Solace in craft

  • Paperwork

  • Cost of living

  • Language difference

  • No one answers emails!

  • Insects

  • Culture differences

That is the list of things that constantly bug me at the moment. Living in a different country is hard, oh so hard some days. Some of them I knew would be hard like culture and language differences. I expected those. But some things are awesome too and this post is more about those. I'm looking on the positive side with my glass half full of some yummy local wine.

The kids are taking it all in their stride. OK I'll be honest - there have been a few wobbles. But on the whole the kids have been awesome. The older two have learnt a whole new language and done it really well. They're basically fluent within eight months and are even helping their poor befuddled parents to translate some days. The little one is really excited about starting maternelle (pre-school) in September and keeps asking if she can go every time we pass the gates. Plus they all love discovering the new things around. The main thing they love finding out about is all the nature on our doorstep. Ok so the biting insects are annoying but finding super predators who eat ants and massive mushrooms next to the sports centre is amazing. Look!

These were the size of my fist!

The dogs don't seem to care. They're happy just to be with us. Ok they don't like the ticks or deadly caterpillars (put insects on their list too) but they can be sorted. The vets here are lovely and help me out by speaking some English and trying to entertain my toddler. Plus they like the house. They get to have three beds here, one of which is in our bedroom for the first time because we're in a bungalow, and the whippet still gets sleeps on the sofa. And they like the walks here. They get to follow the trails of wild boar and a big forest is only five minutes away.

As for Frank and I well we're ok. We'd like to be great of course but we'll settle for ok right now. It's been tough, I'm not going to lie and hide behind positivities. I'm very happy to share the positivities, they're what's keeping us afloat. The positivities keep our ship from sinking. Frank has really started playing his guitar again. He's gotten involved in a local jam night and he really loves it. I'm so pleased he's started playing again. As for me I'm hiding in craft. I've sewn a zip into a jacket and it was the first zip I have ever sewn. And I'm crocheting lots too plus I still like listening to the Archers whilst doing it. The wonder of modern technology. My latest projects are a mini spider man for my boy's birthday -

Obviously it's not finished yet. Then there's the pouffe I'm making for my mum -

What do you think? There's more green to come here -

I've had a few moments of not wanting to crochet or sew but then I've kicked myself and done it anyway and it's really helped. I know there are loads of studies saying how much crafting helps and heals. But sometimes it's hard to concentrate when you're thinking about how to say "where can I buy new headlights?" in french. There has been brain overload and sometimes too much exhaustion to pick up a hook but I've done it anyway, made mistakes, ripped them out and then done it right. I've been hiding in my crafting world and it's been my solace, my little piece of me in whatever land I live in.

There are so many wonderful things about France that I can't name them all. So many wonderful things that sometimes get lost in the paperwork and stress. One clear thing we've all loved is experimenting with the food. Ok it's more expensive but when you can find a ball of mimolette (which is the only cheese your son and daughter will eat) it is fun. I love the markets too, I really love them. They're one of my favourite things here.

Right I've waffled enough. I'll finish off by leaving you with this funny picture of me with a massive ball of mimolette.