I’m back in the UK! This is not a bad thing for me although I can imagine a few people may now want to leave the country. I am quite enjoying being able to have conversations with just about anyone, knowing they understand exactly what I am saying. When you live abroad and don’t speak the language, you do start to lose a bit of your personality. I like to chat and play with words so to have that whole part of me ripped away for half a year was quite an adjustment. It’s not that I expect people in the UK to laugh at my jokes, but when you don’t even have the capacity to make a quick remark about … well about anything at all… it does something to you. But that’s my fault for moving to France without being fluent in French first.

Anyway, we are currently in the Cotswolds. I’m not sure there are many places which could be a greater contrast from Paris. Maybe the Gobi desert would come close, but moving away from such an incredible cultural centre, from the beautiful Eiffel Tower and the iconic buildings, the metro, the food and cinema right into the heart of a tiny village surrounded by farmland with one local shop which sells homemade crusty loaves and apple pies, is quite shock to the system. That’s the excuse I’m giving for being so quiet over the last couple of months.

The other reason for being a bit quiet is that I failed at going dairy-free – until I got back to the UK. Being almost suffocated by cheese for six months in Paris was never going to be easy but here, well yes there are cows, but they aren’t dumping cheese on my plate and shoving milk down my throat, and when I walk down the street I don’t get ambushed by cheesecake anymore. To get any sort of nourishment here I have to make an effort to go and get it. I have turned hunter gatherer. I get in the car and hunt down the nearest local town with a supermarket and then I gather my food in my re-usable bag. And while this does seem lazy it is much more enjoyable than trying to negotiate the Paris Metro with an old lady wheeler bag bursting with cheese and tarts, and then carrying it all up 93 steps. Plus, I can wear whatever I like here and no one will see me.

So yes – dairy free. How have I managed that? Well it was by accident really. The fridge where we are living does not really work. It makes a massive fuss about how much it is trying to work – it hums and buzzes and chugs away, but when I open the door I am greeted with lukewarm food. It’s not great for keeping milk, cheese, and butter. Or anything really. It would be better to leave all the contents of the fridge outside in a bag. Buy a new fridge? I refuse to buy anything when I have a whole house in storage (including 2 fridges). So we slowly moved to Rice Milk on our cereal and then eventually into our tea. And soon the Rice Milk will be heading for the door as my fiancé has become increasingly interested in this whole organic big life thing and is insisting we drink Coconut water. It’s the new thing, trust me.

So you see one catastrophe has led to a great success and I’m looking forward to exploring my new territory.