We have a new happy place in our lives. After 10 years of owning a small apartment in the south of France, last year we traded it in for a house. Much bigger and more of a home than a holiday place, which the apartment always was. Over the past 11 months or so we have set about making it into our home, all be it for just a few months of the year. For lots of reasons (family, visas, work, tax) we won’t be making it a permanent home. But already it is a place where both of us can feel more like us. A place where we can feel more alive.
I completely acknowledge our immense privilege in not just being able to travel but to actually own a second home. After all, many people can’t afford a first home. I am extremely lucky because it is down to the choices and abilities of my lovely husband that we are in this position. Yes, I have contributed, but without him we wouldn’t have this opportunity. The apartment which I bought with redundancy money did not increase in value in 10 years, a valuable lesson to anyone thinking property much be an investment. But I digress.
A house, a home a new way to live
It’s hard to point to the specific reasons that we both feel differently about ourselves as soon as we arrive at the house. It’s a traditional French village house on 3 levels. The stairs help to focus the mind, since you don’t go up without taking something with you and equally for coming down. Our roof terrace is just the most amazing space. We have started to try to make it a place where we can pretty much live in summer. Plus hopefully more of the year too. The addition of a hot tub in May and some furniture for the room off the terrace this month go a long way to achieving that. But also our beautiful bedroom with ensuite. The spacious kitchen where we can cook and entertain. the comfortable living room with log burner for winter all add to the vibe.
But it isn’t just about comfort and space. It is about the inner peace we find there. A lifting of the pressures of home, and goodness knows there have been a few this year. A place to ignore the world, the stupidity of the political classes. To live for the moment, to read, to think and to be. I just love it. Then when we are just too hot or tired from the stairs or a long walk there is the tub, That is my new most happy place.