We leave the day after tomorrow. In fact Hugo and Rupes left yesterday. We are staying on until the last possible moment to let Olivia’s ear infection clear up and also to enjoy some last-minute walks around the green fields.
Yesterday we spent the day in Annecy with my mother (who flew in from Rome) and our great friends Jean-Claude and Alex as well as their children Astrid and Elisa. Olivia and Elisa have been best friends since they were one. We met Jean-Claude when I fell in love with one of his wines and a friend of ours was looking for suppliers for his London wine bar. He is an amazing man, he now has an incredibly successful wine-making business, selling millions of bottles all over the world, but he also has time to do things like sell our car for us (which he did a few weeks ago) and give me advice about my novel which is about a housewife turned winemaker.
Annecy by the way has to be one of the nicest places I have ever visited; there is a stunning lake, great shops and swans gliding around the city centre’s waterways. Here is Leo on a boat on the lake.
My mother, the children and I are back with our other great friends Norrie and Mary. It feels like coming home. And talking of home….THE house. Well the news is not good. They want a price much closer to the asking price than we can come up with. That may change of course and I am not giving up. Meanwhile the upside is we can stay here and I can’t think of anywhere else I relax quite as much. The children are off playing with the rabbits and I am in Norrie’s office catching up with some work and admin. It also means we don’t have the stress of trying to sell Sainte Cecile and all the worry of what to do if it did sell (there are tenants there until March) or the expense of moving. And to some extent the heartbreak of leaving our family home of nine years.
It has been a lovely holiday and I do have that ‘going back to school’ feeling today. But I am not sad to be going back. I have great friends there too whom I am longing to see. And I am looking forward to getting back into my yoga/work/school routine. Last night I spoke to Rupert who said “It’s nice to be home.” So I guess for the moment Abu Dhabi is where home is. We’ll see what happens in the future.
The other great news is that the updated edition of Ciao Bella is in the window of Waterstone’s in High Street Kensington. Bang in the middle according to my friend Peter who saw it there. This is it, if you see it, buy it please. Then maybe one day we will be able to afford THE house!
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2009