When I started Notes from Gaucin five years ago, the plan was to write about my village community as I worked towards becoming a full-time villager. Gaucin and its people captured my heart over 20 years ago and the plan was to spend more and more time here as retirement approached.
But life had other plans and Brexit changed the role that Gaucin would play in my retirement. I signed endless petitions, I campaigned, I marched – I fought to the bitter end but come 31st January 2020, the UK officially left the EU, and it became a case of waiting to see how Brexit would impact on my plans.
Then Covid happened. Little did I know that my visit in February 2020 would possibly be my last, and certainly my last visit as the author or Notes from Gaucin. Little did I know that by the time Covid restrictions lifted, my life would have irretrievably changed and that Gaucin would no longer be part of my future.
In due course, I hope to return as a visitor and catch up with so many old friends, enjoy some of the village’s wonderful celebrations and immerse myself in Gaucin’s unique spirit. The village holds such precious memories for me, too many to pick out favourites, but I will take its essence with me wherever I go. And when I want to escape mentally, I will imagine myself walking its streets, pausing to watch a pair of vultures circling overhead, resting at the mirador up by the cemetery to drink in that view, stopping to chat with friends and neighbours as I pass by the bars or shop in Auxi’s.
Adios mi amigos, it’s been an adventure…