I have another new idea for this year.
I have called it Q & A with VA.
I receive many emails I would love to share with you and they are emails with all sorts of ideas and questions, from fashion and beauty to life in France. I often think, when I read them, my readers would like to know this or maybe that’s a great idea for a new feature. I thought it would be fun to have a Q & A once a month and answer some of these questions.
The question I am asked often is about life in Provence.
How can I ever leave Provence and split my time between Saint Rémy de Provence and London?
The simple answer is it is never easy to leave either place.
Provence is my happy place. It is home and where my heart belongs. Well most of the time, because I say the same about London. I have trained myself to feel at home in two equally interesting but entirely different destinations.
Our home in Provence is filled with memories of life in Australia, our children as they grew up and all the treasures and paraphernalia we have collected since we married. It is where we celebrate holidays and special occasions and it is where we unwind together as a family or as a couple. Our home in Provence is where we “breathe”, slow down and enjoy nature’s bounty. Provence, if nothing else, is overflowing with natural beauty and a way of life to reflect those pleasures.
I have poured my heart and soul into making our home one that is both beautiful for us and welcoming to others. I cannot spend all year here because real life practicalities interfere; maybe in the future it will change.
Over the years I have become accustomed to the tear a split life leaves. It is emotionally confusing living in two different countries and moving between the two. (Not to mention I am Australian and try and visit Sydney as often as I can.) Each year it becomes a little easier to adjust between the two or should I say to transition more easily. I justify the double life with the thought that each place has advantages and disadvantages so the clever way to live is to try and take the positive from both, blend them together and find a balance that works.
Provence is calm and tranquil; patience is a virtue and a skill that requires practice. As a person who wants it all done yesterday; Provence has taught me to sit tight and wait. London is a city I have come to love over the years. Like Provence, it was alien to me at first. Now I feel right at home in the quaint nooks and crannies and find the old fashioned habits endearing. I like the formality of manner and the breadth of culture; there is all and everything to do in a city like London. I never feel bored and I never feel alone. London keeps me on my toes and my mind on pace; Provence reels me back, calms me down and sets me on course.
It is a winning combination and I am very fortunate to live with this mix, despite the emotional push and pull that leaving either inevitably brings. When I am in Provence I miss my children and their comings and goings; when I am in London I miss the peace and tranquility of my quiet time.
Isn’t that the joy of life?
We must miss in order to truly appreciate. That’s how I like to look at this split life of mine.
There is no easy answer. xv
image carla coulson