Dolly's blog: More or less?

I appear to have accidentally bought a house in France...

Well, not a complete accident obviously. More the somehow unexpected culmination of 7 years dreaming, French holidays and an International Rightmove obsession given dangerous screen-time on a long commute.  

Right until the very end I’m not sure Mr D or I entirely knew if we were really serious or just talking a good game. We’d tacitly swap the roles of advocate and naysayer, waiting to see which of us would eventually blink, because with three children and demanding jobs the dream was clearly delusional. But neither of us did blink and actions have consequences as I tell the kids, so here I am, sat in France.  

Most friends and family have told me that this is a Bad Idea (I’ve been known to have some). Our timing for selling in London and converting that into Euros has been, shall we say, unfortunate. I have only a faint memory of 1980s GCSE French and a nasty feeling my name already appears under the dictionary definition of “over-committed”.    

Mr D (if tortured) would also have to say that in the run-up to half-term I was a little, ahem, tense. The longer hours of my latest new job had combined with a particularly crushing weight of domestic admin, my to-do list felt out of control and all the classic symptoms kicked in, random weeping being a particular hallmark.  

So a half-term spent setting up home in a foreign country, navigating the horror of French utility contracts and sorting through cupboards whilst pretending to look after the kids (solo, because Mr D is at work) wasn’t exactly what the doctor ordered. Could this in fact be the straw that finally broke this camel’s sagging back? And yet...  

Having left the UK something of an anxious wreck, I feel positively re-born! The to-do list that was so worrying me a week ago suddenly seems deeply insignificant, I’ve re-connected with the kids and I now know the French word for duvet cover. I’ve scarcely sat down all week but I’m learning, exploring and creating. I’m happy.  

I’m prepared for dark times but so far at least I’ve learned that taking on more can sometimes make you feel better. Vive la France! 

After 19 years of fee earning, Dolly now works in a management role in a London law firm.  Working four days a week she has three children aged 11, 10 and 7, a wonderful (though often absent) husband and a charismatic dog who keeps her sane.

Category: A Cityfather's Diary

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