Summer. 2014. June. July. August. September. October. November. December. 2015. January. February. March. April. May. June. Summer. Weeks, days, hours, minutes and seconds. Each of them consist of pieces of summer. The butterflies in the stomach are lively and hundreds of suns warm the heart. Continuously.
But let’s start from the beginning.
Exactly one year ago, on 26th of June, I got home. My new home.It was 11:06 pm.
My neighbour and his son accompanied me in my last (first?) journey. I had packed my whole life into wine boxes and we put them evenly (well, fairly evenly) in neighbour’s big van to hit the road: Poland, Germany and, finally, France.
We had problems only at the end of the trip, when after about 24 hours of driving we get lost near Bergerac. Unbelievable! It took three hours to be back on the road (the correct one) and it was just minutes from home. Well, 45 minutes but what are they comparing to 27 hours of driving in total?
Finally we appeared on the steep driveway to the house. My house. It looked lovely, it looked … well, to be perfectly honest, it didn’t look at all because there were no lamps and all I could see was the blackness of the night and a light of the torch. “What took you so long” M. came out of the darkness and hugged me.
Yes. I was finally at home.
The first months were uneven. Ups and downs. I’ve been trying to get used to a new place, meeting neighbors, I even started to work on the house so it looks like a house not like an attic.
After a month or so I realized that I will have to buy some flat shoes because my high heels hadn’t work at all. I fell in love with getting up in the morning to watch the sunrise, walking through the vineyards each day to enjoy the view.
What a pleasure for my hungry eyes!
I have been visiting the wineries, wine producers and learning about wine. And I have tasted wine- a lot. Hundreds of wines, I suppose, because M. insisted that I have to train the palate. So I did – regularly and in large amounts. There were weeks in which I wrote over 100 tasting notes. Comprehensive, yet effective.
My spittoon and I are best friends since then!
Other regions in France, Spain and England became my second home as I travel there very often. And I love them almost as much as I adore my house.
My first summer in Bordeaux was unusually long. A bit too long. And very hot. Sun was shining almost till the end of November. Finally it was Christmas time and I went to visit family and friends in Poland. I was happy as I had with me my beloved ones. This is, after all, the most important in life.
Short winter was filled with plenty of fire in the fireplace and hot chocolate while in the evenings I’d been relaxing on an electric blanket, a gift from M.’s mother.
Always too cold – yeah, that’s me.
I had the real winter for only about two to three weeks, because back in February my dream came true: we went to South Australia and China. Nearly three months of additional summer in the middle of winter. Beautiful holidays.
The dolphins (or sharks!) in the sea accompanied me while jogging on the beach almost every day. Sun-bathed vineyards had amazing aroma of ripe grapes was my day-to-day relaxation. I have met many wonderful people and made some friends; I visited many cellar doors and tried hundreds of wines. Yes, just hundreds – I hadn’t reached a magic number of a thousand. I adore Australia and its wines.
And kangaroos, although one pushed me and I fall over the grass. Dodger. He thought he can steal some food from me. No, I didn’t drink before. I was totally sober and still kangaroo knocked me down. Anyway, at least it is something to laugh about.
The Australian adventure came to an end too quickly. I was happy to return home at the same time I felt upset because of leaving the beautiful McLaren Vale untimely.
Summer came to Bordeaux in May, just a few days after I had unpacked suitcases. It was the perfect time to back to everyday life: to vineyards, to work on the house (stripping the wallpapers, painting walls etc) and in the garden (with flowers and vegetables). I was happy to get back my books, my job and my wine writing.
My day-to-day life in France seems to be different than before the holidays. Or maybe it is me who has changed?
Today is 26th of June. It’s been a year in Bordeaux, my first year at home.
We already have the lights outside the house. But in many places you still need to use a torch.
At the moment I am sitting in the garden with my cat sleeping on my laps and I’m looking around, inhaling the sun, inhaling the summer, inhaling my own happiness. I can smell the aroma of linden flowers and coffee with honey.
I love it. I love my French life. I love it brutally.
At 11:06pm I am going to open my beloved Cremant de Limoux to rise a glass for myself. Selfish? No, I deserve it ;) By then I am going to enjoy the moment. This one, while sitting in the garden, the one I am having with myself.
… and with my cat. Somehow today she doesn’t want to leave me alone. And she doesn’t care about my allergy to her. This is what I call ‘a true love’ (unless someone else has more food on the plate :p)
A year in Bordeaux. It passed so quickly. Seconds, minutes, hours. Summer, sun and butterflies. My heart is full of gratitude.
A fairy tale. A dream. A reality. The life.