Sunday, January 09, 2011

Six mois

It’s 6 months now since Munson and I flew out of Sydney. Doesn’t time fly when you’re doing paperwork!

What’s happened in that period?

Six months - 1

We started with a few days in London, introducing Munson to his namesake cafe, getting his pet passport and a car to get us across the channel. Munson enjoyed his first train ride and visit to a pub. With the car delivered, insurance sorted, and a ferry booked from Plymouth, we squeezed in some time with friends in Wales and Cornwall, with Munson’s first hotel stay on our Exmoor stop-over.

Six months - 2

On July 19 we arrived in France and drove down to Condom in the Gers, where we were Peter’s guests for a few days. Within the week we had moved onto our temporary home in the Haut-Garonne. For a few months it was all about tasting foie gras, swimming in the Gorge, visiting Toulouse, weekly visits to farmers’ markets and touring through the Pyrénées. Oh yes and the paperwork: finalising car insurance, transfer of car registration, getting a bank account, getting a phone account etc. Don’t worry there’s more of that to come after this six months!

Six months - 3

At the beginning of September, my friends Brent and Jean sealed their purchase of a farm in the Gers. By the middle of the month Munson and I moved into the farmhouse’s salle de degustation (party room) just in time to greet my furniture shipment from Australia. Weeks of cleaning, walking the farm and familiarisation with the area followed.

Six months - 4

In mid-October, we had a mini-holiday in the UK, travelling north via Chartres, and returning via Lyon. The centrepiece of the trip was walking from Dolgellau to Barmouth with Chris, but we caught up with more friends in London, and had a side-trip to Swanage, the Jurassic Coast and Bristol.

Six months - 5

Four months to the day since we left Sydney, we moved into our permanent home – the villa on the Gers farm. November’s days were taken up with setting up house, collecting firewood around the farm, and preparing for baby Zèlie. A week before Xmas, Munson saw his first snow, but it was just a thin dusting lasting no more than a day. To make it real, I took him on a brief trip to the edge of the Alps, where he could enjoy a snowy wonderland. We saw in the new year with several days in the Lot, days of donkeys, dolmens and rock-hewn history.

144 blog posts later, and here we are, making new friends, reconnecting with European friends, and missing all our friends down-under. It’s a very different life to what I’ve lead before, but I find myself quietly happy, and Munson is growing into the new environment.

There is a guest-room…


  1. Six months already! Wow. If you are ever up our way (near Blois), know that you and Munson are welcome.

    We are looking forward to spring and more outdoor time!

  2. Mon cher Mike, que de bonnes nouvelles! Tes photos sont magnifiques - on sent que tu prends ton pieds (hmmm, i wonder if u'll get that;)). Une chambre d'amie? Peut-être que je viendrai te visiter pour pratiquer ton French ;);)
    Bises à toi et Munson xx

  3. We have enjoyed following your adventures post by post, but thanks for the wrap-up. It really puts the last 6 months into perspective to see all of the things you have done.