As soon as I got back to Belgium, new plans started to unfold. The car I bought just before summer was begging me for a road trip. Grape picking friends needed a house sitter for their farm in France. Sure! So before the Mexican jetlag had time to settle, I was on the road again. Ten marvellous days of extended frolicking around the finest gardens, fields and forests France has to offer. The only friends I made were chickens and sheep, not another living soul in sight.
At first I was a bit scared. Of the very dark nights, hearing unfamiliar sounds outside of the farm. Dreams took me down scary roads, but as the sun rose, I was all blushy cheeks and hot coffee. The real thing I feared, was this: being alone with my chaotic brain for ten full days and nights. Like a silent retreat, just me and the brain. The endless train of thoughts going in circles until it would eventually lose track. I thought I might just go insane.
But what an absolute treat to be in solitude! To have no other places to be or people to meet, to just come home to myself for a little while. It scared the shit out of me at first, but when I got comfortable, I started to love it. Every second was quality time, selflovin' to the max, me dates for days. Running hot bubble baths, reading Colette, sipping fine wines, filling up blank pages like never before, hell I even painted!
Creative juices were a-flowing, my dears! There was not a moment of boredom, not a minute wasted. There were many hours of definitely not doing anything. Divine goodness! Why haven’t I tried this before! Lying in the grass, watching the clouds slow dance in the sky, smelling different flowers' perfumes, counting pearly dewdrops on the tips of blades of grass, seeing sunflowers unfold, listening to birds, following the detailed construction of their nests. Holy smokes, I could go on for days! Which is exactly what I did at that beautiful farm in the north of France.
The mornings were my favourites. Barefeet in the wet grass, feeding the chickens, finding warm eggs, saying good morning to the sheep, filling my basket with food from the yard: fresh raspberries, pumpkins, zucchini, kale, herbs, cherry tomatoes, pears and apples. Sweet ’n spicy porridge and french press were taken with me to the garden for a long and slow breakfast that easily rolled into lunchtime.
When I wasn’t smelling flowers in the garden, I put my hiking boots on for forest walks, picking blackberries, coming home all muddy and juicy purple. My parents visited me for a weekend, city tripping, beach walking, wine sipping under the setting sun. It was all too good to be true. Until the rains washed in and the drive home to Brussels fueled the ultimate autumn feeling of meh. Grey days have started, so I’m hiding inside, sweatpants mode on.
Five more weeks till summer! Yes, I’m curing my winter blues by moving to New Zealand.