fall languedoc france

Le Petit Platane Sign
Alfonz painted our sign for our gite B&B business
Le Petit Platane Sign
Alfonz painted our sign for our gite B&B business

I couldn’t put my finger on what was the matter. The routines are back to normal after the summer vacations; the homework, the horseback riding, the music lessons… but something was different. 6:34 I woke with a jolt! The birds are gone! I hadn’t noticed my friends who woke me each morning, the sound of hundreds of birds chirping and tweeting had vanished. During my busy days; the weather cooling, the pool covering, the weeds pulling, and the wind blew; at some point the birds had left on their migratory path. Goodbye birdies, until next year.

After the non-stop working, an abrupt ending, and the shift to fall; I could feel it. Sadness had crept over the land as the flowers were wilting, as the leaves changed to beautiful shades of amber, crimson and cinnamon and fell to the forest floor. The weather change left a chill in the air, even when it was warm out; a feeling of change. Gypsy blood in my veins flows strong, and the itch of the open road. I caught myself looking at real estate again, Montreal, Budapest, London, Vienna. That’s what the fall feels like here, a dramatic ending to summer’s perfection.

Next week we start work again for another two weeks. It will keep my mind busy until November. Then we look forward to another family vacation in December to Hungary over Christmas and New Years.

Still much to do this year, my current goal is to finish My Expat Life Series and publish my little book online. I have two interviews for next week and then I have a total of 15 families. Then Alfonz and I must renovate our little house in Capestang; new windows and shutters before next year’s students arrive.

In between vacationing students learning English we did have a good rental year for Le Petit Platane, and I have met some characters along the way. Alfonz made a sign for the door to the street to help people find us when arriving to Capestang either for rentals or our students driven here by parents. As soon as it went up, the locals started to call. It really is funny, before that we advertised online, flyers, tourist office but that sign with all the cars passing by is what it took to let our community know what we do for a living.

Alfonz did a beautiful job on the sign. With oil paint he painted the Canal du Midi and our stone bridge which passes over it here in our village, with a little plane tree along the side and the words ‘Le Petit Platane’ in Alfonz’s handwriting. When we first moved in I had bought a metal tray to use for this sign which we have been using for nearly four years in the living room. One day during a painting class with my students, Alfonz decided to do the job and meticulously went to work on the project. Once the sign was bolted on the door, there was a sense of permanence, the act of declaring our B&B. We have officially moved to France.

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