Saturday, 2 January 2016

Looking Forward, Looking Back

2015 was a year in which lots of things happened, but when I first started to think back over it, my first thought was that not very much had happened at all. Things were calm at work, with no major changes, and I was able to get on with doing a job I know how to do well. We stayed in the same flat, enjoying the weekly walk to the market and drinks in familiar bars with the same good friends.

On the travel front, I visited some familiar places - Vézélay, the Chamonix Valley and the Southern Alps for hiking, plus a few trips to Brittany - but also discovered some new ones: in France, La Rochelle, Rocamadour and Provins, Jersey, which is sort-of British, and Porto and Greece as foreign trips.

Discovering the Dordogne

Gorgeous Jersey
 I became an auntie for the first time when my brother and his wife had a little boy in October. While we've only visited once so far, I have a feeling that trips over for cuddles might become more frequent in the future!

Oh yes, and we got married. And strange as it may seem, I think that very big change is partly what contributed to the sense of not much happening. Firstly, on a practical level, we devoted a lot of time to organising the wedding, from the hours I spent reading blogs about how to DIY just about everything from flower arrangements to the wedding ceremony, to the time we spent in Scotland when we might otherwise have been adventuring elsewhere. (In case this sounds like moaning, it isn't - I loved pretty much everything about the planning process apart from the terrifying thought that our rather long guest list might turn the whole thing into an expensive, three-day long disaster. Once we got the RSVPs in, everything was fine.) But for all that the wedding was wonderful, and I was delighted we decided to get married and am now extremely happy that we are married, we did it as a celebration of what our relationship already was, not as an event that would change it, and this has turned out to be the reality, because nothing much really has changed ...

Wedding Table Decorations: the product of many house trawling the web, charity shops and Ikea!
... Except that, now that we are no longer planning the biggest party of our lives, we're ready to focus on making other big changes in our lives. We're looking into buying a flat, with all the complicated calculations of finances, square metres and commuting times that that entails. Anyone who is familiar with the Parisian housing market will know that the answers to all those sums are never quite what you want them to be.

And buying a flat has taken on a new sense of urgency, because, all being well, we will be needing an extra bedroom for a little Franco-Scottish baby, expected to arrive in the world in the early summer.

I'm fairly sure that the changes which take place in 2016 will be as real as real can be. Happy new year, everybody!


  1. That's a nice centerpiece. I imagine it was a lot of work to make all of those. Did you have help from family or friends?

    Congrats on your upcoming summery delivery!

    1. The ones in the picture were actually quite easy - just decorative gravel, fake flowers and a floating candle in a jam jar. We also made paper pompoms and two of my friends did all the flower arranging, and those things took forever!

  2. That's amazing, congratulations!

  3. Congratulations on the baby!

  4. I feel very much the same as you about the wedding not having actually changed anything about the relationship but rather having just celebrated what we already had built.

    And congratulations on the upcoming arrival. :-D

  5. Big news! Congratulations! 2016 will definitely be a little less calm, but in a crazy, fun, cute, insanely hard way, lol. Good luck on the apartment hunt! Remember, baby doesn't care what color the walls are, just that it has a roof and mom and dad :-)

  6. Congratulations!!! And good luck on the housing hunt!