Read Lucy's excellent and detailed update. So glad you're all ok and getting the rough parts organized. Scary event, but you did everything right. Al my best wishes.
Thank you Geo. Lucy's was indeed an excellent post, even if she did rather underplay the horror of the event. But ok we certainly are. What is going to transpire in the months ahead, even after the house is cleaned, refurbished and [where necessary] rebuilt, I don't yet know. Some part of me that I cannot yet reach has taken a beating, and I feel the same has happened to Lucy. But we are not alone; we are not in an unfriendly country; and we are not without a sense of something bigger than us. Thank you for your support and best wishes.
dearest tom, hang in there. i can't even begin to imagine what it would be like to go through what you went through. i'm so glad you have found support from many quarters, which doesn't surprise me at all, given what lovely people you are and how much support you yourselves have given me over the years!much love and most excellent wishes for a speedy and smooth recovery, both physical and psychological.
Oh Dear Agnieszka,How lovely you are; and thank you for this comment. It is amazing how one's social life seems to blossom at times like this. People can be so very wonderful. Thank you for being here with us.
I wish I really did have wings so I could fly over the Pond with refreshment and aid. Please take care in your temporary place and know that there are many who are ready to roll up their sleeves and help you regain your home. It's so good that Elfie is with you in this time of tribulation. I can only imagine how terrible this experience must have been. Sending you strength and smiles for the work ahead!
Thank you RW. I really must get onto a feathery wing supplier in the next few days.....:)
It was both fascinating and scary to read Lucy's account of the event. Thank goodness you're all well (at least as can be expected) and that you have even more reason to love your home and neighbors.Much love to you all.
Went over to the house again this morning. It seems to get more difficult each visit. But improvements are already happening. Where we go over the next few months is uncertain at present, but I doubt that ....... well we'll just have to wait and see.
Hi Tom,Just to endorse the insightful comments and of course the post of your dear wife at this time – no doubt you now have to allow time to recover from such a horrendous ordeal. The fact she was able to write so eloquently about it all and find the positives (not to talk about those who weren’t so pleasant) is a testament to both her inner strength and of course the support by yourself. I get the sense where you live is a well-grounded community whose bonds will only be further strengthened from the acts of kindness and concern shown at this time. May this kindness and your stoic nature keeps you optimistic as you rebuild both house, its soul and your respective warm hearts in the months ahead.Best wishes
Hi Lindsay,We have noticed that the hamlet in which we live has become more sparse over the last few years. The original inhabitants have either moved away or died. Those who have shown us affection and given help are amongst the original members - but they are really aging. But in a sense we have been in touch with a wider sense of community, and that has broadened our outlook. When you speak of further strengthening of bonds in your lovely response, I think you are correct. But the community seems to have extended to the department rather than being restricted to the hamlet or even commune. We are blessed with having inner lives which will see us through this experience and its aftermath. I could add so much more but.....gratitude is difficult to put into the words I would like to say, not only to the locals but also to all our internet friends.
You know, there is a house not too far from Guingamp that will be empty from September 1st for a few months, it's not perfect, but it is large and has room for you if you need somewhere.Rent free, no hassle, mia casa etcJust saying ...
Dear Julia,How very kind. However, we now have things sorted out until the end, or so, of September. Our accommodation will be adequate, and by then we hope to be spending more and more time at our cleaned house.Thank you again for the kind thought. I trust you are well, and becoming more so.Love, Tom and Lucy.
Happy to hear that you are sorted, the offer stands should you change your minds :)All the best Julia x
Ah, Tom, as I just posted on Lucy's blog, I have been lazy about reading blogs of late and so just heard of your troubles. Thank goodness you're all alright.
Hullo Bruce,Thank you. Physically we are fine, although we still need to get the fatigue out of our systems. But that's going. The one area that is difficult at present is the psychological impact, and how that will eventually work itself out is yet to be seen. But we are optimistic and making plans. Most of all we have our dog Elfie who is a wonderful companion.
As a follow-up to my previous reply, it seems to me - as I'm sure you would feel about your cat - that there is great value [particularly in times of great stress] in having another dependent life to look after. And there has been a change in our relationship with Elfie in that we are now much more a threesome 'in it together'.
My dear Tom, as you can see I am very late checking in with your news; so complex in its content both on Lucy's blog and here in commentary. There is all the usual from such an awful experience, but also hope and love from so many who have passed this test of humanity in a time that is hard. Clearly you know that the waves of emotion will continue to arrive; my grandparents barely came out of their burning and smoke filled home when I was twelve and when they spoke of it in years after there was the same awe at having lost so much but also being grateful for life and friends.Give Elfie a good scruffing as often as needed. She has been through it all and more too. Love to you all.
Dear, Dear Halle,You leave me speechless with your lovely words. Scruffings will be the order of the day.
Hang in there.
Dear Zhoen; Thank you for your encouragement. We are making it, one day at a time; some up, some down, but generally upwards.
Hi Tom, I was thinking about you, wondering how everything is progressing now. Hope you are both doing OK.
Hullo Halle,We are still effectively homeless, going from place to place, renting when places become available. But that is nowhere near as bad as it may sound. We are progressing.The Assessor [l'expert] arrived last Thursday and assessed the cost of repairs, redecorating, thrown-away possessions etc.. The insurance company will advance half of that and pay anything over that halfway cost that we decide to replace. All our rentals are included. We [Lucy and I] are making the most of this opportunity to downsize as much as we can. Baggage seems to try to identify oneself in ways that are redundant and wearying. So downsizing is painful, but it is necessary both materially and spiritually. There is also the point that we are going to move house, hopefully sometime in the next year. Much depends on the effects of Brexit and the deleterious effects that is having on the pound/Euro exchange rate. But one must have faith, hope and as much charity as one can muster.All-in-all, we have passed the survival stage and are well into getting life into some sort of order. Dear Elfie is even closer to us now than she was before the fire. I think she understands that we will not abandon her as her previous family did.Thank you for your enquiry. I trust you are doing well. Internet here is very sporadic - and non-existent in our current lodgings. To you and anyone else reading here, my love to you all.
Again, my best wishes and admiration of your resilience. You are still very much in my thoughts
Thank you Geo. I must confess, however, that the current peripatetic existence is beginning to wear thin. On the other hand, I have just received an excited mobile call (cell phone?) from Lucy to say the old staircase has disappeared. So something unexpected is happening!