits from the old life. Maybe that's where I got it wrong: because despite taking elements from the old life, a new life is a new beginning and things are bound to go bump in the night, go amiss, go walkies, and bananas...

The Port of Nice, French Riviera

Just allow me to put you in the picture. Although it has been 4 months and I have been itching to write to you the minute I shut down my computer back in England, I am still virtually living out of a suitcase. All of my precious belongings are locked in storage, and I have been missing that very last frontier of man: my own space. My partner, our canine boy and I have been living at my parents (bless them) since that fateful day in December and tempers from all parties concerned have now been tested to their limits and stretched to the point of snapping.

Our move hasn't rhymed with smooth. We have encountered delays, breakdowns and meltdowns, and are still recovering from a particularly unforgiving winter (which involved an epic drive from the North West of England to the South East of France; where a snowboard would have been more appropriate than good old Romeo!).

Technology (or the limited/ lack of access to it) takes us way back to pre-Y2K. Our internet access is relayed via cybercafés (and I have only managed one monthly visit so far!), involving an hour's drive down a coastal (albeit scenic) road, exposed to the elements and the unpredictabilities from the sea, negotiating bends and precipices and generally jeopardising one's life with every turn. My own computer is locked up in storage like a naughty schoolboy, and I miss it like crazy sometimes (and its multiple functionalities that kept my life simple, clean and connected). Hence for now, while I cannot access it, I will have to keep the format of this blog (including photography and add-ons) bare. Moreover passwords, keycodes, account logins and pin numbers seem to have been erased from my brain's hard drive the moment I set foot on the island and it's taken me ages to recover most of them.

In other news, I've climbed the Annapurna heights of bureaucracy (from both sides of the Channel, may I specify). I have juggled with my finances like a circus act, and felt a right clown at times! I've checked my rights from my wrongs, dotted my 'i's and crossed my 't's, found my feet as I lost my head, explored windows of opportunities and looked for common ground with the local folks. I've given up looking my best, an impossible feat when you live in the countryside in a hands-on sort of way. You end up covered in scratches, nicks, muck, dirt or insect bites. Nobody important will see me (and you guys can't see me!), so frankly, who cares?

I've waxed lyrical about the benefits of orderly queues, timeliness, civilities, good service and careful driving. I've despaired at the taste of bad coffee like this is all a bad hangover, I'll wake up tomorrow and everything will be back to its normality: the soothing Mancunian rain tapping down my patio door, while my little dog is curled up at my feet on our cream sofa, as I am about to embark on an evening of light TV entertainment after a day's work at the office, and rip open a pack of my favourite M&S treats... Just me, myself and the dog, in that elusive instant captured in the comfort zone: not a care in the world...

And this was all given up in the name of the simple life...