Sunday, September 26, 2010

My First Franciversary

26 September, 2009, Sara Louise moved to Le Petit Village to be with The Boyfriend who six months later would become The Husband, and to rescue a puppy, who had been abandoned in a garbage dumpster and christen him, Fifty. 
On this, the most honorable of days, I will tell you the story of exactly one year ago (and one year ago minus one day).

My last day of Dublin was rather uneventful. It had already been three weeks since I had finished at work, and many goodbye dinner and drinks with friends and colleagues had occurred, and nights in Temple Bar where I hugged Leprechauns...

{they're after me lucky charms}

So on that last evening of my old life what did I do?
I stayed up late shredding papers.
That's what I did.
I shred papers.
I actually shredded so much that I broke the shredder.
(Sorry Auntie, guess what you're getting for Xmas this year).
(Funny since I had gotten her that very shredder as a Xmas present).

Eventually all that shredding tuckered me out (with extreme boredom), and I went to bed. If any of you have made a big move in your life, you know what that last night sleep before is like. It's not really a sleep. It's a nervous rest. Sad that you will never be in that room again (or you will, but it won't be your room anymore), excited about your new life and all it may bring, and scared to bits that you made a very bad decision. And then the sunrises and what's done is done, and your on your way to your new life, your new home.

At the airport, checked in with my extra-weight bags I phoned The Husband (who of course was then, The Boyfriend), and he said he was sleeping. WHY WASN'T HE AWAKE? (I'll tell you why, because he had spent the night before drinking honey wine with who else but The Honeys. So while I spent a scintillating evening with a paper shredder, he was getting hammered on bee juice). If I was awake and nervous, he should be awake and nervous.  

One Dublin to Nice flight, and Nice to Le Petit Village drive later and I was in my new home. I was trying to look at it with 'new home' eyes instead of 'holiday fun' eyes. The Husband helped me out with that, I walked into a messy house. Definitely not holiday fun time. Cue first tantrum. 

Within a few minutes of my arrival, loads (maybe not loads, but like six or seven) of people were crowded around the outside of the front door. They were there to meet and greet me. They all stood there, smiling at me (inspecting me). I smiled back and nodded at all the French things they were saying. (It was the beginning of many months of the smile and nod).  

And that night we went out to dinner. 

And on Sunday I began to unpack. 

And on Monday The Husband went to work. 

And that was that. 

Welcome to your new life. 

This is not a rehearsal.

(not very exciting, is it?)



  1. happy franciversary!
    I thought you have been in France longer.
    You never met the future in-laws before moving here? Wow. Big leap.
    I had come to visit for two weeks before making the big plunge.
    Anyway, 1 down, lots more to go.

  2. Congrats! What a lovely've come a long way in a short time! Thanks for sharing this with us and gives us all inspiration to continue - can be quite tough in the culture, language & all, hmmm..stressful anyone? :)
    Happy Franciversary! Send you a virtual Pastis :) xx

  3. Exciting in the best possible way I think! New and different, and safe all at the same time :) Happy, happy franciversary to you x

  4. Wow, I guess you have seen quite a bit in this past year with a big life-change. I would say that you are doing quite well bringing a new flavor of humor to Le Petit Village. Keep writing your stories!

    Happy Franciversary!

  5. I believe that Le Petit Village was a sad and dull place before you moved in there (no offence of course). You might have a greater impact there than you think! :)

    Congratz on your Franciversary! :D

  6. I have to post a note... Joyeux Franciversary Sara! Your last night before your new life awakes some many memories... I can't wait to share all of this with you around a glass or two! And I will be around to help you go through a winter in Provence, I promise! You should be proud of you and the Husband should be too. Changing life for love is the sweetest proof of love ever! Longue vie en Provence à la reine Sara!! Bisous

  7. 1) Thank you for admitting to hugging leprechauns - and providing pics. No one ever believes me & then come the drunk jokes.

    2) Shredding is much more fun with wine and bootie shaking.

    3) Joyeux Franciversaire! Exciting (kinda like me sitting here in kitty cat jammies after noon on a Sunday sipping cappuccino watching Europe's video countdown) or not - you're living a beautiful life with the man you adore - and life? Fabulous!

    I'm happy for you - and that you share your perspectives and humor in this blog.

  8. SL,
    Happy Franciversary!
    That leprechaun was scary, glad you got away from that crazy island. ;)

  9. Actually that's pretty exciting! you live in France! Lucky you..... I didn't know you rescued Fifty (must read back posts). How very kind of you. Happy Franciversary!

  10. Happy Franciversaire! There's nothing i enjoy more than an anniversary story, as you well know.

    How lucky for us you made this move , else we wouldn't have met.

    Did I miss a post on how you and the husband met?
    xo Jane

  11. Moving to a place where someone else already lives--it's always like "ok, now what." No furniture to buy or filling up of the house to do makes for a bit of a weird, unsatisfied feeling.

    Anyway, Happy Franciversary, it's been a fun year for all of us!

  12. Happy Franciversary, Sara! LOL ~ Actually it sounds like quite an adventure -- your whole life does! You lived in Ireland, for heaven's sake! With leprechauns and real Guinness and people who curse you with stuff like, "May the blimmin' cat eat ye, 'n may the cat be eaten by the Devil!" Tee hee! We're looking forward to many more adventures from you in your lovely village for many years to come. Cheers!

  13. Happy, happy, etc. Thought you had been there much longer. You make me long for that trip to France, and Italy and Spain.... hope year two is even better!

  14. Happy Franciversary to You!! I love that story, because it is as if your move was the most natural in the world. You ended things simply in Ireland that night and you started the new one in Le Petit Village as if you were coming into that house as it was any old day. Of course I know the natural state of the house improved significantly after your arrival. ;)

    So glad to be a small part of your life in France! Thank you for sharing and have a happy happy Franciversary!!

  15. Wow! You seem so settled and it seems like Fifty has been yours forever. Hard to believe it's only been a year! I totally know what you mean about the moving jitters and all over surrealness. I'm in the middle of it now. Spending the day packing and feeling sad. And already so so tired of all the goodbyes. I wish I could fast forward and just get to where I'm going already... But then I guess I would miss the fun bits as well.

    Happy Anniversary!

  16. I'm sure the move to france couldn't have been easy! But it's amazing the things we do for love!! It's so interesting where life will take us...never in a million years did I expect to marry a Greek immigrant and eventually have a summer home in Europe that I'd live in for 2 months out of the year.(all the while trying to learn the most freaking ridiculously hard language so that I can communicate with my mother-in-law.)
    It hasn't always been easy, but it's worth it overall (usually)...

  17. great picture. happy "franciversary"! i hope that my husband's company will relocate us to France for a few years. i would eat cheese and bread at every meal. i really enjoy your "Le Villagers" sidebar. take care, sara louise.

  18. I love that you followed your heart! xo

  19. Amazing! thats such a true romantic story! i love it! XXX

    p.s i put all my flip flops, bikinis etc away and out came boots, tights, scarfs and gloves :( its always a sad day


  20. Happy Franciversary indeed! From the way you write about your life there in Le Petit Village, so lovingly and knowingly, I had assumed you'd been there much longer. Bisou to Fifty! :)

  21. Dear Sara,
    Happy Franciversary! The story is so lovely. I love Dublin and all Ireland. I spend the best 15 days of my life!
    Happy week.
    Bisou, Babi

  22. What a sweet way to start your love affair with France. You've made huge progress and I bet everyone just loves you down there.

  23. Congratulations and happy Franciversary! One year down and many more wonderful years to come. Have a great week.

  24. I know the feeling of anticipation and when you realize that the day to fly away actually came. Happy Anniversary! I hope you celebrated! xox

  25. I hope you had a happy anniversary and that you and The Husband will have many more.

  26. awwww... i can TOTALLY relate to the packing up your things, sleepless nights, wondering if what you're doing is a mistake... glad to see it all worked out for you.

    congrats to you, husband, and pup!

  27. I feel sorta special; I think I discovered your blog very shortly after your arrival, so I kinda feel like I've been on the journey with you in a teensy tinsey way. You made a brave move and it's paying off in spades! You seem really happy and all your readers area happy for you! :-}


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