Wyndham and cello both kindly asked how I felt about moving back to France again.
I'm not keen to talk too much about this situation, because a lot of people are emotionally or logistically involved in one way or another, and some of the people involved read this blog, and some of the people involved don't read this blog, and it doesn't seem right to talk about any of these people too much.
So the basic story is this: my mum lives on her own in the rural south of France, in a house that I bought for her after she and my dad split up. She is very ill with cancer, and she had some chemotherapy, which has helped a bit but not entirely, and now she needs a lot of looking after.
For the last eight months my lovely brother and I have been taking it in turns to spend a few weeks down here, but for reasons I won't go into, it makes more sense for me to take over full time, at least for the next year or so.
So I've given up my flat in London, as of the end of April, and the current plan is to move all my effects and belongings down here in the week after Easter.
My feelings on the subject are probably neither here nor there, but they are decidedly mixed. Obviously I am very distressed about my mum, especially as there's nothing I can do to make her any better. Other than that, and apart from the fact that I will have to work remotely, I suppose the three things that worry me most are:
a) The loneliness - that picture in the post below is the view from my terrasse, and as you can see it does not exactly depict civilised society in full throng.
b) My complete lack of practical skills - it's all very well that I am here, but I can barely cook and my looking-after-seriously-ill-people abilities register at about minus 15 on the Florence Nightingale scale. Although I am learning to spend at least some of my time in the real world, however difficult it might be.
c) Maintaining a long-distance relationship - I've done it before and have no qualms about doing it again, but it does become worrying when I don't know how long I will be here, and of all the places his career might be heading, the most rural part of the poorest département of France isn't really likely to be one of them.
So that's it really - everyone has obstacles and problems to contend with in their life, so I'm not seeking sympathy. But it *will* be very nice to know over the coming months that you lovely blog-readers and commenters are there; your (virtual) presence will make a big difference to me.