The Roamers make a home
We’ve been here almost two months now, and aside from the dreary weather we’ve had recently (cloudy every day and lots of rain), everything is great. We love our apartment but are getting very anxious for our small shipment to arrive. It was due mid-January so is now officially two months late, stuck in Rotterdam awaiting customs clearance. So with my four pairs of pants and seven tops, my already weak fashion sense has further deteriorated!
Shipment notwithstanding, we’ve begun to nest as we wait for our art and other special things. Our first act was rearranging the furniture, followed by the purchase of a rug, some throw pillows, and a few small decor items.
Living room after a few purchases
Our apartment came furnished, so we are working with the things that were already here. One thing we didn’t have, though, was a place for our computers. So we bought a desk, chair, and printer and are now able to “work” in a nice corner of the living/dining room.
“Office” with a view!
Our bedroom is another story. We have a great bathroom (complete with a bidet; what should we do with that? Put a plant in it?) and closet area, but the bedroom itself is fairly small. I’m still working on bed linens but have fallen in love with our washed linen duvet and and pillow covers. Next up will be linen sheets–pricey but luxurious!
Our bed, a work in progress
We haven’t done much entertaining yet, but we did have friends over for dinner a couple of times. I’ve enjoyed getting a few things to make the table nice but can’t wait until my china, silver, and pottery arrive!
Making the dining table look nice with mimosa from our garden
A favorite Sunday activity is visiting the brocante, or flea market, at the Promenade du Peyrou. With food trucks, lots of interesting stalls, and occasional treasures, it’s a great way to start the day.
Last Sunday I experienced a “coup de coeur” when I spotted a beautiful painting. It turned out to be by an award-winning French artist, Anne Lejars, and it insisted on going home with me. Since it’s my birthday month, I bought it on the spot! Now, I just need to find the perfect frame, which exists in my imagination but has yet to present itself in the right size.
My painting! Can’t you just imagine it’s telling a story?
Speaking of my birthday, Phil has done something special almost every day of my birthday month so far. My favorite was when I returned from French class and he had a lovely apero waiting for me!
Birthday month apero: I forgot to take a picture before digging in.
Part of nesting, of course, is learning the language. It’s a slow slog, but I’m enjoying my classes and Phil loves his private lessons. I’m more than twice the age of my classmates, and they have 25 class hours per week to my 5, but so far I’m keeping up!
French class. Isn’t the room beautiful?
In a fit of nesting optimism, we bought an outdoor table and chairs, thinking the weather would warm up enough to entertain in the garden soon. The weather gods disagreed, but we’re looking forward to dining al fresco soon.
Our garden entertaining setup
Lizzie, our Renestance consultant, greeted us upon arrival with some luscious culinary gifts. Our favorites were a garlic and parsley fleur de sel (all used up now) and the BEST olives in the universe! We gobbled them up, but last weekend at the les Arceaux organic market I found them. Finding special foods is part of our nesting process. Oh, and did I mention that an artisanal boulangerie is only a couple of blocks away? It’s an Amazon pickup location, so of course each time we retrieve a package we have to buy something! See how the universe is taking care of us?
The world’s best olives
Another part of nesting for us is becoming familiar with Montpellier neighborhoods, starting with our own. On a recent wet stroll near the pharmacy school we noticed that the ubiquitous plane trees (supposedly planted by Napoleon to provide shade for his soldiers) take on a beautiful striated color in the rain.
Plane tree in the rain
Friends have asked whether we miss the U.S.,and of course we miss our family and friends there. But we’re determined not to be those people who try to recreate their American life in France. We want to assimilate into the culture here, learn the language, and eat the foods that the French eat. That doesn’t stop us, however, from the occasional indulgence–say, a hot dog with wine?
Phil enjoying wine with his French hot dog
So on this rainy weekend when it’s too nasty to venture out, I’m feeling immense gratitude for our cosy little nest in France. A bientot!