Friday, March 23, 2012

Spring has sprung in Burgundy...

For the last week, we have spent a lot of time unpacking our boxes and finding homes for them all. On Tuesday we drove up to Dijon - about one and half hours from here to visit Ikea clutching a shopping list for our friend Anton and for us. We realised that as we had left 2 bookcases in England so that the house was not completely bare, we would not be able to fit all our many and varied books on the shelves we had. We had been given a generous gift by our parish and had put the money to one side until we knew what we needed. We came back with shelves for the pans, hanging bars for all the utensils, a set of shelving for the electrical gadgets, a bookcase and a cupboard. We were delighted with our purchases and we spent yesterday putting it all together and finally feeling that we were reclaiming our home from the dreaded boxes!
We promised ourselves that we would not spend every moment unpacking as it makes us feel very dispirited - for every box emptied there was on Tuesday we set out to see a dear friend, one who had encouraged us when we had told him 8 years ago that we were thinking of buying a house near to Taize. "Do it" said Jean-Michel, "And do it soon."
It was with delight that we found our friend cutting tiles to make a new kitchen in one of the gites on his campsite. Rather than post pictures here's the link to it

We had a moment of what I would call "clarity" as we sat in the kitchen of Jean-Michel and Emmanuelle's chateau home. We gave him a card with our address and phone number on it. "Oh," he commented when he saw the name. He esplained that the phrase "Le havre de paix" is a strong phrase and means a place of rest, tranquillity, peace and safety. We had no idea that this was the meaning of our home name and so we were thrilled because that is exactly what we wanted our home to be.

As we drove home we were very aware that Sping is here - there are so many signs. The lovely Charollais cattle are out in the fields once more after their sojourn in the cattle sheds over the winter.
The lambs too are out in the fields.

And today we came across an animal that is widespread in the are but usually hard to spot. The coypu came originally from America and was set free in France. It has become a real nuisance eroding the banks of the rivers and is often hunted and shot. The coypu we saw was happily chewing his way through the grass at the back of a neighbour's house.

We really struggled to get these photos so we are delighted with them! And then a real sign that Spring has come - in our garden the Spring flowers are peeping through the grass - we did not plant these, they came as a gift for God and His nature!

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