Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Repeating myself

This is a view that many of you have seen before. It's the rue du Four in Saint-Aignan looking toward the church. I took it on Saturday while I was at the weekly market. This street is just off the main square.

The collégiale in St.-Aignan, just after 10:00am on Saturday morning.

When I look back through the years of this blog, I see a lot of the same stuff, over and over. I suppose I don't get out much. You'd think that living in central France would afford me access to all the exciting destinations that Europe has to offer. In fact, just before I moved here I thought I would be frequently on the road to amazing places in Scandinavia and around the Mediterranean basin snapping breathtaking photos, never the same one twice.

But then reality happened. Living here is like living anywhere. There's a house to maintain, pets to care for, and a garden to grow. It's not easy to get away. There are also financial considerations. The dollar is not worth anything like it was when we arrived here, and that's put a crimp in our budget. The price of heating fuel keeps going up and up. Our appliances are getting older and we need to be ready to replace them. We'll need a new car before too long. Periodic trips home to see family and friends are costly.

That's reality. It's also what we chose when we decided to get out of the rat race and down-size our lives. And guess what? We're both content. We own our modest house, no mortgage. We enjoy growing vegetables and cutting grass. We like our small town and the vineyards and the markets and the seasons. We're happy spending our time at home. No work stress. No commuting.

We will soon begin our ninth year here. Neither one of us has any desire to leave. I don't know how much longer this blogging will go on, but while it does, it will likely continue to be about the same old stuff.

One of my favorite lines from a movie: "I am not repeating myself. I am not repeating myself. Oh, god, I'm repeating myself."


  1. We love that same old stuff, so keep repeating......!!

    You sound very comfortable and content there in the peace and quiet of the French countryside. Who wouldn't swap a life of stress and commuting for that?

  2. but it is VERY nice same old stuff so please keep repeating it!!

  3. Contentment is the key to a happy life I think Walt. Nothing wrong at all with repeating things and places you love. Our life is just about the same and I wouldn't have it any other way. What was it John Lennon said (I'm paraphrasing) - Life is what happens while you're planning the rest of your life.

  4. You have new 'readers' for whom it is not the same old stuff. I love it and your comments this time are just as we find France - only substitute pounds for dollars!

  5. I like the color of this photo .

    NL ( another new reader of your blog )

  6. Oh, I think it might be repeated themes, but that's why we're here... we love your themes! ;)


  7. I guess I just have the same old comment to make - I really like hearing about what you call your same old stuff...It's so different from my own same old stuff in north east Ohio. I like to see the scenery, your house and garden, the nearby towns, and Callie!

  8. Your and Ken's blogs spread the
    contentment to the rest of us.

    The photo of rue du Four looks
    like an etching, wonderful light
    and shading....worthy of framing.

  9. I'm at the age that doesn't even realize you are repeating;-)

    Love this photo- the top part probably looked the same for several hundred years.

  10. Now if you can mix in some pics of homemade pies or tartes and some updates about the pets especially Bertie , it will be great ♫♫♫♫♫♫♫

  11. So what if you're repeating yourself. Do you hear us complaining? :)

    p.s. to chm - thank you for the website!

  12. Oh, it's the very daily-ness that we all like so much. We're retired like you, and very content also with the routine.Checking out your blog is right up there with my morning cafe au lait.
    bon journee

  13. Thanks so much for these insights. Very helpful when we're about to make a similar move.

  14. You have what I am killing myself to achieve, The Simple Life.
    Your Friend, m.

  15. We bought our home here is Studio City 17 years ago,and it is now paid in full. Our "beach shack" in Malibu is paid off but last year we decided to lease it out. The husband retired this year at age 55. We have the freedom to come and go at any time but other than short trips up to Santa Barbara or down to San Diego, we really like staying around the homestead. If I had a blog it would be very boring. Your blog is very nice and I really enjoy the daily snapshots of your day.

  16. How nice to see new friends posting comments. Reading comments from your fans who pour their hearts out here is as much fun as the posts. I know personally some of your commenters, others seem like friends because of their comments here over the years.

    Yup. One happy community.

  17. Speaking for myself, you can show the same pictures as often as you like....I love them.

  18. Same here, I could never tire of seeing your pictures, many of whom I have yet to see since I am a fairly recent follower of your blog Walt. Please don't stop blogging.

    Five years ago I moved to southern Delaware from southeastern Pennsylvania. While I love living here in Delaware I do find that I don't have near the opportunities for taking interesting and beautiful pictures on this flat, coastal landscape with doubwides and new homes that I did in old growth Pennsylvania with its many hills and valleys, winding roads and many old structures. Your blog has inspired me to take more pictures of the beautiful flowers and plants around me but it is an effort here in southern Delaware unlike Pennsylvania where I had an abundance of photo ops. I make do. Please don't stop blogging. You're one of my favorite bloggers. Can we see a picture of your home?

  19. Living here is like living anywhere

    not really! You have better food and more sensible surroundings.

  20. I'm reading your blog late, tonight, but I never miss one day, even if it is a day or two late.
    Why? Because you and Ken write about your jour quotidien (daily life each day) and I get to hear about it, (secretly believing that reading your words puts me there in Saint Aignan, FRANCE !!!).

    It's not that what you do and write about is repeating itself for me... It's that you are looking and photographing what you are seeing THAT DAY from a different perspective perhaps that I might have when something inspires me to take a photo. Each of us looks at many of the same things each day, but then, all of a sudden one looks at it just a little differently (perhaps the sky or the people or the bark of the tree strikes our fancy...)

    KNOW that for me, I really would be disappointed if you or Ken stopped blogging. I am SO GLAD I somehow found you (I cannot remember how that happened :-0 ).
    Walt, your photos are terrific and like I repeated (!!!) I don't feel you are repetitive.

    Please pass this on to Ken, I feel the same way about his blog!

  21. Thanks, everybody, for the kind words. I didn't intend to solicit such comments, but I appreciate them. And welcome to the new readers!

    I also didn't intend to imply I was thinking of stopping the blog any time soon. I just know that nothing goes on forever...

  22. And ron, yes, I'll try to post a photo of the house soon. In the meantime, if you scroll through the posts under the label "our house," there are some photos of it there.

  23. The comments above eloquently
    express the reason both of your blogs are the first I look forward to each morning along with Jean's and Simon and Susan's (both originally found through your blog). What could be better than a trip to France to start each day! I can't thank you enough. Also for your terrific recipes. We are enjoying your rhubarb and strawberry tarts (and pie!) at the moment and I have made Ken's chicken with apricots over and over again. During the last few years I have photocopied so many of your recipes that you are now my favourite 'cookbook!
    Very best wishes, Angela

  24. We are all re-living our lives daily in our own ways.

    I could view that scene every day; it is very atmospheric.

  25. I love reading your blog! My husband and I recently had a conversation about the lifestyle in Normandy. It just seems so much slower and I would be truely contet living there. Living in Orange County CA one would think the same about all the beautiful scenery and living in a resort town it would be in constant excitement. But there a vegetable garden to maintain, dogs, children, cleaning, etc, etc....but that is contentment!

  26. the movie quote - I know it! one of my faves too, ryan oneal playing rock musicologist howard bannister in whats up doc! one of my fave lines "your going to need an awfully big glass of water to get that down" and of course, "I am not a eunice burns, I am the eunice burns" (and we know its not "burnsie") :)

  27. angela, thank you!

    victor, true.

    desiree, yup!

    yankeegirl, one of my favorite movies. :)

  28. I love your blog and Ken's blog. I never go to bed before reading them. Through you I have seen both sunset and sunrise in France. It's priceless. Thank you.


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