One year on – 2018

Sitting by my window looking out over the valley on this wet and windy December morning, I am thinking of how far I have come in one year and how much my life has changed – and for the better. From learning to love myself for the first time in my life and the real key – accepting who I am, to living as Sophie every minute of every day.

December has been a good month. I have progressed with a few jobs around the house and it’s most certainly feeling like home now. Lots to do but no real rush.

25344641_179053772683770_1340000895_oIt was my friend Karen’s birthday early in the month and I took her for a Chinese meal and a little shopping. A week later, followed by another lunch in a lovely local restaurant with two of her friends for a belated birthday meal. I made their acquaintance that day and have two new friends now. We had lots of laughs that day together.

Karen had found herself alone for Christmas at the last minute and was unhappy at that outcome. So, I offered to share the goodies I had bought with her. I went to her house on Christmas eve and again on Christmas day laden with bags of food. The 24th, we had a very traditional French festive meal of delicious seafood: oysters followed by crab, prawns and a little salad. The last main course was a small lobster each with some  mixed rice with vegetables. We had planned a two course dessert but neither of us was capable of the second. But that didn’t prevent us from having a slice of a seasonal Bouche with some fresh cream and a few strawberries. A version of chocolate log made from a chocolate mousse with a salted caramel biscuit and vanilla mousse in the centre with chocolate sauce over the exterior – highly recommended


The 25th was more an  English traditional lunch with pan fried scallops in garlic butter and a green salad. Main course: Roast turkey, pigs-in-blankets, stuffing, roast potatoes and mixed vegetables. Finished with profiteroles, chocolate sauce and cream – no room for the cheese course. An after dinner coffee and brandy finished off the day perfectly.

For New year I have bought more oysters and still have sparkling wine, so sure to celebrate whatever happens on the night. I may even have another turkey dinner on New Year’s day…

On a more day-to-day basis, I find myself shopping for all kinds of things from a new kettle, clock and bedding to a new set of pots and pans. Due to the demise of my computer, one unexpected purchase has been a new laptop that arrives in about two weeks. I am writing this on an old and donated Win7 laptop that crashes at some point during the day at least once and needs to be left alone for a while before it will work. A laptop with stress issues perhaps?

With the New Year rapidly approaching, the most exciting thing for me to look forward to in January is the long awaited arrival of my UK Passport. It should arrive in the early part of the month – YAAAAY!!! This will allow me to get my French ID all up-to-date. No more worries of a driving licence with the wrong photo and name on it among many other aspect of my life here in France.

If 2018 manages to be anything like 2017, I will be a very happy person. However there any many things I need to deal with and break new ground too in the foreseeable future. There’s nothing quite like a challenge! – an underlying motive when I decided to live in France. My French wasn’t great and my financial future was uncertain, but I have survived everything, and more so in the later part of the past 12 years.  There have been many highs and lows in that time and I am sure that will continue. It’s how you view everything that is important and that’s just life!

I added the photos to this article on New Year’s Day afternoon, the first day of 2018, and it’s still raining with a stronger wind than yesterday. But my outlook is full of sunshine!

I wish you all a Happy New and may your dreams come true. Whatever you are searching for in life becomes clearer.

Keep it simple…. love yourself and treat others as you would like to be treated yourself Be happy!!!


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