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  • Magali

Back to France week 1 : Indian summer

So on Tuesday 16th of October, I took the big step, there is no turning back now, we gotta do it !

I felt sad, empty, scared, didn’t want to answer any questions on my arrival day, it was like a funeral, like I was about to lose something, mostly a big part of myself. Upset I won’t speak English, upset that my memory will slowly erase my daily Londonian routine, because it will.

After saying bye to Catherine on Stratford platform 10, I let it go. I cried in the train, I cried in the plane, all the way. I was ok by the time I got to my parents’ home, and my parents gave me some time to find my bearings, reinstall my old bedroom etc. But it was still weird, I wasn’t feeling like I was on holidays and it will hit me later, like in a week, nope, it hit me right away !

I tried as hard as possible to keep my old routine. On the first day I woke up early, did my stretching and replaced my 20min daily cycling to go to work by riding my mum’s interior bike while watching Netflix ! I had lots of forms and paperwork to do and things to find online so I managed to keep that routine for few days and I felt better.

The weather was still so nice and warm it felt like the beginning of September and we were still in T-shirts most times. I met an old friend on Friday on a terrace of a bar, and that actually helped me a lot to give my brain a break. Just to stop thinking for an hour !

I must say that the book I bought « Le guide du retour en France » (the guide to go back to France) helped me a lot regarding paperwork, in which order to do them, and mostly the psychological side of going back home after having opened myself to the rest of the world. I do really recommend it and I felt much less alone and totally understood and would read bits of it everytime I felt down.

On the first weekend, my parents decided to come to Le Boulay with me and help me with few things. As my mum went to foraging fruits, nuts and other stuff. I managed to get my dad to move with the tractor all the big farming accessories that have been sitting under the hangar for the past 20 years, if not more (I think maybe 40 years !). I wanted him to get everything out so I could have a look at the amount of things we had and mostly I wanted to get pictures of them so I could sell some online to get a little income, yes I do not plan to find a job because I do not have time and I’m lucky !

Some mess gathered over the past 2 years around the garden

Some of them definitely have a museum value but I won’t be able to sell them because museums only accept donations, or I am not yet looking in the right direction perhaps. Some of them I want to keep as a part of my heritage.

What a mess !

The good thing on that day is that we managed to get rid of all the chemicals that we found and gathered on the property since we bought it, and it was a lot ! We emptied a whole trailer at the recycling centre and quite surprised the staff there when they saw what we had brought, from old school household products from Mamy to very old paint, fertiliser or weed killer and Monsanto full of glyphosate shit that you can think of ! That doesn’t make you want to eat my vegetables now does it ?! Yeah, I just need to think that it hasn’t been used in about 20 years hopefully…

I haven’t seen any friends on the first week and just worked as much as possible in the hangar and the garden. I would leave my parents house in the morning or after lunch and work until dark.

Under all these equipments was a thick layer of hay, soil and rocks, sometimes plastic covers and tyres. I also found some giant cow bones for some reason ! I spent most days shovelling and digging out stones and rocks and in the end ended up with a mountain of rocks which I thought I should use for the future natural swimming pool layout.

Who needs some rocks ? Adding some material to the garden

I managed to use some of the layers to cover our garden for the winter, but the rest was spoilt with oil from the tractor and small pieces of plastic so I had to burn it.

I think I managed to stay focused on the project, even though every time someone asked me about the house I had to repeat the same thing over and over again, secretly getting frustrated… but how could I be annoyed at people who care about us ? In the end, I got out of my bubble and met some of my high school girlfriends, I was worrying about it, but had so much fun it hurt my cheeks from laughing and it felt so good to see them.

End of this first week back home, more motivated than ever and looking forward to make everything happening !

Picking some delicious spinach and fruits to give to the family :)


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