Pont Noir

Live Life in Creuse

Arriving in June after a long, sad time
by alldown • Mon 01 Apr 2013 17:07
I will be arriving in June for the first time in over a year. I will be coming with a very close friend and my 2 naughty little dogs.

Stephen was diagnosed with myeloma (bone marrow cancer) in 2008. We managed to carry on visiting la Creuse but, he was having a great deal of treatment so it was not very often. Because he became disabled so quickly he was unable to work so I took early retirement to be with him. He then bought his first west highland terrier Ecosse (echo for short) About 18 months after that he bought another one Montagne (Anya for short).

I am sure that he loved those naughty little beasties more than me :)

Once we had the dogs and his mobility was getting worse we started doing the journey in 2 stretches stopping over in Rouen for 1 night. Our last visit was April/May 2012.

Some people get 9 years or more with myeloma but Stephen was not one of those. He died aged 57 on the 11th September 2012, 4 years after diagnosis. We had been told on our last visit to his oncologist that he had about 2 years left. More with luck.

A few days after that he became desperately ill with renal failure and died four weeks later. You don't die from myeloma. It attacks your kidneys, liver, heart any major organ.

Pat has been a very close friend of ours for over 20 years BUT she will not drive abroad. I have never driven to La Celle sous Gouzon (just outside of Gouzon town),although I am quite happy to pootle around the villages. On top of that. After Stephen sold his work van he had a 4x4 truck and a Citroen Picasso with a boot box even though it was a car it was quite roomy and we had already brought furniture over in the van. So whichever one we came over in we had plenty of room.

Now picture this. When Pat and I come over we will have the 2 of us, our luggage and our bedding. The dog's beds, bedding, food and bowls. Goodness knows what else all packed into my 11 year old Chrysler PT Cruiser :(

Stephen and I used to do the unforgivable Brit thing and bring over our favourite Irish sausages, smoked back bacon and strong English Cheddar. We used to freeze the meats and then pack it all in a couple of cool box with ice packs. When we went to English friends living in La Creuse our "Thank you for asking us to dinner" gift was some bacon and Cheddar cheese. Far more appreciated by them than a bottle of wine, and we quite understood the "We have lots of different cheeses for after supper. Do you mind if we don't serve the Cheddar?"

Mind you we always brought French produce back with us. Wine, Patés, Auvergne cheeses. Stephen used to bring back fromage de tête. Yuck!! So it was a fairly even thing between French produce and English favourites.

My little Cruiser will not have room for any of that. We may get a couple of bars of Cadbury's dairy milk in if we are lucky. Both of us are chocoholics, ask my hips.

It is going to be a sad and happy time coming back to France. I had many nice letters and cards from our French neighbours when Stephen died and I am looking forward to seeing them but it will be hard walking in to, what Stephen always maintained would be "the most beautiful house in France one day"

I am sure that I have forgotten whatever French I knew and am going back to language classes when they start again. Pat speaks no French at all but we will get by. Stephen always maintained that you could get by in any language as long as you knew the words for please, thank you, hello and goodbye and always smiled. Just as well as,even after 2 years of evening classes, they were still the only words he remembered.

I suppose we could always do the unforgivable, embarrassing to see in a shop thing of shouting loud enough in English until they understand. Anybody else seen that and left the shop quickly?

Goodness I did not realise just how long this post was. Don't post for ages and then don't shut up. Sorry if I have bored you all.

Kind regards Gill x
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Sep 2005
Re: Arriving in June after a long, sad time
by dissid32 • Tue 02 Apr 2013 08:33
Thank you for sharing all that with us. I'm sorry to hear about your loss. Very sad for you. I hope you have a good journey when you come, and a happy stay. I trust the weather will have improved by then.

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Feb 2006
Re: Arriving in June after a long, sad time
by TournesolKate • Tue 02 Apr 2013 18:28
Gill, I am so sorry to read your sad story. I really hope your return to La Creuse won't be too sad.
I'm sure you have plenty of friends over here, but if you should need any language help, feel free to PM me. I am only in Ahun, so not far from you.
Good luck on your journey down.
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Oct 2008
Re: Arriving in June after a long, sad time
by Annik • Thu 04 Apr 2013 17:48
We are so terribly sorry to hear your sad news. We will get in touch nearer the time of your arrival in the Creuse but we would love you and your friend to come over and see us. And, of course, if you need any help - just shout.
Have a good journey.
Love from Annik
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Jun 2007
Re: Arriving in June after a long, sad time
by h1bees • Thu 04 Apr 2013 21:42
Sorry to hear about your loss. I get so upset now when I hear these sad stories. I lost my sister unexpectedly quickly when we were over visiting our house in France about a year ago. I hope you enjoy the positive memories of your house and all the good times you spent.
Dec 2008
Re: Arriving in June after a long, sad time
by jeanette • Thu 04 Apr 2013 22:16
So sorry to here your sad news and thank you for sharing your sad news with us.
I am sure you have lots of friends but if we can help in any way please please feel free to call as we are just down the road only 10 minutes the other side of Boussac in St Marien .
Jun 2009
Re: Arriving in June after a long, sad time
by lavaufranche • Sun 07 Apr 2013 16:59
Sorry to hear about your loss
I do n't really know what to say, but my thoughts are with you. I can understand the apprehension of coming back to a place that you and Stephen enjoyed and have invested so much time and effort in. I hope the visit will give you strength at a dificult time.
best wishes
Nov 2006
Re: Arriving in June after a long, sad time
by alldown • Mon 08 Apr 2013 14:11
Thank you all so much for your messages of condolences and good wishes

love from Gill x
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Sep 2005
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