Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Not a daily routine

My home and away lifestyle is in fact two lifestyles. I spend most of my time here in France, and a significant minority in the UK. They are worlds apart in terms of anything resembling a daily routine.

Here I get up around 6.30 or 7.00, shower and get the fire going. I'll set out breakfast for the gals while my partner in crime gets li'l lamb out of bed. We usually have good time for a chatty breakfast before the gals head off, one to the school bus and the other into the woods for a walk. I wash the dishes, chop some wood for the day and head up here to the office and start work about 8.30. We're taking it in turns to massage each other mid-morning since last week. (We both have knotted backs and shoulders.) So yesterday my turn, this morning her turn. Followed by a cup of tea and some more work.

Lunch sometime between 12 and 2.30, but not (usually) the whole 2.5 hrs. French TV lunchtime news usually has a lot of bits about rural parts of France, cultural and environmental as well as the main news, and that's great. Even in the winter, a quick coffee outside sets us up for some more time at the desk.

If it's quiet and sunny I might get out into the garden for an hour, and then finish off the afternoon here until li'l lamb gets back from school, or it's time to pick her up from after-school gym or judo or whatever. It's great to be able to be there when she gets in and pick up her experience of the day, spend some homework time together and then maybe a quick bike ride round the village or a game. Perhaps some more wood for the evening.

Back to the office for another hour before reading a bed-time story, and then dinner for two in front of the log fire. The evenings are variously reading, games, a film on TV sometimes, or we have a chatty dinner that goes on til bedtime. (This is especially the case in the summer season, when my partner in crime's been out earning a crust.)

It's a very balanced week too, I don't work much on Wednesdays, since there's no school, and so I spend time on English curriculum workbooks and following the questions with my lamb out into the garden, onto the web or wherever. One of her friends comes round every Wednesday afternoon for some English conversation with us too, and that's fun. Tomorrow we're making crepes, but only if the pupil can remember all the tools and ingredients we've been learning!

There's school on Saturday mornings, so I can get some more office time then if I need it. If not, it tends to be domestic time, cleaning, laundry that sort of thing.

The weekend is almost always spent with nearby friends or neighbours. We're chatting over the idea of opening up the little house I've been talking about, so that's the topic of conversation for now.

It's a very calm and relaxed routine, different from the summer, and very different from my UK time. I'm chilled most of the time, can choose when I work most of the time, and interuptions for an apéro are easy to accommodate and enjoy.

I love it!

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