When we first arrived in France four years ago, I thought that I'd never get used to it. I'd lived in London since I was eighteen and loved everything about it. Everything there was so accessible. You could do or get anything at the drop of a hat and see friends in ten minutes of picking up the phone. It was all very 'now, now, now' and I loved it.
So arriving here, at a vinyard in the middle of nowhere was a bit of shock to the system. Fine, St Tropez is just down the road but by October when the sunbathers have gone home, everyone there shuts up shop too. So it really was just me, Chaz and Alice the miniature daschund, alone in the vines, in the middle of nowhere, in a new country. People thought we were mad. At times I thought we were mad too.
It seems strange now, looking back remembering those first few months and how much we missed certain things we had left behind.
Obviously there was all our friends and family. It was only a two hour flight away but as soon as you throw an aeroplane in there, it becomes mentally miles away. I used to get most upset when I'd speak to my girlfriends as they were all about to meet up for dinner together and I couldn't be there anymore. I was sure they'd forget me.
Then there was the food. Sausages, cheddar cheese, bacon, Dairy Milk and Chinese take out being top of the most missed list. Friends could come and go as they pleased as long as they arrived with suitcases full of Cathedral City and Tesco's Finest pork and apple sausages every time they came to stay.
For some reason, despite not even being a die hard coffee fan, I found not being able to just nip out to Starbucks for a coffee strangely hard to deal with. In fact, the real problem was that I couldn't really 'nip' anywhere.
But this is what comes with living in the countryside and as soon as I'd accepted that this was just the way it is, the lure of London got smaller and smaller, the pace of life slowed down and I began to love it here.