Five weeks have passed since Simon’s last (and notably brief) post. Which means that Baby William (aka Wild Bill) is now five weeks old, and his parents feel considerably more than five weeks older. After a honeymoon period of a day or two, when we all thought he was going to be a perfect baby, he found his feet – or rather his lungs and his complaining voice – and threw himself whole-heartedly into the competition with his Big Sister (aka Little Miss Demanding) for the lion’s share of everyone’s attention. Which of course explains why there have been no blog posts since the day of his birth.
However, yesterday I returned to the sleepy backwoods of Blanchetière, having extended my already long stay in the UK by another week at Simon’s suggestion. He very considerately thought I might like to delay my return to the frozen wastes of central France until the worst of the cold weather had passed. Possibly he loves me very much and is concerned only for my welfare and happiness. Possibly he couldn’t stand the thought of me sitting around all day moaning about the cold and complaining about my numb fingers and toes. Whatever the reason, my daughter was overjoyed at the prospect of another week of granny being around to entertain Little Miss Demanding and cuddle Wild Bill into an uneasy silence, while she snatched the odd hour of sleep from that oh-so-elusive Mr Sandman.
While I have passed the last five weeks in a happy-but-tiring fog of relentless grannydom, Simon has been battling manfully against -15C temperatures and a rapidly declining wood pile, struggling to balance the precarious vagaries of a 9kw, three-phase electric system to maintain the house at a liveable temperature, whilst endlessly replacing rapidly-forming blocks of ice with drinkable liquid in the outside animals’ water buckets. Fortunately, neither of us envied the other’s allotted occupation.
In the meantime, the various wheels of cumbersome bureaucracies on opposite sides of the channel have turned slowly but surely towards the desired dual outcomes of a successful exchange of contracts on our prospective Derby house purchase, and Simon’s successful retirement from his registered occupation as a French Farmer. Not that you’d notice of course. We have yet to sell any of our llamas. Indeed we have yet to even advertise that they are for sale! And given that Simon has now obtained a lovely new stack of firewood to see us through yet another winter, I can’t help wondering if maybe he is not entirely committed to The Plan as I envisage it. Ho hum. Time will pass and Time will tell, and it will be interesting to see what I am writing on here a year from now.
And isn’t it, after all, that degree of Unknowing that makes Life itself such a delightful adventure?