For Caroline, France has long been where we should go and live, and not just France, but Gascony. It hasn’t happened, mainly because of my intransigence, born of timidity.
So, we are looking for a way that Caroline can at least spend a chunk of time in the Gers each year: this year, it was for the month of April, in this rented house on the edge of a fairly remote village. Suggestions for 2014’s sojourn gratefully received! Does anyone need a house-sitter?
Meanwhile, Grayson Perry’s final Reith Lecture this morning summed things up rather well, I felt: I was reading recently, he said, this psychoanalyst Stephen Grosz. He writes of a patient
and during his course of therapy quite often he’d mention this house he had in France
and he said oh he enjoyed thinking about how he was going to decorate it and
refurbish it and arrange the furniture and it was one of his great pleasures when things
got a bit troubling for him; that he would think about this and it would be very
relaxing to him to think about these marvellous plans he had for his house in France.
And then at the end of his course of psychotherapy, just as he was leaving he sort of
turned and he said, “You know Mr Grosz,” he said, “there is no house in France. You
do know that?” And I completely crack up at that because it really echoed with me
about that place that he goes: his refuge where he’s an artist.