Mark the calendar… it’s July 3rd!

All being well, we have arranged to sign on July 3rd. 

We have booked ferry and train tickets and will be doing the journey of extreme madness backwards consisting of eight trains and a ferry from London to Antibes in under twenty four hours. Bloody dog. We’ll be buying a car this year apparently.

Our Man with a Van is collecting our London stuff on July 2nd and delivering it on July 4th.

We’re being picked up by our estate agent on July 3rd from Antibes station, taken to view the house and then returned to the notaire for signing…

And then hopefully we’ll get the keys, crack open a bottle of Champagne and dive bomb into the pool… 

Two weeks to go!

The Golden Thrones

After a great deal of deliberation and far too much thought, I have finally had my old green Heywood Wakefield armchairs reupholstered.

I bought them in 2000 when I was moving into my apartment on Milwood Avenue, Venice CA and had never really liked the fabric but things being what they were, had never got around to doing anything about it… c‘est la vie.

Battered and banned

It wasn’t until Big T banned them as we were trying to sell the Money Pit that I realised I had to do something about it. Did I want to get rid of them or should I reupholster? I chose the latter.

Seven upholsterers and many, many fabric choices later and the old green chairs arrived back this morning. 

I’m very pleased with them as errant springs are no longer and the tired old green 1950s fabric has been replaced with a gold velvet fabric. 

Look who’s home

Retirement ready

They are indeed the golden thrones and I suspect they’ll be around for a while to come! In fact, they look retirement ready!

Now where’s my crown?

Another day, another crazy election…

One thing which has become apparent in the past year is that one cannot rest on one’s laurels.

Three times now we’ve gone to bed and three times we’ve woken in disbelief. First Brexit, then Trump and now May. It seems that things are not always as they seem and things certainly do come in threes.

It seemed like it was a foregone conclusion, apparently not!

Signing on the dotted line

It looks as though we’re going to be completing the purchase of our French house around the beginning of July.

Timing isn’t ideal as we have deadlines and the obligatory trip to New York in mid July but we can’t really complain as we’re buying a house in the South of France so it’s a bit of a first world problem.

Our challenges now are how to get our furniture over to France and… how to get ourselves and the small dog there at the same time. It’s all a bit challenging without a car and it seems we may have to do the seven trains and a ferry in reverse. I thought I’d never do that journey again! 

I’ve begun packing boxes, sorting clothes and making an inventory. We have another few weeks of mess to contend with and then hopefully we’ll be clearing out and heading off.

Our new French adventure on the horizon!

Robins Return

On Saturday one of our baby robins returned and spent the day sitting in the olive tree being fed by his hard working mother. It would appear none of us were quite ready to say goodbye.

Early that morning Agnes and I caught a wily fox trying to sneak into our garden. Walking along the top of the wall, he’d made it to the corner and was sandwiched between two fences. he may have come for the dog or for the robins, but it hadn’t taken long for the word to get out.

On Sunday we heard a strange kerfuffle between several magpies and suspected the baby robins may have been attacked. 

Luckily I didn’t see anything so remain in complete denial and can imagine the little robin family have happily decamped to another home.

We didn’t see any more robins on Sunday.

Empty Nesters

It was one of the most incredible things either of us had ever seen. All four baby robins left the nest today and eventually left the garden.

The parent birds returned time after time to encourage each one to fly. “You can do it,” “You can do it,” was the repeated call from the diligent parents. It was such hard work, they couldn’t fly well as it was their first day out of the nest and it took try after frustrating try to get over the fence.

The last baby took several attempts. Dusk was falling, he was sitting on the table outside and each attempt was thwarted as he hit the wall and fell behind the sofa. The parents returned time and again calling to him but it seemed time was running out.

Suddenly I looked up and the tiniest silhouette of a bird was outlined on the top of the fence. The last baby robin had made it to the top. He sat for the briefest of moments and then as he spread his tiny wings, he flew up and away into the sunset.

It was incredibly emotional to see this tiny bird take flight for the first time. Something we’ll remember forever.

The Inaugural Flight

It turned out today was the day. One minute we saw this little face at the window…

And the next minute the tiny thing had flown out of the nest. 

Of course it started raining, there was a thunderstorm and suddenly there were two tiny robins cowering in the corner trying to stay dry.

We now have two baby robins lost somewhere in our garden which is quite a feat given the size of it. They are an absolute liability as they’re tiny and don’t seem able to do anything. They fly haphazardly into the fence with no sense of direction and can’t seem to find their way back home. What to do?!

It’s hard to tell if the parents have given up on them and left them to fend for themselves as they don’t seem to be trying to get them back in the nest. While it’s tempting to try and intervene, it doesn’t seem to be possible as the bloody things won’t be helped.

All in all while it’s been an incredible thing to see, it’s been a very stressful day and not just for the robins!

And there are still two more babies to go…