A new chapter

After losing Nibs the sadness in my heart was just so heavy I barely slept for several nights (24 to be exact).   Resuming “normal” just wasn’t working.  I couldn’t imagine life in Number 36 without the companionship of my large grey hound.   My work was suffering, I wasn’t really eating; what might be “just a dog” to some people was my very special boy and a character that played a huge part in both our lives.

To the astonishment (or disapproval) of some, a week ago last Thursday afternoon, a van pulled up outside Number 36 containing 1 very tired Miles and 1 rather confused little dog.

After seeking a lot of good advice, and doing hours and hours of research, the process of bringing this little pup into our world seemed to take forever.  In reality it was only a matter of just over 2 weeks.

Miles was absolutely fantastic, and at the 11th hour booked a cheap flight to the UK to facilitate the transport of the little boy, that we have named “Skype”, because that is how we chose him.  What’s so unusual is that quite accidentally he shares the same great-grandfather as Nibs.

The courtyard has been puppy proofed, and the dining end of the sejour has a make-shift barricade that will hopefully keep him from eating the sofas.  For the moment we are fairly hound & housebound, until he has had all his jabs and we can introduce him to the south of France in Spring.  I can’t wait.

After a few weeks living in an unhappy and empty house our energies are now occupied with feeding and entertaining one small (but growing) Weimaraner.

His arrival in our world is making us both a) tired but b) so much happier.  The rest of life goes on, we are back to work, and despite all the other difficulties and unhappier things, we have light and laughter in this house once more.



3 months ago today

When we started this blog we hoped to keep a record of our progress with the house, mostly for distant friends and family.

3 months ago today we officially “moved in”, and it would be fair to say that since then, thankfully, advances have certainly been made.   As it turns out, we have not been very good at updating the blog and circumstances rather dictate that continued and interesting progress on the house is likely to be slow or sometimes stationary.

So our future posts may become a bit more random – rather like life as we know it in Number36.

Miles & Nibs putting the world to rights

4 weeks in (8 Dec) – Miles and Nibs putting the world to rights

Walls of stone

Miles thought I should write a post on the blog. It’s been ages since we updated it.

Since getting the keys for Number36 I tried to keep a record of our installation and decoration but once actually living here the busy-ness of life has got in the way. Perhaps on a quiet afternoon I’ll get around to uploading some photos.

This really is a super house. It is a lifetime project and was bought for at least the 3 of us to enjoy.

Most of the time the radiators work, the fire has been a blessing, several walls are a better shade of white, and we have enough sofas and beds to sleep about 18 people. It’s a house that offers masses of space but is now horribly lacking that special welcome and friendly energetic face. No more woofing or the sound of paws on the tiles. No more snoozy groans by the fire, stretchy yawns or a big shake of the head and ears being flapped. The silence is absolutely deafening.

We lost Nibs so unexpectedly last Sunday night. It feels like months and months ago already. Time is going so slowly. We put the radio on, the TV on, but nothing seems to help.

We are very sad that he won’t get to sit out in the courtyard, chosen especially with him in mind. We are sad he only had his new bed 3 weeks it didn’t even have time to get smelly (a bed of ridiculous proportions and especially imported). We are sad he never got to eat all his Paddywack, a Christmas present from Scott and Emily, and we are sad that his new dog tags arrived in the post just days after he had gone. But mostly we are sad because we miss him so very much. Our daily routine no longer exists, putting on socks and shoes is just not the same. Leaving the house is so unexciting. Coming back into it is so grim.

this is more like it ...

this is more like it …

Even in the short while he was here, he had a few favourite places, but mostly by the fire hogging most of the kitchen floor. I find it difficult to spend time in the kitchen, without that nose observing my every move. I dread coming downstairs in the morning, the silent empty space a huge reminder he’s no longer here. And when I sit and work he’s not somewhere out the corner of my eye, on the back of my chair, resting his head on my knees, draped across my lap or curled up under my desk. It feels so strange to make a phone call, without him trying to join the conversation in the background.

All this unpacking to do and he's back on Facebook

All this unpacking to do and he’s back on Facebook

I miss him launching himself onto Miles for a cuddle, and all the giggles, nose-bleeds, cuddles and snoozing that usually followed, or curling up on the bed on lazy mornings and gradually kicking Miles out of it.   When bringing home the shopping or opening a box his nose is not in the way, and when Miles is working on something there is no great grey head closeby just checking he’s doing it right.




There are practical things to attend to.  His food and treats have been given away and his water bowl put in the bin.  We will finally be selling the dogbus; that stinky beaten-up old car purchased just for him. I have to send his incineration notice to the insurance people, and will send thank yous to all our friends that have sent such lovely and comforting messages.

We bought some asparagus grass in the market, and will try to grow it in the courtyard to remember our spring walks in the woods. We will plant some daffodils to his memory, and when I find the strength we will dismantle his crate that fills the hall. Yesterday we bought a dusty old lamp from a Brocante, that we will light in the hall in place of his bed once it’s gone. And finally we will go to his favourite vineyard and bury his collar and lead. But I’m not sure when that will be.

In the UK Weimaraners are often called “grey ghosts” – as they hunt in the morning mist they are almost impossible to see.  In France they call them “grey tombs”, which is how this house now feels.

Our enormous energetic noisy affectionate annoying but magnificent friend is no longer here. Life in number 36 is definitely not the same.