Skip to content

More stern and splendid than mere kindness

I’ve mentioned before the wise advice of a friend to ‘find the purpose in the way things are’.  The last three months have necessitated reaching out to those words and hugging them close and often.

Let me elucidate.  When I moved to France.  To Cantal.  To the pays perdu that I persist in calling home, I cleaved to it.  I knew I was home.  Clock forward two years, two months and a few days and  I was thrust into a New World.  The New World.  A doddle for a cosmopolitan gal like me.

Or not.  The fact is that I struggled to settle and root even a  little here.  The fact is that my heart and my eyes and ears and all my senses were gazing, reaching and yearning for  France.  The fact is that I went through the motions every day.  I strove to get myself into a groove on my long playing record that would make a melody that I could sing along to.  Hallelujah and pass the tambourine, I got there.  I AM here.  And I now honestly  feel that I can love the one I’m with (or more accurately, in).  I have retrieved my inner explorer and pressed re-set.   I am finding so much to be enraptured by.  And why on earth wouldn’t I?  What an opportunity I have.  To live on another continent, find the beauty and the warts and the eccentricities and get under the skin of a place that is such a collosal collision of cultures that a few meagre months or years can never do it justice.  And, I finally get to live with my Two Brained husband –  one love.  My love.

And as it happens (such a coincidence) One Love is the prompt for the Weekly Photo Challenge beautifully represented here by people far smarter and more creative than I.

The picture?  Walking up Mount Eisenhower in the Presidential Range of the White Mountains of New Hampshire.  It was a tough walk up because, apart from being relentlessly uphill and steepish, at the time I had neither crampons nor poles to walk with and above the line it was frozen to the sleekest shiniest glass  whenever the canopy of trees gave a skimpy opening for the glacial breath of winter to polish the ground with her frigid glaze.  And all of a sudden this …. my Narnia moment.  Paradise frozen – water (my enduring love) stopped in it’s tracks until Spring decides to wave her wand, scatter her fairy dust and let it flow once more.

DSCF4967

PS:  The quote is C.S Lewis from The Problem of Pain … known for the Narnia Chronicles it is worth getting to know Lewis, the Christian writer whether or not you believe in his God.  He said ‘love is something more stern and splendid than mere kindness’ and though I am a true devotee of kindness I support his assertion unreservedly.

100 Comments Post a comment
  1. May I ask your reason for moving and living on 2 continents?

    Liked by 1 person

    March 11, 2016
    • Of course. My husband has lived here for 26 years. We married three years ago (in June) in France because we fell in love. Quite simple. He is not quite done with his work (he is a director of the Smithsonian Harvard Center for Astrophysics) and there are inevitable and boring pension implications if he walks away prematurely plus the fact that he is a very big fish in a rather tiny pond so the likelihood of him securing enough work at the right level in France (or Europe in general) is tenuous. That is the polite party line. The impolite one involves his ex-wife and her lying cheating ways but I should probably stop there πŸ™‚

      Liked by 5 people

      March 11, 2016
      • Must be tough. I got remarried in January 2015 and we also had to deal with a crazy ex wife. At least in Dordogne we are far away from Los Angeles. Isn’t it wonderful to find love later in life, I am 50. Thanks for sharing.

        Liked by 2 people

        March 11, 2016
      • Finding love at 51 (me) 59 (him) has been the most remarkable and beautiful point in our lives. I’m so glad you have the same. My husband is English born but took US nationality a few years back. His English born wife never took nationality and managed to fleece him in Massachusetts – she left him for her Australian lover with whom she cohabits but he was told not to bring this to the Judge as he would be less than sympathetic … I’m a lover of the absurd and that is the only way I can deal with it – laughter. I met him, a wrung out woman hating wreck a couple of years later and I do feel that the karma is in the meeting. After all – we have all we need (and much more than most) and we are together. Vive le difference πŸ™‚

        Liked by 5 people

        March 11, 2016
  2. Paradise frozen indeed – amazing photo – I guess it will not be too long before it starts melting. Thanks Osyth! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 3 people

    March 11, 2016
    • And thank YOU, Terry – you and some of my other US blogging family have unwittingly settled me here. My husband owes you a drink!! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      March 11, 2016
      • I certainly will take him up on that drink! Who knows, maybe someday our paths will cross in the physical form! πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

        March 11, 2016
      • We can if we will to paraphrase my favourite quote. You and I are both in a mercurial state vis a vis settled life at the moment but I know I speak for my hub when I say I would love to think that we 4 will meet some day πŸ™‚ (he quietly enjoys your blog too but is far to mysterious to have a WordPress or any other social media account!)

        Liked by 2 people

        March 11, 2016
  3. Ice is but the paralysis of a life giving force, held dormant until such time as nature decides it’s needed again.

    Liked by 3 people

    March 11, 2016
    • Oy! That is so poetic …. you must must must write more – I’ve told you there is latent talent in you and again I am proved right πŸ™‚ x

      Liked by 3 people

      March 11, 2016
  4. Beautiful photograph and well worth the walk
    It does take time to take on board a new place, to let it speak for itself.

    Liked by 2 people

    March 11, 2016
    • Thank you – it really was a magical moment coming upon the ice-stream. And the walk was wonderful – particularly for my husband who got to witness his wife swinging and clinging on trees like an oversized gibbon! It does take time – I naively thought America would be a doddle after France but this is FAR more foreign πŸ™‚

      Liked by 4 people

      March 11, 2016
  5. The photo, by the way, is beautiful. Pure magic. Hope you and Two Brains will enjoy each other wherever you are, always. Looking forward to hearing more

    Liked by 2 people

    March 11, 2016
    • Oh Posh! That is such a lovely comment. We will. I promise. We were late to the party and that sort of polarizes it in a good way. I’m enjoying it now so I will be writing much more about my time here (with the inevitable posts about France which is under my skin!) x

      Liked by 1 person

      March 11, 2016
  6. Nice frozen picture. Adjusting to life in America after living in Europe is quite an undertaking. Even as Canadians returning home after 2 1/2 years in Paris was very tough and a year later we are still struggling a bit to find our places here. So I can understand that it would be difficult for you. You do have a home in France so you can back from time to time to relieve some of the stress of a new world…Good luck with everything. (Suzanne)

    Liked by 2 people

    March 11, 2016
    • Oh, and I forgot to mention that if you intend to stay another winter in this part of the world do buy crampons…they are a life saver in winter.

      Liked by 1 person

      March 11, 2016
      • I did eventually – the picture was taken at the beginning of December. I got YakTraks and some quite lethal looking metal teeth at Christmas and have been very grateful I did!

        Like

        March 11, 2016
    • Suzanne, I really appreciate your taking the time to comment in such an empathetic way. It is hard. But you are right – I have a place to return to and I do know that ultimately (if something catastrophic doesn’t happen here) I will be back to live my life out in Europe. The differences in culture are far greater than I imagined and I wish you bon courage in finding your niche again in Canada πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

      March 11, 2016
      • You are right about the differences in culture…they are huge. Even if we (Canadians) live on the same continent as the Americans, we most often don’t understand them (or overly appreciate them). Though America may be different, it is also full of potential for discoveries and new learning. You are right to embrace it even if you might never manage to love it totally…you will certainly learn a lot.

        Liked by 2 people

        March 11, 2016
      • I’m pretty close to Canada and I think I may need to run for the border for some sort of sanity along the way πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

        March 11, 2016
      • You are certainly welcome to Canada. It is a nice country with lots to see. Still quite different from Europe though maybe a tad more similarities than with America…

        Liked by 2 people

        March 11, 2016
      • I suspect bits of it are very European and bits of it less so. But it is vast and it has a huge version of the scenery I love in addition to cities that seem interesting. I will go see and I will be a tourist because I am not staying long enough to be anything else but I will have the advantage of both languages which makes some small difference in my experience πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

        March 11, 2016
  7. Pan #

    Its funny you seem to berate yourself for not embracing being here the moment you stepped off the plane.. You’ve only been here such a short time.. You weren’t just going thru the motions when you ventured to explore Wegmans.. And I’m sure there’s plenty of other places you’ve experienced “being here” in other places as well.. You probably experienced some jet lag when you arrived.. That’s a blip in time to recover and find balance from.. Culture lag is like trying to be in two places at once.. Where you came from is the place in your mind.. Where you are, is strange and all around you, assaulting every one of your senses with unfamiliarity.. Some to be delighted by, others not.. And it lasts until you feel at ease with customs, foods and attitudes of the culture.. You my friend are an honorary U.S. citizen to me because of how you’ve embraced “being here”.. You have an adventurous free spirit that makes even the mundane exciting..
    Welcome Home to “being here”, wherever that may be, here and abroad.. πŸ’›

    Like

    March 11, 2016
  8. Okay, I’ve hiked the Whites in the summer and just want to know how you did not die up there in the ice without crampons? But I am glad you lived to tell the tale another day.

    I’m also glad that you could channel your inner explorer to start to get excited or at least interested in the area. I’m a bit biased but happen to think one can find adventure almost anywhere. Classify me as: Glass half-full. Cheers =)

    Liked by 2 people

    March 11, 2016
    • No no! It IS absolutely wonderful here. I was in culture shock and it is through bloggers like you that I have settled and now embrace my place. My husband owes you a drink! The picture was snapped in early December after which we did buy crampons, poles and every onther accoutrement I could lay my greedy paws on. I love it here. I will be writing of this love more and more as I go forwards without my latent France-lag πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

      March 11, 2016
      • Ha ha ha…It must be culture shock. I am glad you have all the necessary hiking gear now. Of course, this was such a mild winter. But you are ready for next year. Cheers!

        Liked by 1 person

        March 11, 2016
      • The funny thing is I thought I knew what snow and cold were – where I live in France is not mincey but I had NO idea … -24C …. didn’t know that could be real to be frank! Buy I am well equipped for next year and I will be out and marching in those mountains because that is what clears my head!

        Liked by 1 person

        March 11, 2016
  9. Pan #

    I’ll tell you what it is I most admire about you..
    It’s your natural ability to become a chameleon in your surroundings without compromising the essence of you.. In your stories of France you immersed yourself in being there, so much so, its home.. Here you’ve done the same, it may never seem like home, but you approach new places and people with respect and curiosity, even if not agreeing with certain customs ( floor plank walls for example πŸ˜‚).. You are a rarer personality than you know.. And I bet it tops the list of Two Brain’s favorite things about you..

    Liked by 2 people

    March 11, 2016
    • I deliberately paused before I answered your first comment and then you topped it with this. What you say about ‘lag’ is absolutely spot on. What you pick up on also is that I berate myself – Two Brains will tell you this is his greatest frustration – I parry this with the fact that writers tend to be pretty insecure. Who knows why. Salman Rushtie is of course an exception and I imagine Shakespeare was pretty secure in his verse too! But it does tend to be a condition. I am honestly getting there day by day and it is in huge part due to you and my other US blogging friends. You are owed a drink by Two Brains and he is really looking forward to meeting you when we find that hole in your schedule … I am a bit of a chamelion, I always have been and it isn’t for the want and the desire here. I think it is as simple as being 3,000 miles away from my girls and my mum. Though they all seem to be entirely find – hey ho … my dad alwasy said I try too hard! Onwards USA – you are my home for now and I am fortunate to be here. With a little help from my friends I will make my mark πŸ˜‰ xx

      Liked by 2 people

      March 11, 2016
      • Pan #

        Why did you pause to respond πŸ˜‚ ?

        Seems every art is exercised by insecure people.. But I wonder if empathy, sensitivity and passions are where some of the large population of the insecure reside only to be noticed through their medium of expression of art.. Insecurity ranges from lack of confidence to being paralyzed by fear..

        I’m glad you get past insecurities to write, what we enjoy so much to read..

        I see berating oneself only as a problem if, it prevents going forward.. Sometimes its good to be your own worst enemy.. No one’s critique would top yours and we learn lessons better and drop bad habits faster when we are our own harsh disciplinarian..

        As much as it may frustrate Two Brains, I also bet that you being hard on yourself at times, is a breath of fresh air to him, in this world of so many people running to play the blame game to find any excuse not to change or be accountable..

        And if he says no, no way.. Then I’ll be glad to thump him on his forehead.. after he pays for my drink πŸ˜‰

        I’m going to try and email you again, with my personal email.. I hope you get it this time.. πŸ˜‚

        Liked by 2 people

        March 12, 2016
      • I did reply to you …. I hope you might have received it? Anyway, I am picking up from that mailbox now and when I have yours I will write back from my personal account – haha – a plan forms πŸ™‚ what you write about insecurities is spot on the nail. You are a very astute bird in my opinion. Two Brains will agree heartily with what you say πŸ™‚

        Liked by 2 people

        March 12, 2016
      • Pan #

        I know that you know that I know I was slow.. πŸ˜‚

        You and Two Brains are already so much fun in my imagination.. I sense the people around us when we meet, will be fully confused at any of our conversation they happen to eavesdrop..

        Can’t take credit for being astute.. You’re writings aren’t just stories of people, places and things.. You do so well conveying your emotions at the time, it would be hard to not feel it as one reads on.. And that’s writing talent.. There are a few people I follow on WP that have that same talent.. I sometimes feel like I’m a spectator in a garden watching with anticipation for the buds I see growing, getting ready to bloom for the world to go
        “Ooooo Ahhhhhhh” as they discover these authors..

        Liked by 1 person

        March 12, 2016
      • There is certainly some real undiscovered talent around. I’m flattered that you include me. As for our meeting – I think it will Trump and Donald convention for madness πŸ˜€ x

        Liked by 1 person

        March 12, 2016
      • Pan #

        Btw, everyone is insecure.. to some degree.. Some hide it like a terrible secret.. Some are just guarded only showing it to those they trust.. The artists show it in thier work intentionally and without intention.. Then there’s people that are open about, daring the world to try and hit thier Achilles heel.. Go ahead, hit me πŸ˜‚
        Which do you think I’m most like ?
        The one I believe you are most like is the artist..

        Liked by 1 person

        March 12, 2016
      • Spot on Sherlock! For me writing is a cypher through which I can reveal and do reveal a little of me whilst writing of others. WordPress is in fact a very interesting place in that sense – I think you find examples of all those you lay out so astutely above just in this place πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

        March 12, 2016
      • Pan #

        Trump and Donald πŸ˜‚ That could probably run being the latest catch phrase..

        I believe we find all examples of the human condition in every slice of society.. Just some are known for a higher percentage in particular slices.. Not all lawyers are ambulance chasers. Not all truckers are road hogging, law breaking, tobacco chewers.. Not all sailors cuss πŸ˜„

        It’s so easy for any of us to fall in the trappings of generalization.. I’m guilty of it time to time still.. But when we do, we are forgetting to look at the person.. We are each individual like a snowflake.. So much can be missed by lumping and grouping.. I really get mad at myself when I forget that..

        Liked by 1 person

        March 12, 2016
      • I love what you have written here …. My ethos, bottled – who I aspire to be distilled into a portable perfume to be sniffed when I, inevitably forget myself and find myself generalising, bracketing, being prejudiced – we all do it just some of us try hard not to πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

        March 12, 2016
      • Pan #

        I wish you knew how many times you’ve sent me to the dictionary ! Words I haven’t seen in years, either forgetting from non use or never really known the definition.. Your a cruel teacher Osyth.. Forcing me to understand you 😬
        But, a little knowledge never hurts anyone I guess πŸ˜‚
        It’s the French language you really confound me on though.. At least I was familiar with ethos and found I read it contextually correct.. But french, oh my…. But I won’t give up trying to keep up 😊

        Liked by 1 person

        March 12, 2016
      • I’m from Oxford (England) …. we invented the dictionary and are secretly forced to digest it from birth πŸ˜€ For the French, I humbly apologise – I don’t understand myself most of the time πŸ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

        March 12, 2016
      • Pan #

        You made me laugh right out loud πŸ˜‚
        Good thing I had already swallowed that sip of coffee just before reading that !
        French is beautiful to hear someone speak.. And is even pretty in writing.. But understanding.. not so pretty 😁

        Liked by 1 person

        March 12, 2016
      • Just make it up as you go along – it’ll probably make more sense than what I’m saying anyway πŸ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

        March 12, 2016
  10. As a Canadian, educated in French and who went to school in Boston, I see why I relate so much to your writing and blog. I feel like I am always translating myself. Beautiful writing and photos!

    Liked by 1 person

    March 11, 2016
    • Thank you . With your background (and I recalled you were educated in French) you would ‘get’ my work more easily than most, I think! I have always sensed a kindred spirit in you πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      March 11, 2016
      • Yes. Me too!

        Liked by 1 person

        March 11, 2016
      • I couldn’t write more yesterday because of the time. I thought you would find this funny: most of my American friends have a French parent. I figure that half French and half American equals a Canadian. πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦ I feel like I must have missed most of your story. I shall have to read more carefully….

        Like

        March 13, 2016
  11. We are so fortunate to have you here so eloquently sharing our part of the world through your eyes! I’m glad you’re feeling settled, and if you ever want/need suggestions on things to do or places to go, please let me know. You can’t be too far (we are just west of Boston). Happy to help (or meet up) anytime!

    Liked by 2 people

    March 11, 2016
    • Thank you so much. It is in no small part due to the US blogging community that I feel more settled. If I can shed good words on this place that please the locals then I am beyond happy … you have the most beautiful part of the world and I have found that people are generally extremely kind and welcoming. Now. I am just west of Boston too (East and we would be in trouble, no?) So let us make a pact that if we can we will and we can if we will. I would love to meet up and in the meantime I am very happy to take advice on where to go and what to see. My husband has been here 26 years and seemingly seen nothing except his office, the airport and the house!

      Liked by 2 people

      March 11, 2016
      • Pan #

        Just like a true red blooded american πŸ˜‚

        Poor Two Brains.. He gets a lot of grief but on the lighter side, we get to chuckle πŸ˜„

        Liked by 1 person

        March 11, 2016
      • He’s a good sport – he enjoys the teasing because he knows it’s gently meant πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

        March 12, 2016
      • We will make it happen!😊

        Liked by 1 person

        March 13, 2016
  12. Your words and photo are beautiful. And I’ve read several of Lewis’ books. Nice quote.

    Liked by 1 person

    March 11, 2016
    • Thank you so much – that is very kind. Lewis is one of the greats, there is no doubt. The quote is a good reminder of what is so.

      Liked by 1 person

      March 12, 2016
  13. lindywhitton #

    As usual I loved your post. I finally talked my husband into a trip to visit the desert national parks of the US last year. He’s resisted for years because he loves European culture and food so much ( as do I) and finds Americans challenging when travelling. ( can I say that???) Anyway he LOVED it – people where friendly , youths were polite , young men hiking called him “sir” and expressed joy and excitement for their natural environment, the scenery was monumental and gobsmackingly wonderful The food was a bit dire for those of us in love with French bread, cheese and culinary flair but we did have a few great meals as well. Now he’s planning another trip for next year!

    Liked by 2 people

    March 12, 2016
    • Pan #

      Oh my yes, you can say that that ! It’s much better than the descriptions we Americans are usually denoted by, brazen, gruff, rude etc.. I’m glad you opened his eyes to experience us in a more true nature of everyday people here.. 😊
      I hope the next trip is as enjoyable for you both..

      Liked by 1 person

      March 12, 2016
    • Thank you – I’m glad you enjoy what I write … I normally think of it as the drivel of a druelling fool πŸ™‚ The politeness is one of the very first things that strikes here. And the kindness. I was ill-prepared for that. I feel a little Blanche Dubois a lot of the time (not entirely you understand because that would make me a faded, desperate old woman who drinks far too much) …. I’m so glad your hubby enjoyed the trip and that you made him do it. Vive le difference and enjoy the next one!

      Like

      March 12, 2016
  14. Life is challenging, a series of adjustments in many lives. We are blessed by having a sense of adventure plus the ability to see the good in people and places. Osyth, France is a fantastic place to have felt “home” in. I have been to Portugal and Spain while young with my H.S. Spanish club. The ancient parts give us roots and the culture with such lovely depth including arts, music and literature gives us “wings.” The French cuisine, churches and museums would be simply amazing.
    I am glad you are settling in, along with discovering an amazing sense of transformation.you are going to find more to embrace than discard. I just know this! πŸ™‚ ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    March 12, 2016
    • What a wonderful experience. I love France. But in truth it could have been anywhere. I always said that I would move away from the UK when my children were grown. This was for multiple reasons. I imagined that I would move to France, Italy (where I lived before I had children) or Spain (where I had considered relocating when they were all still young). Each country – every country, has it’s own personality. I think that for me France was as much about timing as about attitude. And the fact that I had moved so frequently when the children were growing up means that uprooting again was always going to be difficult. But it is about finding the good. It is about finding the place and I begin to do so with the help of lovely people like you who have really and honestly helped me settle. It’s curious that the settling has been aided by people thousands of miles away who I have never met but it IS entirely true. I guess its part of progress!

      Liked by 1 person

      March 12, 2016
      • The words that used to be quoted morein the past, still resonate with me, “Home is where the heart is.” Each time I moved around this lovely small town, we had different neighbors and neighborhoods, but we were “family” and we like meeting people. You did this with your girls, I just know you made everything come out feeling better.
        Maybe your attraction to France was like in some cultures, you were once a French person reincarnated into Fiona Osyth. πŸ™‚ ❀

        Liked by 1 person

        March 15, 2016
      • I have wondered that often … in fact my mother’s family are ancient French (Normans who conquered Britain with William in 1066) so maybe that is the key πŸ™‚

        Like

        March 15, 2016
  15. Beautiful post, and so happy that you have learned to ‘Love the One You’re with’
    Embrace every opportunity that life throws at you – I feel privileged to have been able to struggle with and embrace another culture, and to have the opportunity to add a third would be awesome.
    I, like you, as you know, am missing France and I do not have the distraction of such magnificent scenery (plus ‘me one’ remains there)
    I love the watery imagery that you paint of it being frozen in time until spring restores its fluidity.

    Liked by 1 person

    March 12, 2016
    • Thank you Lindy – we both wear strange shoes at the moment. I wonder if going through the process of learning to love a place rather than being born to it makes one love it even more? I feel that about France …. Anyway, I also know how it feels to be forced to be apart from the One Love and I wish you strength to get to the finish line on April 30th which will be such a day of days (I have it marked on my calender so I can drink a glass of bubbly and toast you both from here) xx

      Like

      March 12, 2016
  16. Fabulous post, Osyth. So happy to hear that you are settling into your groove out there. Whilst we are talking love, I love that your love for the man led you to love for a new country AND a new continent. That is a chain reaction of beautiful proportions! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    March 12, 2016
  17. This chimes in so many ways.
    Enjoy it, who says you can’t have a foot on two countries if that works for you? and it must be so good to be with 2B at last.
    As one who also came fairly late “to the party” I understand, we must all savour our happiness and value our loves in the time we have together.

    Liked by 2 people

    March 12, 2016
    • Thank you. The main thing IS that we are together. And it is a really lovely place – the warmth and generosity of people is quite overwhelming. And the food is actually very good – seafood to die for and that’s just for starters. I don’t eat junk food (not even MacDo in France) unless there really is no alternative so I have not come up against the bad stuff. I do have to read labels carefully and the wine is pretty good now that we have found that Trader Joe do a good selection around the $4-5 mark. Not the same as France. But why should it be? And I have only experience New England so far – I intend to travel far and wide and breath it in. Next step is volunteering for one of the many initiatives that help the poor. With 1 in 5 children living under the poverty line there is a huge problem in this country – I want to understand it because only then can I begin to understand the anger that is fuelling the cirque d’horreurs that is being played out under the banner of election campaigning πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

      March 12, 2016
      • Good for you. I mean that.
        You have an altruistic souls and an empathetic nature and I am sure you can find a niche to help there.

        Liked by 1 person

        March 12, 2016
      • Thank you – I can’t pond skate is all!

        Like

        March 12, 2016
  18. Sorry, I meant “soul” singular, though m,aybe that was a Freudian slip because I sometimes think that there are two sides to all our souls

    Liked by 1 person

    March 12, 2016
    • I agree – on the two sides. I have many theories on life (don’t we all?) and one is all about the flip sides ….

      Liked by 1 person

      March 12, 2016
  19. Isn’t it wonderful how Life can just seem to happen!!! If you would of told me a few, lets say 9 years ago I would be married to a wonderful man, live in a great home in California, and then be lucky enough to have a small piece of the Sonoran Desert….I would of laughed at you….but then poof…life happens, karma finally kicked up its heals and paid all my kindness, I am not modest…LOL, and patience I have showed others back to me…..ahhhhh I have been taking deep breaths thinking is that what I worked so hard for….and the inner voice comes back screaming Yes!!!! I looked through your beautiful wedding pictures on FB last night…what a beautiful wedding…loved all the lace dresses…and you were glowing….!!! Embrace life my friend, I know you are….and love every minute…I am!!!! Enjoy the day….lets Skype this next week…..xxkat

    Liked by 1 person

    March 13, 2016
    • That’s exactly it – life doesn’t necessarily
      follow the course you think it will but it does repay well if you put in well. In kindness and patience. It’s not about money and possessions – it’s about love and content and quality of life. I’m glad you enjoyed the wedding pictures – it was a beautiful day … I’ll try and send you a copy of the video trailor – Paolo who did it is a real talent (and a gorgeous Italian honey to boot). Skype next week would be great – Two Brains is in Hawaii all week 😦

      Like

      March 13, 2016
  20. I feel your pain in settling into such a foreign place. We assume that if we speak the same language then life will be much the same but not so… Texas is as close as I have cleaved but now I am having doubts. All that really matters is that you are with the one you love and then you create a bubble of love in a strange world.

    Liked by 2 people

    March 13, 2016
    • You are so right – the bubble of love makes all the difference πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

      March 14, 2016
  21. Wow gorgeous photos! I was off for the weekend and missed this post! so sorry Fiona! It is tough to settle away from family but also an adventure where you get to visit new friends who live in the country with gorgeous views??? xoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    March 14, 2016
    • That’s exactly it …. friends with gorgeous views are what smooth out all the bumps in the road πŸ™‚ xxx

      Liked by 1 person

      March 14, 2016
  22. Beautiful! I love the photo and C.S. Lewis.

    Liked by 1 person

    March 15, 2016
  23. So pleased you are finally settling in. You must certainly feel a touch transient at times so it’s good that you finally live a proper married life and that you feel at home on the new continent. Mind you, I don’t think it will be long until you are on good old Blighty soil….!

    Liked by 1 person

    March 15, 2016
    • Not long at all …. France the end of next week and then the big fanfare as I arrive to take back the keys to the city of Wantagium πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

      March 15, 2016
      • Ooooh Fiona is coming to the ‘Tage!!!!
        Looking forward to it already. The charm gun is already locked and loaded with smiles, grace and platitudes so that coffee should be a forgone conclusion!!

        Liked by 1 person

        March 15, 2016
      • Super!

        Like

        March 16, 2016
  24. Always such a treat to read not only your marvellous posts but the conversations that follow. It’s like being a fly on the wall of our virtual universe. Now I know why you were sitting in the library of the Harvard Centre for Astrophysics and also that you lived for a while in Italy – lucky you. Where were you in that wonderful country. Perhaps in some Tuscan villa or perhaps a garret in Florence. Wherever it was it clearly shaped your adventurous spirit and your ability to paint the world with your glorious wordsmithing πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    March 15, 2016
    • Oh gosh, the comments. I am a polite english girl at heart no matter how much I protest and I feel I must enter all the conversations …. sometimes it gets a little overwhelming but heavens above – the kindness of strangers really shines through. The library is my hideaway when I go into Cambridge. I will write about it … it’s an amusing place to sit and listen. I lived in Rome in the 80s when I was being a big-shot. I absolutely LOVE Italy and if I hadn’t met my Francophile husband have no doubt whatsoever that I would have settled there. I would have taken a car and driven the perimiter once – ventured inland and explored plenty before following my nose to home. It might have been tucked in the shoulder of a hill or it might have been in a town. I don’t know. And now I never shall. However, I will make the trip in the car one of these days …. Two Brains knows there is no escape – I figure if we take 6 weeks we will be well sated!

      Liked by 1 person

      March 16, 2016
  25. Arby #

    What an amazing place – the Presidential Range. I love your writings, and you have inspired me to go all the way to New Hampshire and explore. Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing. BTW, I live in north eastern US, and need to explore more.

    Liked by 1 person

    March 16, 2016
    • Oh you simply MUST go. It’s really beautiful if you like mountains. I don’t know where you are in the US but I’m already accumulating a list of visits just with my blogging community …. Maine, Rhode Island, The Cape, The Berkshires, Connecticut, Vermont, the lakes in New Hampshire and further afield Northern California, the Palouse, the California deserts, Hawaii, Ohio, Washington and Canada. What an immense country this is – it would be a crime for me not to explore …. I’m glad to inspire you to do the same – now get out there!!

      Like

      March 16, 2016
  26. I, too, am all to familiar with the yearning & calling of home. Lovely photos & story β™₯

    Liked by 1 person

    March 24, 2016
  27. I hope you’ll be coming back to France from time to time. We really need to get together to share our memories of Streatley and Wells Stores! And, after a gap of 2 1/2 years, the SF and I really want to get to Cantal this year – a couple of times if we can: May and Sept, so I do hope you’ll be around then. Until then, fΓ©licitations for your acclimatisation to the New World.

    Liked by 1 person

    March 29, 2016
    • Well quel hasard! I’m in France right now but only from last Friday to this Saturday when I go back to England and am intending to see friends in Streatley. I will certainly be back in July and once more after that so let’s keep in touch over your plans and keep everything crossed that we might make a meet in Cantal work this year. I’m breathing deeply of the air here to buoy me up for the next tranche in the New World (I love that the Historian refers to it in its proper way!). It’s only a temporary home for me – back permanently in late Autumn and possibly back again for a few months next year before I put the husband in a half nelson and demand our real life starts πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      March 30, 2016
  28. Great photo O. Just back from cold and miserable UK to find flip-flop weather. Hurrah, my feet feel that Mafeking is relieved. Come back soon but, in the interim have oodles of fun and laughter.

    Liked by 1 person

    March 29, 2016
    • I’m here for a few days but off to the land of dreary tea and drearier skies on Saturday (I jest, honestly – I’m hugely looking forward to being in England for a couple of weeks) then back to US of Glorious A mid-April. I feel quite jetset but no-one seems to be impressed at all πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

      March 30, 2016

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. WPC: One Love (Growing Flowers) | What's (in) the picture?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: