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It became famous for its bouncebackability

Long before we found our current adored dwelling in Les Pierres, at a time now seemingly impossible to relive, we used to call the Dutch city of Rotterdam our home. After it was ripped of its Amsterdam-alike-charm in World War Two, it became famous for its bouncebackability and its residents’ resilient posture during rehabilitation, transforming it into the modern shaped city it since has become. Immersed in constant construction work, they developed an attitude of laissez-faire that made it possible to establish inventive and innovative buildings, abruptly taking them down again with almost the same air of effortlessness if considered manifest or more desirable.

The logistical problems arising from uninterrupted constructional nuisance do not seem to really affect anyone’s mood in Rotterdam and in all the years we lived there we might have picked up some of those skills, although we still get annoyed instantly with the noises and mess related to construction work and we never can seem to hide from it, thereby allowing it to adversely affect our lives.

Whoever believes that, as a result, our choice for the French countryside was a smart one, has not taken notice of our neighbours and their unbounded drive for expansion. Building in France is no mean feat anyway and the realisation of any project seems to span an eternal timeframe here, especially in summer. Their building of a new garage right on our property boundary could have been the start of a long nightmare for us and it initially seemed to go down that road, but instead we chose to look the other way, focusing on what we have as opposed to what was taken from us. Now, if only they would get on with it….

The small kohlrabi field in our vegetable garden currently resembles a building site too, in a devastating and destructive way. At work here were no labourers but caterpillars of the dreaded Cabbage Butterfly, at least I think so, beholding the ingurgitated mess they left behind. We managed to safe only one or two, turning it into a copious and delicious stir-fry to celebrate resilience: one can always start over. 


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