Mr. Jospin       We never thought we would be writing a post like this on our blog. But this afternoon our cat Mr. Jospin was found dead in the road. This, I think would not normally be worthy of a post but Mr. Jospin was adored by ourselves and many of our gite visitors, and, it must be said, hated by some. He appears on screensavers and in kids bedrooms all over England. Almost every time someone emails or telephones one of the first questions is, "and how is Mr. Jospin?  He was known throughout the village and almost everyone who passed him in the street offered a quite, "Bonjour, Mr. Jospin."

He lived his short life with an intensity and a "joie de vivre,"which was sometimes almost frightening to watch.

I shall always remember the way he dived and burrowed into the snow trying to find invisible snowballs, the way he was trying to rip my hand off at the same time some tweedy cat lady on TV was saying how calming and therapeutic having a cat was, and, conversely, how, in the depths of winter he would glide silently in from outside and with complete trust, push his freezing face into the warmth of the palm of my hand.

Goodbye Jospy, thanks for all the memories.  


5 thoughts on “R.I.P.

  1. So sorry to here about Mr Jospin a cat who could certainly leave is mark(ask my Matty) but also some great memories and plenty of good photo opps. Hope to see you all soon for some more good food, wine and company….Paul.. Staffs UK


  2. By accident just came across your truly interesting Blog site.
    Well retired, not poor. We are in the process of planning a move to France , maybe the Loire, maybe to buy a place with two gites.
    Do you have time to tell us, at age 79, we are mad? bright? its too late, or anything at all.
    be so helpful. Our blog is brand new and we are learning!!



  3. Salut Mike,
    Of course you are mad. But then, according to many in the UK so are we and anyone else who has the desire to live a totally different life in another country.
    My advise would be not to do it as we did, basically we came, we saw, we purchased. But take your time, rent a place for a few months before you decide if an area is for you. Think twice before you buy some lovely old place, idylically placed in wonderful countryside but with a 30min. drive to buy a baquette, it stays wonderful for the first summer and then tends to pale somewhat. And do you really want to spend two days cutting 3 acres of lawn!?
    Gites? we have been very lucky in reservations, but many people struggle. Almost everyone who arrives from the UK creats one and now, frankly, there are much too many, particually the converted farmhouse type in the countryside. Have a look at the thickness of the Cheznous brochure! Thats your competition. You also need to have your business head on and look at it in terms of capital expenditure compared to the length of time it will take to recover it. Probably the worst thing about running gites is that you spend all the time telling guests where to go, what fetes to see etc. without having the time to see anything yourself. If you cannot fill your gites it is quite depressing and if you do than you are stuck there from late spring until early autumn. On the other hand, if you are a people person, you meet some lovely, interesting people who become friends but do not forget you also have people who are the opposite. Not everyone is nice!!!
    Finally, can you speak some French, very important if you want to live here permanently and get the best out of your new life. Thanks for your comments on the Blog, much appreciated.
    à plus


  4. I too just ‘fell upon’ your blog. Good for you to up sticks! Thats what we did. From England to Ireland, not quite as adventurous as yourselves, but a big change all the same.We have four children, one of whom was born here last year. We would never go back. Would you?

    A tout a l’heure (sp!)


  5. Salut,
    I suppose one can never say never but it would be difficult to envisage why we would want to return to the UK. Despite the bad press France continues to get in the UK it is still a lovely place to live. We love the food, the wine the people and the livestyle. Of course it is very much rural France and thus the problems in the suburbs of the large cities are totally unknown here, in the same way, I suppose, that life in rural Ireland is different than life in Dublin. Why did you choose Ireland when you made the decision to quit the UK?
    à plus


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