Sometimes you just know it’s time to go, and it’s not any one thing. It can feel like there’s a final thing, a “last straw”, but, even then, the feeling is sharper than the thought, better formed and better understood than the idea of what might be, or should be, or could be next, and it is often unhelpful to wait for the head to catch up to the heart. Time can be lost, opportunities slip away…
It snowed this morning, that’s true, and maybe that had some impact, maybe that pushed things, those feelings, a little bit along the path, even though it made the trip up the mountain, our daily walk, a little different and a little more interesting than yesterday and the day before. But that will get old if it continues, this snow business.
Still, it’s not the snow that’s driving us away, it’s something else, and it could be that we’ll never really know, exactly, why we have arrived at an absolute certainty that we want to cut short our planned stay here in Provence, we want to cut it very short, and move on to someplace else, a different set of circumstances, maybe better, maybe not, but different.
We feel restricted and impeded, not just by the terrain, the woods, the mountain and the long distance to anything, but even more so by having been unable to find a kennel where we are comfortable leaving the dogs. All the ones we have visited, and there have been five or six from as far afield as 45 kilometers, have one deal-breaking problem or another, ranging from cold, concrete floors in unheated barns (won’t do, not for the monsters, I mean, have you taken leave of your senses?), to filthy communal areas where Max is likely to get himself into trouble with other dogs, since he hasn’t figured out, at least not quite yet, that he’s an idiot.
We have also encountered a tad too much insouciance when it comes to committing to making sure that Chloe gets her special food, and not that she’s simply a picky eater, which she is not, having demonstrated an eagerness to ingest even the most foul and hideous road kill, but, rather, because she has a legitimately diagnosed condition where any other food will kill her, nothing short of that. Being provided with this information, they profess that, yes, they’ll see to it that she gets the proper food, unless, well, you know there can sometimes be unforeseen circumstances, not likely, mind you, but then, how can know for sure, n’est ce-pas?
Without a place where we can feel comfortable leaving the dogs, we are trapped, skewered, captured and can’t make the trips, the four or five day excursions, that we had planned and which provided a large portion of the impetus to make this trip at all.
If I am being unclear, let me try to be less so: The stupid dogs are, as usual—and as, they have been since the very day we lay eyes on them and made the titanic mistake of embracing them in the folds of our family, such as it is—the problem. Of this they are oblivious, and present a wide-eyed and ingenuousness, unaware or the difficulties they heap upon us, or so they would have you believe, which I do not. I believe they know exactly what they are doing, they know precisely the high level of inconvenience they engineer by their very existence, and in this, they take not only pleasure, but acquire their reason for living on this earth. They might not think of it as their raison d’être, but that is exactly what it is, malheureusement.
That’s how noxious they are, and yet, I mean that in the nicest way possible. (Really).
But never mind, we’ve come to accept it. We even love them, in our way, preposterously, and therein lays the root of the problem, a problem that, we now know, has solution, at least not here in this particular sector of Var Provence.
Tant, pis, dit-je.
This has restricted our travel, and it’s difficult for members of Alice’s family to make the ten hour trip to come down and dog-sit for us, although Alice’s niece, Julie, and her fiancé, Fabrice, were kind enough to come down for a few days so that Alice and I could go to Rome (see prior post).
As a result, we have decided to move our base-of-operations back to Luxembourg.
We leave here on Friday, December 17, for the 325 mile trip due North, through Grenoble and then on to a small town called Megève, for a few days at a beautiful resort in the French Alps which near Mont Blanc.
We found or hotel through Alice’s friend, Dany, who goes there often, knows the proprietor well, and put in a good word for us. We’ll spend Alice’s birthday there and then head due North again for another 400 miles, back to Bertrange, Luxembourg for Christmas.
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N E X T : Megève, The Alps