Another Year Over (almost)

It’s been quite a few months since I wrote a post or article. I love to write and have missed it but I have had quite a lot going on since I last posted on here so I got a bit distracted. I’m looking forward to getting back to my blog in the New Year though. So, what have I been up to then?

Crazy, Hazy days of Summer

Unlike last summer which was so wet that we didn’t even get to use our new swimming pool until late July. This year was the opposite with probably the driest summer since we moved here in 2014. It was so hot and dry that there where wildfires all over France and it was quite scary thinking how quickly something like that can happen. We live in the countryside and are surrounded by fields and forests so a disaster can happen any time. Fortunately we were OK but we could smell the smoke from wildfires not too far away. Despite the heatwave and droughts we had a lovely summer though. July and August are the most social times in France, there are a multitude of Night Markets, Festivals and Village Fetes throughout the summer so it’s a great time for tourists and visiting family and friends. Having teenage children also makes for a busy time, especially since my husband Andrew built our new pool, they love having friends over and usually camp in the garden so don’t really cause us much disruption. My daughter was at some festival nearly every week, I would never have known there were so many festivals in rural France but teenagers have their social networks so they don’t miss out, however it does mean a lot of taxi services by us, usually shared between other parents though and hopefully next summer my daughter will be driving herself.

Teen Party Central at Chez Whelan
Night Markets
Andrew and Me at the last night market in Najac with a group of friends

You could probably find a night market every night of the week in surrounding towns but our regular local ones are in Najac and Villefranche-de-Rouergue. Najac food markets (Marchés Gourmands) are on every Wednesday night in July and August and there is a lovely craft market leading to the main square surrounded by a wide variety of food stalls where you buy the food you want to eat in the main seated are. There is a live band on and you can buy beer and wine and stay as long as you like. Villefranche-de-Rouergue have their night markets every Sunday and still gets very busy but has a different vibe, seating under trees around a band stand where local musicians entertain the crowds. In both case to ensure you get a good seat and don’t queue for too long, it is best to get there early.

Netfilx in the Aveyron

It was quite exciting for the residents of Villefranche de Rouergue this summer as they filmed a mini series in the centre of the bastille town. The series is called ‘All the Light We Cannot See’ based on the book by Anthony Doerr. They were casting for about a thousand extras too, Andrew took the kids down to register and thought he may as well register himself and he actually got called to take part for the last day of filming.

All the Light We Cannot See is a love story based in the 2nd World War about a blind girl who falls in love with a German Soldier. Actors Mark Ruffalo and Hugh Laurie star in this four part series that is based in Saint-Malo, they filmed some of the scenes in Villefranch-de-Rouergue because the town is much quieter than Saint-Malo in the summer and they where able to close of the town centre. The buildings fronts were changed to reflect the era of the film and some of them still remain. Andrew had a fantastic day on set despite the stifling temperatures and having to wear heavy army uniform. You can read a little more about the series here

Health Journey

I was very busy working this summer which was great but I still managed to make sure i exercised, mainly swimming because it was so hot. However, I did notice that I was having more frequent episodes of arrhythmia despite being on medication and I found it impossible to use the CPAP machine in that heat too, the humidifier was so warm and I felt like I was drowning. I tried to use the machine again when the weather cooled down a bit but there was an error message so I rang the suppliers and also told them I didn’t think the CPAP was helping me much, in fact I felt it interrupted my sleep more. The company got quite offhand with me and said it wasn’t my place to decide not to use it and they would speak to my cardiologist. A few days later an engineer came to take the machine away at the cardiologists instruction, so I think they have washed their hands of me! So I will try to resolve the sleep apnoea myself through breathing exercises and weight loss.

On a more positive note, I spoke to my doctor about the arrhythmia medication not working and she made an appointment with a cardiac surgeon in Toulouse which resulted in me having an ablation a week later. A cardiac ablation procedure using keyhole surgery to freeze and cause some scarring on the inside of the heart to help break up the electrical signals that cause irregular heartbeats. I was in hospital for just one night and the procedure seems to have been successful. When I first came round after being under anaesthetic for almost three hours, I was in a lot of pain and started to panic as I felt like my chest was being crushed but they gave me pain killers and the feeling eased off quickly. For the first two or three weeks the arrhythmia was worse but I had read that it is normal because the heart is inflamed and needs to heal. Now, two months later everything seems to be fine, I still have to take medication until I have my follow up appointment next week but I’m hoping that I will eventually not need to take that anymore too.

I have a shoulder injury and problems with my lower back and hip at the moment so exercise and work is quite difficult but I’m booked in to have XRays and an MRI in a few weeks and hoping that will also reveal any problems that can be addressed.

So I’m feeling a bit more positive that I’m getting on top of the health issues that hold me back from getting in shape.

The New Year

As always I have lots of intentions for the coming year and I will write about that in my next post so for the moment I’d like to wish you all A Very Happy New Year!

I hope you found this article interesting and useful. If you like this take look at some of my other pages or blog posts where I talk about different therapies and my own wellbeing journey. If you’d like to see my future content then please enter your email and press subscribe below and you will be alerted when I publish anything new. Thank You for taking the time to read this. Until next time, I wish you all the very best. Janet x

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