Sunday, July 7, 2013

Good-bye France, Hello my Home

 

Heading to the airport where we've decided to check our bags for a change, having bought a Longchamps bag to consolidate some overflow. . .

After a busy day of ambling on Saturday, I passed the point of readiness to be home sometime yesterday afternoon, not wanting to leave hotel room for any more Paris. Isn't that awful?! The nude fat man sighted in the 5th floor window of the building opposite, under the sunlit leaden roof and terra cotta chimneys, was enough diversion for me. that and my purloined copy of Françoise Sagan's Bonjour Tristesse. We'd strolled over my favourite bridge (Passerelle Simone de Beauvoir) had a perfect lunch at a serendipitously discovered restaurant in the 12th, strolled through the Botanic Gardens, tried to find a seat in the Mosquée for mint tea and given up, and I was just done. The lever had been switched. I was done with holidays and travelling and impatient to be home.

What am I impatient for? Hugs from my family. Granddaughter Nola's laugh at my crazy hair and a chance to compare notes with her on Despicable Me II (Paul and I saw the French version here in a doomed attempt to practise our French and find air-conditioning. In fact, the cinema appeared at least as warm inside as if we were still sweltering under the sun). Granddaughter Harriet's display of amazing athleticism as she gets herself in and out of sitting position and holds the pose!

I'm looking forward to a big feed of sushi - our first-night-home tradition is a visit to an all-you-can-eat sushi restaurant in Vancouver, our antidote to jet lag.

Looking forward to the shower in our condo which has better water pressure than all the showers of the last 6 weeks combined. Not very green/Eco, I know, but it will feel so good. . .

Vegetables, especially raw and steamed. Salads. Not that the French don't do these, just that they've been harder to come by the last two weeks and I really crave them.

The smell of the sea. Going barefoot to the beach, even with the barnacled rocks scruffing up my soles.

Tea. My own blend of Russian Caravan and Lapsang. Made with loose tea and poured into my favourite, very large, bone china mug. Handle in just the right place, in just the right shape, with a rim that my lips are so familiar with. And I'll drink that tea while sitting in my leather club chair, the window open to let the sea-tangy breeze remind me that I'm back.

The absolute quiet inside my very own living room while Paul's gone to town to get groceries and hit a yoga class. Two hours. all to myself. the luxury.

And my garden. I am so impatient to see my garden. I've missed the bloom of my favourite once-bloomers (Constance Spry, you couldn't wait for me?! Or Complicata? 'Til next year then), but Golden Wings and Graham Thomas and Royal Sunset and Darlow's Enigma and several others will still be blooming. And there is much more to a garden than its roses, certainly. I'm eager to get out with secateurs and trowel and camera. . . And with a book and a cup of tea as well. . .

I'm even keen to get into my office, to get back to planning and preparing for my fall classes. I know exactly where I left a stack of books that need to be tackled. My syllabi need some fine-tuning before I take them in for printing, and I'm looking forward to working on them on my good old PC with its no-longer- taken-for-granted keyboard and its gorgeously big screen.

And speaking of big screens, I'm looking forward to catching up with Mad Men and with Breaking Bad. Vegging in front of the screen seems so appealing after six weeks without.

Not a bad start, is it? I've loved our time away and now I'm going to love being back home. Do you think it takes the one to appreciate the other? Or could you be happy spending most of your time on the road? Or perhaps you're a homebody who sees little good reason to leave the creature comforts of your own hearth.

 

16 comments:

  1. Welcome home. I know exactly what you mean. Love to travel but love to get back too. It's all the little things you describe. Sounds like you had an interesting trip not always what you planned but all the better for it. Did all that wet weather force you to shop??? Have noted check on bags, extra hand luggage... also part of the fun of being home unpacking.

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    1. Thanks Iris. It is the little things, isn't it?!
      As for the shopping, it was very restricted this trip, and we could probably still have squeezed into the carry-ons, but decided it would be okay to spread out a bit. The shopping wasn't occasioned by the wet weather as much as by some family upset that seemed to me to require some retail therapy as antidote. . .

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  2. You make your homecoming sound just as exciting as your trip! It's been lovely, as usual, following along on your travels. From the first photo of your last post it looks like your vacation gave you the much-needed rest and relaxation you were looking for.

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    1. So glad you enjoyed travelling with me. It was a great trip!

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  3. I've long thought that the best part of a vacation is the renewed appreciation of "home."

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  4. I've only ever traveled long enough to miss home once. But your hymn to home is lovely.

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    1. This trip was so varied we only missed home once or twice. But that last day, the switch was flipped. . . . It is a hymn, isn't it? Thanks for noticing.

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  5. I have loved your commentary on France. I, too, love to travel but I truly get "homesick" after a couple of weeks so I admire you for your six weeks abroad. There's much to be said about the "normal".....playing with your grandkids, catching up with your children, relaxing and enjoying the simple activities in life. Every time I travel, especially abroad, I know I learn so very much and love the very act of being "elsewhere" but then I so much more appreciate my "everyday life" at home. It's all good! Thanks so much for your blog....I love hearing what you have to offer!

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    1. Six weeks was a stretch, but it really helped having the 3 weeks in the house in Bordeaux.
      And thanks for the kind words about the blog -- it's so nice to get comments back from readers.

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  6. There comes a point in any vacation when the turning towards home comes. I think that it comes whether one plans a two-week or two-month vacation. It's as if something clicks in the brain saying "it's time to go." Your ode to home is full of longing.

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    1. You've got it, Lorrie. It doesn't matter whether a short or long trip, there's usually an almost audible "click" for me. . .

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  7. Thanks for mentioning the switch that flips when it's just time to be home. I have it too, but whenever I mention it to people I get a look that could steam broccoli. Well, it's a first-world problems, I guess, but it's the reason I never leave home for more than two weeks at a time. Anyway, welcome home!

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    1. Ah, you wordsmith! A look that could steam broccoli indeed! And yes, a first-world problem, but that's where we live, right? Can't wait until one of us gets to leave home for a few days' visit with each other. It's been a while. . .

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  8. I could travel most of the time but something inside tells me when to go home. It's odd because in January, my father died the night we returned from an open-ended roadtrip. At a spot on the Oregon coast, I told Monsieur that it was time to go home. With France, it becomes a bit like a vacation home because there are friends and I know that I will return. Summer by the sea is heavenly and you will enjoy the little ones. Welcome home.

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    1. It's true! In many ways France is like our vacation home since we return there so regularly and have made friends there. It's a great feeling, isn't it?!

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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