Thursday, 30 August 2007

The Working Mind

For some reason, people (my husband in particular!) often muse on how my mind can jump from one topic to another like a chain reaction - where only I can immediately see the logical links.

So I thought I would use this posting to publish my 'thought processes' from last night.

1. Promised the kids we would take them to Beziers this week. It is the closest thing to a 'serious shopping experience' that exists in our area. There are just no decent department stores down here!!!!

2. Going to the friday morning flower market in Beziers (along the allée Paul Riquet) is one of my favourite outings. I absolutely love fresh flowers. They have always been my first choice to receive as a present - far more than chocolates, perfume or jewellry.

3. Well maybe not jewellry if it comes from Simon Pure in Guildford. We originally discovered his new shop in Guildford many years ago just at the time when we were emerging from the astronomical overhead of monthly childcare costs (both girls finally in junior school!) and before we came up with the crazy idea of 'retiring' with a pension that would in those days have barely covered our payments to the tax man. For a few years we actually had 'spare' income and for a while I was spoilt by having presents bought from this shop.

4. Gosh - how I remember those childcare costs! We had to gross approx £12000 in 1990 just to cover the cost of full daytime childcare for LeeLee. By 1996 this had risen to £18000 for Nic.

5. And our mortgage?! Almost crippling at times just for a basic three-bedroomed semi-detached house in Surrey, and that is the magic word - SURREY. But we hung in there and when we came to sell our little goldmine, it did enable us to pay off our mortgage as well as buy a place down here!

6. We still remember when the interest rates hit 17.5% back in the early 90's. We were on holiday camping down here in the South of France when the news broke, and all the English couples sat around the camp that evening stunned - everyone of us wondering whether it was worth bothering to return home.

7. Our love of this area of France was consolidated that holiday. We formed a general plan to retire down here.

8. Some years later, Richard was injured on duty and had to decide whether to ill-health retire or be stuck with a desk job away from the public for eight more years. Difficult choice?!

9. We started looking for properties and two years later settled on our current house. Although up towards the mountains, it was still accessable to a sizeable town (Beziers) for serious shopping expeditions.

10. And that brings us back to ...... where we often go as a family to enjoy a bigger and better shopping experience!

As you can see - all very logical. And don't any of you mention that I seem to have gone round in a complete circle! I could not get to sleep!


Gogus said...

We admit to being a bit biased towards Beziers as it also our nearest large town. The views from the bell tower of the cathedral are fantastic.
2 other markets worth a visit in Beziers are.

Marché du Champ de Mars (Place du 14 juillet)
Friday from 7am to 1pm (all produce)

Marché Place David d'Angers
Friday from 7am to 1pm (food)

One thing we do struggle with is adjusting to the shop opening hours, we just seem to get there in time for them closing for lunch then when we feel like eating we are to late for Plat de jour and have to settle for a snack. We find we have to make a concious effort to time our trip and not just expect to eat or shop all day like back home.
But i think if the shops are open less we might spend less? might be a bit optomistic there i think.
Carol & John

Jacqui U said...

Hi Carol & John

You must be up late tonight reading blogs just like me! I had only just posted this latest one!

We certainly have learnt to get to Beziers early as well! We then go to our favourite café for hot chocolate and a croissant whilst waiting for the shops to open.

Mind you it takes some work getting the girls up and ready for an early start.

Do you go to the halles where all the meat/fish/veg stalls are inside? It is worth a visit.

PS I am sorry I have not got back re your last 'comment'. My only excuse is 'very busy' with the imminent return to school!