We have been home for a week and are getting ready to leave again. I am not quite sure what to think. Part of me wants to sort out the whole house, unpack all the boxes and just never ever leave again and yet part of me thinks ‘thank God we don’t live here any more’. It’s all very confusing.
Of course it is the most beautiful house in the world, with views to soothe your soul and walks that you never tire of. And coming back this time I really felt at home, the house and garden look lovely and everything is so familiar.
It is amazing that despite the burglary most of our things seem just the same. Rupert pumped up Leo’s bike and off he went as if he had never been away. What was really lovely was how happy the older children (Hugo and Julia) were to be here. It made us think that if we can possibly avoid selling it we should. It is like Howard’s End, but with less rain, a place where they will come to heal broken hearts, get married and nurture their children.
But there is always something TO DO. In Abu Dhabi I can quite happily spend the weekend planning my afternoon kips. Here I am planning how to get as much as possible done in the least possible time. Twas ever thus.
But it has been really lovely. It has been great to see people, to have lunches and dinners by the source and on the terrace and to be reunited with such essentials as Leo’s integrated Atlas with CD, Olivia’s teddy’s jumpers and my curling tongs. The children were also reunited with ‘Mami’ Chantal and ‘Papi’ Gilbert – my old childminder and her husband who have looked after Olivia since she was one and the other two since birth. The girls had their friends over and at one stage with all the kids in the pool, it was like a thousand other weekends.
Now there is no more time to rifle through boxes I realise that by the time we come back again the children will have grown out of all their old clothes. And either I will have done (got to get back to that gym as soon as we get home) or the mice will have eaten them.
Sainte Cecile is now not ours again until the end of 2011. I hope as little has changed here when we next come back. And that I can stay a little longer so I don’t feel I have to do stuff all the time. Maybe I can persuade our ‘bonne’ Schamanee to come along with us.
Sainte Cecile with a maid, now that really could be as close to heaven as I could imagine….
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2010