La Chatte Gitane (or The Gypsy Cat) was the name we chose for our cottage in France. We chose it while on the road, moving home, from Ireland to France with 2 dogs and 7 cats in the car.
This blog began its insignificant life as a recipe book for friends and family who would ask me repeatedly for a recipe of this, that and the other.
Since then it has taken many different directions, like gypsies tend to do. Sometimes making a U-turn and revisiting familiar roads and taking a break when necessary.
You'll find recipes here, but also musings about the places we've called home, the gardens that we've established, not always successfully, the homes we've improved and the environments we've lived in. Currently, that is back in Ireland.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

It's been 4 weeks tomorrow

since we left Belgium.

We've had some pretty hectic days before we left. Last minute packing, container arriving, loading and container leaving again, before we could set to the road, direction Ireland.

I have difficulty writing about those last days, as I really don't want to think about it much, plus the fact that I was so exhausted that most of it happened with a foggy brain (mine).

Anyway, the cats went to my cousin, Nancy's cattery on the Friday till Monday, when we picked them up and began our journey.
The container got delivered Thursday afternoon.  Great start ! He got stuck on the small road  near our house and had to be pulled free by a neighbouring farmer and his tractor.
That settled, the driver decided not to attempt to offload the container at our house (not possible, he said), but dropped it off at the neighbours, who were kind enough to accommodate. But it meant that all our belongings had to be transported 150 meters or so.  It was an arduous task, but with the help of some friends and family, we did it !

Or so you would think !
If only Bert had notified me beforehand that our belongings wouldn't fit into a 20 ft container, but in fact that we'd needed two three of them ! I would certainly have organized it differently (that's what I'd like to believe, anyway)
Just how many times have I said : "Bert, that will never  fit into the container, will it ?", Only to get as reply : "Of course it will ! "
Never in a month of Sundays.  
Thus we set to the road with more than half of our belongings still left behind. Lucky that the house sale hadn't competed yet or we would have been snookered.
Bert then arranged another container for 2 weeks later to get the rest of our stuff. He would be in Belgium then to sign the contract for the sale of the house.
The new owners were kind enough to let us have a day extra to empty and clean up the house. Which Bert did, by the skin of his teeth AND renting extra storage from Shurgard self storage
I really don't want to think about it for the time being, so I am going to leave it at that !
Monday morning at 7am the first container left and not long after we did too. Two cars. Bert driving one with our dogs, Millie and Sam, while I took behind the wheel of the other car with my mother and 5 cats. Calais, here we come !
A few hickups with the trafic in Belgium later, we arrived at the channel tunnel in Calais safely.  There we had to have the pets' passports and micro chips checked, which went very well.
Once in the UK, the journey from Folkestone to Pembroke was extremely smooth sailing, unlike the ferry crossing from Pembroke to Rosslare.
The Irish Sea is rough at the best of times, but this was something else entirely. Thank goodness all three of us were tired at the verge of exhaustion and that we had a cabin booked or we would have settled into the lifeboats for the night - just in case.
Never knew ships could make circular motions like that. A few times I was woken up because I felt being lifted off the cabin bunk and dropped right back onto it. All three of us between wakefulness and fitful sleep, too worried and tired to speak. The ferry toddled into Rosslare harbour an hour later than foreseen on Tuesday morning around 7.30 am.
Thank you, Ireland, for welcoming us back with a clear blue sky and the sun out, even if it was still somewhat blustery.
A gentle 5 hour drive later we arrived at the house, where we unloaded the pets and flopped out on the furniture that was left by the previous owners !
I would go through it all again for a this. ^
Thanks for popping in.
Patricia xxx...x

1 comment:

  1. I'm sure that you will feel it was worth it in the end! Sounds like a very exhausting journey.


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