They keep us young...

Do teenagers!

When she's home, I rediscover a lighter world of noisy music and laughter that fills my heart with pure joy, even if I don't admit to it at the time! If only I could have all three with me all the time or at the very least, have them just a few blocks away! Never mind eh. 'Tis what it is' as they say in Yorkshire.

We give them wings to fly and all that!

This half term, our youngest girl, she absolutely lightened up our lives and rounded us out for one week only. Bless her. She's growing up into a lovely young lady but certainly has an ounce or two of my sass! Amen to that!

Teens get a bad rep generally, don't they, however, they do eventually start to mature and I for one am more grateful for her, our last child than ever right now. As you know, our eldest daughter has a lot of difficulties and is lost to us for now. What has hurt as much as her suffering, is the judgement coming from folks back home. They appear to think we are responsible or haven't tried to help her or get her help. Of course we have. Some folks in crisis don't want or can't accept help and they go on their personal difficult journey by themselves.

We will never stop loving her.

People can be so unkind, so darn ignorant.

At this time, it's really difficult to be brave and carry on with the usual routine. There have been many days where I didn't fancy playing out with the UnFrench family lately. The thing that keeps me trucking and spurs me on is the community spirit we built together. I know some you are also having a tough time and need us to leave the light on and we will.

I know UnFrench has suffered some dark days recently, with trolling and destructive insider issues but we survived eh! It's a shame but the bigger we get the more we attract nonsense.

We go on with gusto and hopefully for a long time to come. I am aware of the negative press we got and I just hope that those folks don't suffer what we did. Thats all.

In the words of Elton John.......'I'm still standing better than I ever did, feeling like a true survivor feeling like a little kid'.......well not kid exactly, more like a 51 year old that needs a few new parts ordering!

We live and we learn........constantly.

Anyway, back to the Teen. We, him and I 'we' both know she's not terribly keen on the long flights, especially for a very 'short but sweet' week and we've kinda gotten used to playing second fiddle to the boyfriend, but it would seem we were very much in need of of a dose of her special sunshine. In dire need actually.

She's our medicine and I hope we are hers. We also know she just wants us back in Blighty, near and always available. We get it. The reality is that we are here for now paying the bills and making ends just about meet. It's been a less than fruitful year which isn't quite at an end but that how the dice rolls sometimes, right!. We all just have to suck it up and carry on camping! Employ stiff upper lips and march onwards.

Doesn't matter where we are in the world, family is everything. Right? The joy she brings is even more bittersweet because our older daughter, is so far away from us in so many ways.

Today is the 1st of November and she's on her way home again. Not for long this time, as the term will soon be over for Christmas and her 18th birthday! She was indeed a very festive baby! She was born into the season of twinkling lights, joy and gifts! H, is such a gift of goodwill. to us We will be meeting in New York to celebrate with her and I for one can't wait.

We've gotten 3 kids to adult age and they are all alive, this is something to celebrate I feel.

The last time we went to New York it was Christmas 2004 and I was as sick as a dog after my first dose of the flu vaccine. I did end up visiting the New York City hospital for a check up. It was very expensive and very interesting! Nevertheless, I will never forget how pretty the city dresses up for the festive season! It's quite spectacular! There's nothing quite like it! I hope you get a chance to experience it in the future.

We've hung out well together this short holiday. The weather has been atrocious but no matter, we managed on a menu of cosy movies and Teen television. Old re runs of programs we've watched together a thousand times. They never get old. I complain bitterly and then continue watching them when she leaves the room. Hehe!

Last night was Halloween. The rain washed all the Trick or Treaters away! We couldn't even be bothered to carve the pumpkin and left that to the man of the house. The results are here and pretty cheeky, don't you think!

Clever chap my man, isn't he?

The sweets we did buy, disappeared upstairs with the Teen, just like magic! Poof and they were gone!

We baked. We cooked together. We danced around a very busy Mall which none of us enjoyed really. Shock horror, she only bought a blazer! This never happens! It would seem we chose the wrong day to linger in the Mall as everyone else had the same Sunday afternoon idea!

The dogs will miss her just as much as we will, even though caring for them doesn't quite stretch to walking them!. She definitely fills the house and makes it more of a home when in residence. When she's home I don't feel the need to stop by her room to water her plants and sit a while or want to buy more dogs. She's just all around and its lovely.

Cleaning her room once she's gone again, is still a chore, I won't ever relish, but still, I pick my battles carefully these days.

The house will suddenly feel empty and cold again. A big ole house with no heart or soul. It's that time of year, isn't it? The weather is getting colder, the skies darker and the days shorter. We are all having to pay tax bills and Christmas is looming large. We miss our families. It's perfectly normal but still tough.

France goes very quiet in the winter months and for the newbies its a bit of a shock to the system. It's a new rhythm that takes some getting used to. I do know.

This year we are also far from home and it's often daft things I miss. Of course I miss my family but I also really miss Marks and Spencers pork sausages, not least because they are gluten free. I cant imagine a Christmas without hundreds of pigs in blankets. Ah well!

I guess there are many of you still knee deep in renovation projects and fledgling businesses. Listen, all I can say is, do take a while to look how far you've come and how much you have achieved? Have a little break and have a lot of faith, you will get there in the end, I promise you.

Escape to the Chateau DIY is back on but I am saving them up for the dark, dreary nights to come. Snow is due here in Canada as soon as next week! It will be another challenging winter of which I thought I'd never see the like again, yet here we still are!

I have done a year and I can absolutely do another year. The sacrifice will be worth it just to get The French Wreck project done! 2020 is in my sights for one reason only and that's to get that stinking old pile of bricks, fancy again!

Do put your fairy lights up and organize a bit of Hygge in your home. Make like a bear and get winter ready. Get wrapped up well and Clare will shout at you to pop your scarf on, so please do! Move your ass! Go out and collect foliage and pine cones. Get some winter crafting projects underway. Keep busy, listen to music and stay beautiful!

Chat soon!

D x

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