The Big 500

Can you believe I’ve done 500 blog posts?

That’s nothing to me, since I’ve been writing diaries since I was about 8.

Mostly, the first few years expressed nothing more than my love for a boy called Stephen Lee and my love for George Michael. Innocence is such a great place. I don’t know why I liked the tangoed, sun-inned GM anyway. He’s not to my taste. It was obviously a phase I was going through.

So what has happened to me in these 500 posts? Mostly, my life is completely different on account of I now live in a different country. Other than that, it’s much of a muchness. Before, it was wet and rainy Manchester, GCSEs, A levels, GCSEs, A levels, text books, English teaching, pikeys, chavs and pierced people. Now it’s the wet and rainy Charente (with long months of sunshine in the middle, and long months of cold on the end and beginning) GCSEs from time to time, writing projects, English teaching, dogs, chickens and men with wellies.

Hmmm. Essentially the same then.

No. Before, I had no true appreciation of the genius of the thermostat, the joy of timed central heating, double glazing and  insulation, the wonder of hot water on tap, the order and simplicity of cats and a true thankfulness for supermarkets that open outside 9-5 hours. Now, I have a better appreciation of all the things living in a new build brings, but I love the countryside more. Give me endless skies, trees, animals, deer, wild boar, walks, mushroom picking, butterflies and proper fires any time. I’m working towards hot water on tap, double glazing and insulation in the hopes that I won’t miss thermostats, timers and central heating so much. Dogs might be more absorbing than cats and more needy, but I like that. And as for supermarket opening times, I can live with it. Sure, there are nights when I’ve had to get really creative in the store cupboard and freezer because I’ve not had time to go to the supermarket, but that surely has saved me a good few euros by now. And there are nights when I’ve eaten pasta with olive oil for tea because it’s simple and I’m hungry, where I know I would have had a stop at a chippy at home. It’s forced frugality. And that’s no bad thing.

I thought I should help newer readers navigate through this pile of 500 blogs though, and pick out 10 that are probably the most seminal of the three years in the life of this blog.

#1 The inaugural post. A good place to start. Why I left Manchester. I think it boils down to the fact I coveted the weather. It’s 20 degrees and rainy today here. That’s pretty Mancunian. Oh well. At least we had some good weather. By some, I mean a few good months, not just a few weeks.

#2 Finding the house and signing for it. The significant bit.

#3 Steve quits work and we get giddy. 

#4 Getting the keys

#5 The first days

#6 The little differences between England and France

#7 Stars and hedgehogs

#8 A little about me… my bucket list circa 2003 

#9 The veritable Basil passes away

#10 Perfect Days with Andy

There you are. Me, my bucket list, my life, the house around which my shift pivoted. It’s funny re-reading a blog. I always feel so much wiser a couple of years down the line. Hindsight is marvellous. But it’s nice to be green and innocent and enthusiastic once in a while. I’m far too much of a miserable cynic most of the time. France infected me with enthusiasm and that’s a great thing. Some of it’s still there!

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2 thoughts on “The Big 500

  1. I have only started following your blog a few months ago and am looking so much forward to each new contribution. I just read your 10 selected blogs and quite a few brought tears into my eyes.
    I wish I could express myself as beautifully as you! (English is not my mother tongue). May life in France continue to be good to you!
    Lots of love and good wishes from Lyon,
    Regina

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