Eleven years ago today I arrived at Bordeaux airport tired, but excited: my son, and his godmother – my best friend – were waiting for me (my flight from Paris was delayed). Why had the three of us met in France on Valentines Day? It was to mark my closing on the purchase of Les Terraces, scheduled for the end of the following week.
We drove to Sainte Foy, arriving too late to enjoy shopping in the weekly market, but not too late to start feeding a ravenous teenager his first ever croque madame, while Gina and I indulged in vin chaud (aka mulled wine) – much appreciated as it was FREEZING (specially for one just arrived from the Caribbean).
The next day, we drove to Issigeac, where the estate agents through whom I was purchasing Les Terraces had an office. This coincided with the lovely Sunday morning market there, so we were able to ooh and drool over the produce and other offerings before doing a crazy dash around the town getting what we needed to eat that day, and the next, as the church bells began to toll 12. It was jet-lagged chaos, and a very effective lesson in just how quickly markets close in the winter!
During that week, we visited the house several times, and took trips to Lascaux and other places, and bought lots of stuff in preparation for the 20th, when I would become the owner, and move in the following day. It was fun, tiring, not without considerable expense, but well worth it.
It all feels both so long ago, and as fresh as if it happened yesterday. I don’t regret any of it for a second, although I’m so sad that I didn’t get to spend as long as expected enjoying la belle vie with Graham. But I’m lucky that I got to do it at all.