Monday, 4 April 2011

half a year on

This week marks six months of us living here at Ségala - time to take a breath and pinch ourselves to check its all for real!

We have had an incredibly busy six months and become regulars at the local Mr Bricolage as we worked on making Ségala our own. We were lucky that apart from the new ceiling beam and bedroom floor the major works on the house were done by the previous owners who created a lovely home out of a basic barn building. All we have had to do is work on changing things like the lighting and kitchen to put our own touches.

The garden too was beautiful and well stocked with plants which it has been fun to watch springing into life with the warmer weather. I have moved many of them and with each small change the garden feels more like mine. The greenhouse was an unexpected bonus and it is currently crammed with plants and seedlings ready for planting out.

Winter in this area was a new experience - we had been here in November and February for short visits but not for extended periods. It turned out to be more lively than I had expected - clubs etc actually mostly run in the winter months ( our dancing classes for instance will finish this week for the summer)- there were lots of dances to go to and we have met lots of people and generally led a more sociable life than usual. We had to get used to being without central heating and a stone house can take some warming up but log fires and efficient radiators and gas stoves have kept us cosy. Despite some cold spells, frost and snow its not been as cold as we are used to and there have even been occasional lunches in the garden. Its also been blissfully short - here we are at the start of April and it feels like summer already.

Best of all has been our success in getting involved with traditional music and dancing in the area - TC has been able to extend his repetoire and we have met lots of people with common interests which helps to reduce any language barrier.

We love Villefranche which is our nearest town ( only 20 minutes drive away and so different from the traffic and hassle of the drive through Longton and Fenton! ) and visit its brilliant market every Thursday. Today we drove to Bruniquel to visit our little holiday house ( next issue is getting that sold) - a beautiful drive along the Aveyron gorge. The countryside is turning greener every day and as Easter gets closer the holiday businesses are sprucing themselves up and getting ready for the arrival of the summer visitors - glad I'm not one of those any longer!

Now we are looking forward to welcoming our own summer visitors - hopefully there will be plenty - to be able to share this corner of paradise we are lucky enough to call home.