This year is the 10th Anniversary of my blog. It’s hard to believe that so much time has passed since I first hit the publish button!
I have often told the tale of why and how I started the My French Country Home blog. In short, I was a full-time mother to four children who were growing up too fast. The day came when it felt like nobody needed me to tie their shoelaces or help them with their schoolwork or take them to their sport events, I began feeling redundant, and I knew that it was time to reinvent my game.
I published my first blog post in February of 2010. The blogging world was very kind to me and helped me find my voice and my audience. I knew from the start that this was going to be fun, but never, ever in my wildest dreams did I imagine that my little blog would become the functioning business it is today, supported by a great little team.
Fast forward to the beginning of this year – 2020. I was fully into planning some “birthday” celebrations: In June we were to host a big blogger & influencer lunch at my home, we were adding a few special events for the guests to our 2020 tour schedules, and I was going to launch a series of interviews to be conducted in my garden with some truly exciting people. I was beyond happy to be able to share this big birthday with everyone who has supported me over the last decade.
And then COVID-19 happened, and then lockdown… and then no travel, no tours, and most certainly no June garden party. Like the rest of the world, I had no choice but to sit back, stay safe and re-evaluate the situation.
On the grand scale of things, my blog birthday plans are insignificant. We are safe, and we have been able to continue our work without hinderance; and for this, I know, we are very, very lucky. My heart goes out to the young brides whose weddings have been postponed and to the young students missing school and to people looking for their first jobs. The younger generations are taking a harder hit, for sure.
While this 10th Year Anniversary has definitely not gone as planned, I try to look for silver linings . The enforced change of pace has brought us a few unexpected blessings that I wanted to share, and I hope in turn, you might offer up your positive take aways from this year.
Please note this in no way undermines the tragic loss of life that many families have experienced, nor the economic problems that we all are encountering. It is simply a way to stop, to breathe deep, and to try to hold on to some positive thoughts as we all learn to re-adapt to this new post-covid world. It’s a way for me to turn my birthday celebrations to a different use. Here is my list:
Quiet time – Although I’ve continued working as normal, I haven’t been popping in and out of Paris for meetings, or (unfortunately) been able to drive up to the UK to see my mum, and I have noticed the difference it makes to be moving around less. Better for the environment, and better for my time management and a lot less tiring! That being said, I do love my morning walks through the fields and forests surrounding my home with my trust sidekicks, Gibson & Ghetto. This time has definitely has me more in tune with nature and the quiet peace it offers.
My garden – I am so grateful to have a garden that has kept me busy and gets me outside in the fresh air every single day. Growing anything – even just a couple of plants in pots – is deeply rewarding. I increased the size of my kitchen garden, and I have loved growing new vegetables, working out companion planting, and, of course, eating fresh produce just minutes after it is picked!
My husband – I am truly lucky to have such a loving and patient husband. Our confinement period was a bubble of calm and happy productivity, where we both enjoyed fitting in to the new normal. I was also fortunate to have a couple of our children stay here for a while.
The beauty around me – During confinement, I heard people in cities commenting on the lack of pollution, as well as the lack of planes in the sky. Here in the country, we generally enjoy fresh air, but there was a new kind of calm that descended on our tiny village. Personally, I noticed a considerable increase in the number of butterflies!
So, as we’re not able to celebrate this 10th Blog Birthday together just yet, over the next month I will be sharing a few highlights I’ve experienced over the last decade. From the learning lessons, to the unexpected growth, to the use of social media, to the new and scary experiences, and of course, to the wonderful people I’ve been fortunate enough to meet along the way, it has been quite the ride!
And if in return you can share what you take away from this strange time, and how you are managing to find your own silver lining, then I would love to hear from you :). As ever, thank you for reading me. Without your generosity and your encouragement, I could never have created this blog.
Next day update: Oh my goodness, thank you so much for your kind comments and messages! I shall try to answer everyone individually, Merci!