Monday 30th December
Issigiac in the morning; market day, and this has always been one of our favourite markets. It was fairly quiet, especially compared to the summer when this is the busiest market for miles around. Still some nice stalls and some good regional produce. Issigiac tends to be a bit touristy, a bit arty, with some lovely little shops selling handmade clothes and pottery. We bought a Jaloussie and an Amande Croissant in the Boulangerie and took them to a nice café we like. Here in France it is quite okay to take your own food into a café, they don’t mind a bit, whereas in England you wouldn’t dream of it.
We had been invited round to some people we met last year in Eymet for dinner, and had a lovely meal with them. They had also invited an Australian couple who had just bought a house in Eymet too, so lots to talk about. We have made more friends here in just eighteen months than either of us ever made in London in forty years. Maybe it is that we are all ex-pats, maybe it is the food and wine, maybe just the very sociability of the place. Whatever it is, it seems that people are just far less reserved and will talk to and make friends much easier than back in England.
Both of these couples have given up everything, in England and Australia, to start new lives in their retirement here in France. We on the other hand are still using our house as a holiday home. It is very tempting to think about doing the same and living here permanently, but somehow I think we won’t. We both like enough about England to want to spend at least part of our lives there. And it is the very contrast, between our busy lives in London and the peace and quiet here that we love. I am not sure that a life of doing very little but eating and drinking and socializing is what either of us really wants. Maybe if we had a definite project, such as developing a property or a small business, then it could work. Still a couple of years or so to make our minds up, meanwhile we have the best of both worlds.