Why does a new home never really feel like your own until you’ve cleaned the windows?  I finally got round to it a couple of days ago and it made me feel so much better, not least because I can now actually see this lovely view!

The river Dordogne

The river Dordogne

The last couple of weeks have been all about settling in to our new life by the river where we are living and working for the next six months.  We are in the small town of Souillac (pronounced Suey-yak) in the Lot area of Southwest France.  We’re only about an hour north of where we were at the Chateau but you can already see the difference in scenery.  Wide open river valleys with steep cliffs and wooded hillsides.  Acres and acres of rich fertile land dotted with walnut groves and tobacco fields.  I didn’t realise it would be quite so lovely here.

Walnut Grove

We are surrounded by acres of walnut groves

Although we’re actually in the Lot area of France we’re also only a five-minute drive away from the border of the Dordogne, the area that takes it name from the river running past our apartment block.  Our work will have us scurrying about in both areas and crossing the Dordogne and Vézère river valleys daily as we move bags, bikes and canoes from place to place.  I can think of worse places to spend the summer and I like the fact that we are still in the Midi-Pyrenees which somehow makes me feel close to the mountains.  Although from here the nearest mountains are the Massif Central and not the Pyrenees at all.

Massif Central

Me and Running Boy on our drive over here with the Massif Central in the background

Since we arrived on 1st May we’ve canoed 50km (which involved a rather spectacular capsize), hiked 120km between us and have well over 1,500km of driving under our belts.  It’s the start of what looks to be a very busy summer, but hopefully we’ll get a break from working every now and then to get out and explore the area ourselves.

It’s been a hectic few weeks but I’m slowly readjusting to the pace of life by the river.  Despite moving around a lot, I still go through a period of settling in in every new place.  There seems to be a balance of embracing the new and unfamiliar while trying to maintain some of the old and familiar.

I tend to go for old habits and routines.  I find a good book to read, make a strong cup of tea and settle down for an hour or so.

A good book

My new favourite book by Gabriel Mojay

I do the washing and the cleaning and, as I mentioned before, there’s nothing quite like sparkly clean windows to help you feel at home.

Lighting incense or using smudge sticks is a great way to clear and reset the energy of a place and I always find the ritual of burning incense or oils strangely calming and grounding.

Having sorted things out inside, it’s then nice to get outside and into a new area by exploring some of the nearby walks.  Living on the edge of a small town means we can be out in the countryside in a matter of seconds.


Lovely walks around here

I’m looking forward to the next six months.  My blogging may be a little erratic but I will try to keep you updated with life by the river.

I’ll keep you posted ♥




justinpbrown · May 17, 2016 at 5:33 pm

Lovely pics Elizabeth, looks like a good move & an action packed few months ahead of you. I’ll come & hang with youz if I get enough dosh together xx

    elizabeth · May 17, 2016 at 7:53 pm

    Would be good to see you – lots to see and do here x

Tara Leaver · August 16, 2016 at 10:53 am

Oh it looks lovely! As much as I sometimes envy such an interesting itinerant lifestyle, I know what you mean too about needing time to settle in each time. I often forget that I need that when I travel, so now I factor it in and am prepared for it! And I love the sound of all that hiking and canoeing. 🙂

    elizabeth · August 16, 2016 at 11:05 am

    It is lovely, Tara, but unfortunately I don’t get as much time as I’d like to canoe and hike, although yesterday was a wonderful walk up into the hills for a picnic followed by a cool lie-down in the river. Days like those are great 🙂

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