Hi lovely fellow survivors, I'm a newbi to this web and board and newbi to France and already surviving is on my mind, so Im very glad to find a team of fellow survivors out there doing whats necessary to make a new life in France more than Ok ... better than that ... good even. I arrived 4 weeks ago and opened the house my partner and I brought in Mazamet few months ago. Daniel is arriving in a few weeks from Australia, we are both Australian, though Daniel has a British passport as well, Maxine the cat will arrive in a few days, meanwhile I've been getting the gas and electricity and internet put on ( good grief I thought Id died and gone to heaven the day that was finally done!) ... plumbing fixed - broken sewer pipe surprise, yeah - (all fixed now thanks Jeremy and Martin), got a new boiler put in, yeah, a new kitchen organised and on its way, wallpaper stripped and painting done well almost ... where does all this 50's wallpaper come from? ... (well actually Im getting a very nice team Mike and his son Adam are doing it), plus you all know a million other little things you never imagined you'd be doing to try and set up a new home. The latest challenge, last night the roof flew off, well a big part of it (two tiles) and what with the big rain, I woke up in the middle of the night with a soaked bed and a pool of a bedroom ... and i couldn't find the torch - its in a box somewhere ... got to laugh.
We settled on Mazamet in the south west as the launching pad of our brilliant new good-crazy next stage of life da da. We brought a big, as in tall, house with a big garden as in long or deep ... a very big garden full of fruit trees - Im a very keen gardener, vege and flowers are being planted in my imagination as I sleep. Mazamet is close to the forests and the two coasts, the weathers supposed to be mild after Australian summers ... that will be a relief, and its sort of close to chic Toulouse and to historic Albi and its mini sister Castres. So it will serve us well as well as being close to Italy and Paris and London (it makes my toes curl to think it will be so easy, relatively, to travel to these cities after the usual 30 hr flights from Australia) We are both artists and also write so in between trips all over and eating lovely food, markets, wine tasting, gardening etc we are planning to finish off and probably start some new writing projects and when were get the studio set up in the attic (before Xmas) keep going with our arts practices as well. We've both left high pressured teaching jobs (Daniel) and a research degree (me) in the uni system in Australia and will definitely be glad to be away from all that bureaucracy and have time to make, paint and write full time if we want to.
I'm loving it all so far ... I have met such lovely people, I have lots and lots to learn, but am trying to enjoy even the upheaval, culture shock, language difficulties and frustrations, and cardboard box nightmare. I'm yet to buy a car ... thats the next big job, any hints about that kettle of fish?
I am keen to make contacts and hopefully friends here and and give what i can back in return. Looking forward to chatting and hopefully meeting some of you soon.