Yesterday I swung from one task to the next, achieving nothing, starting stuff and then wandering in another direction and finding myself doing something completely different. Trying to restart the first one again then discovering task number three or four. I left the water running into the sink and forgot to put the water on for the spaghetti. I visited Manu about six times and got all upset because I could not get a decent picture of him. I rearranged bales of hay for no apparent reason. I forgot to feed the chickens.


I did not really settle until I began helping Hugo pack. He did not need help packing but I could not focus on anything else.  So I packed and repacked his suitcase.

I forgot to take photographs until the light was almost gone instead I sat on the basement steps and listened to the dryer dry the last of his clothes.  Then I listened to the rain, then I sorted through the bottles in the cellar until I unearthed a bottle of red and poured myself a glass. Then I forgot I had poured myself a glass of wine and made a cup of tea.


He asked for spaghetti bolognese with a ” Lot of – Lot of .” Meat for his last dinner.

Molly and Tahiti watched me walk to and fro in the evening with an empty bucket.  They are always up on their back legs, front feet on the gates watching – “Don’t you have something to do?”  I said to them.” No, Miss C,” they said.   “Why don’t you go and play in your garden then.” I said.  “We did that already.” they said. Then they watched me walk back to the house with my empty bucket.  It started to rain.

Hugo said that when we part in the airport I should say Goodbye, then close my eyes, and when I open them again he will be gone. “Easier that way.” he said.

Who the hell said Parting is such Sweet Sorrow.  Juliet. Silly girl.  There is nothing sweet about sorrow.

But my world is small you know. Maybe I will go and visit one day! That is possible.

Off we go to the airport  then.

Love celi


75 Comments on “Pacing

  1. We will miss that boy, but not as much as you, I think. Parting from those we care about is always disturbing, and I’m not surprised you were at sixes and sevens all day. Your disturbed behaviour sounds like my everyday! There are times I ricochet from job to job, starting everything, finishing nothing. It will settle. I think that shot of the barn in the header is absolutely wonderful; I hope it will make it into the calendar.

  2. Saying goodbye – for a while or for forever – is disorienting! No wonder you were pacing.

  3. You have had a run of the most wonderful people at the farm. Do you stay in touch with them? When I start feeling like everything is going away, I touch back with the people I love. Phones are wonderful for that. Email isn’t as good but it’s better than an empty barn. Then I grab a hot cup of tea, a muffin or something, and a good book. Maybe it’s time (after all the fur and feathered people are fed) for you to take a break Celi. You deserve it! Di

  4. Bon Voyage to Hugo. Bon restant to Celi. You two will meet again. And heavens knows, you will find something to do with yourself. Anticipating saying goodbye makes my heart pound & my head swim. It makes me pace too, & it makes me sick.

  5. Bon Voyage, bon chance Hugo 🙂 Miss C, I hope you checked Hugo’s back pack for the ride on mower and Boo. Safe travels. Laura

    • The poor work horse of a ride on mower is now officially on its last legs – it did not take well to being ridden as a rally car ride on mower but boys needs speed! c

  6. I am sure the tale of Hugo and Miss C is not ended, just paused for a while!
    Hugo, good luck to you my friend. i hope you have a great reunion with all your family and friends when you get home, and can share lots of love and stories of your stay here. You have a lot of friends on this side of the world that would be glad to see you visit again in the future. And if Miss C is fully booked, there are quite a few of us that would gladly put you up – give you a chance to see other parts of the country!!

  7. Yes, it’s so sad to say goodbye, especially when you don’t know when you’ll meet again. But how you and your
    awesome farm hands have connected and grown from all you have experienced together is so very wonderful, and has, no doubt, made you all even more caring, loving, knowledgable people. That is extremely special, and will always be a part of each of you. xo

  8. I am like that with my work at the moment… and not actually finishing anything. I need to shut myself off from distraction (and reading blogs…) A bientot, hopefully, rather than goodbye. My sister and I decided that we wouldn’t say goodbye, but just give each other a good hug and a see you later. We’re getting better at the parting! Its difficult and disorientating. Be kind to yourself, and safe travels for Hugo.

    • Ha ha ! My daughter and I are the same. Like you we made a pact – it is kiss kiss, SEE YA and we launch ourselves AT SPEED in the opposite directions.. people who see it are appalled – not thinking that we are txting each other almost immediately@! c

  9. Oh, Celi, leaves always are so heavy to handle. No wonder that you have been so distraught. I had many, many leaves in my life. Sometimes it tears one apart. It always made me cry and so sad. As you said “last dinner” I automatically read “last supper”. Oh my. I hope you can manage it anyway to get over it. As there is the long way back in your car – the concentration on road and on traffic will draw your attention off a bit and when you will be home there will be the animals awaiting you. And yes, a big big emptiness will be there, too. I feel with you, Celi. Got tears in my eyes….

    • It is the way and Hugo is off to start his big life after giving himself time to settle and recover after starting his life off on the wrong foot – now he will do well i am sure. c

  10. I know that good byes are difficult. I have said my share of them but I have a feeling you and Hugo will be together again some day. What a great experience for him to live with you for so long. God speed, Hugo!

  11. No endings truly, just continuations until you meet up with Hugo again. You both have shared much over these months and will surely find some way back together for a visit…

    • I always think that there can be perfect relationships in the space of only a few months – it is ok to allow a natural ending – but maybe I will get there one day – maybe.. c

  12. Aaah, bless you, c. I’ve said goodbye so many times to family and friends, and it breaks my heart every time. I hope your heart is soon filled with joyous memories of your time with Hugo.

  13. Au revoir et bon voyage Hugo. Bon chance. I know it’s hard to see him go after such a long visit. I suspect Hugo will be back next year and I’m sure you both will be in touch. You should Skype. Hang in there, Celi. Your next adventure is around the corner.

  14. I am absolutely useless with farewells. Sob each time.
    Have a happy day and sending you a warm hug so the farewell may be easier than you hoped.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  15. A sad goodbye and Bon voyage to Hugo. A trip to France would be a fun thing to plan! Soon your farm will demand its share of your attention and all will be calm. I can picture Sheila in a fashionable hat on a train in the French countryside.

  16. Oh Cecilia, it’s like losing one of your children, especially poignant in light of the crisis in France. Very sad. The idea above to do Skype is a great one. Amazing really.

    Molly and Yahiti are just so cute up on their hind legs watching watching. I hope all your creatures are some comfort.

  17. heh heh — no way to top moonwatcher51’s comment about Sheila on a train in the French countryside, so I won’t even try. Just sending another hugggg along, to add to all those ahead of me here. Oh, and Kate’s comment about the header photo — yes, it is a real beauty. I have gone back to look at it more than once. Hang in there, Miss C. ~ Mame 🙂

  18. Oh Cinders…tears here…he’ll be back or you’ll be there…one way or another, like someone said…this is just a pause. And oh my, that visual of Shelia in her fancy hat riding through the French countryside…now if that doesn’t make one smile…nothing will. I know you’re not a hugger but I’m sending one anyway!

    • Oh no! Celi’s not a hugger? Sad. I not only am a hugger, I’m a kisser. I kiss everything and everyone. I am “The Mad Kisser” from when my twin nephews were little. I’d say, “The Mad Kisser strikes again!” and start kissing their little necks. They knew that all they had to do was to kiss my cheek and I’d stop. So, Celi, on the day we finally meet, you’ve got TWO things to worry about. Heheh. Lots of love to you and the Farmy and the Fellowship, Gayle, puckering up…

  19. Au-revoir et Bon voyage, Hugo!

    Celi I was playing the same job hop game on Friday when Elly was flying to the Middle East via CDG airport. Silly really since she has been independent since she was eighteen years old and living (now) 125 miles away from me. I am sure that when you got back, things settled back into your normal rhythm.

      • She sure does! Due home on Sunday with enough time to clear her dest and wash her smalls before heading to Dalian, China on 2 December – all work! When she goes behind their firewall, WhatsApp is the only way to communicate.

  20. It’s always the way when things discombobulate us. A strand of that web that connects The Fellowship is now attached to Hugo as he heads back to France.

  21. I can read the hurting in your heart. I’m glad you’ve had this time together, so sweet as to make this parting painful. Please do go visit.

  22. I feel very sad. Someone important to you is leaving. And all your maternal instinct is pouring into the gap. I love that about you. I love it that you poured wine and forget and went to make tea. I am like that too.

  23. I have had days like you described. It is when my brain is too full of other thoughts to settle in the moment, or when I am a bit sad and maybe just a touch depressed. Hugs and more hugs.

  24. You offer these young people such a wonderful chance at life, C, and so much connection. They will never forget you. All these young wards you’ve ushered into the scarier world with a center shaped by the Farmy. They will go on to create their corner of the world with a little more kindness, take it a little slower, and be prone to answer first with love.

  25. letting go and saying “Until we meet again” is so hard! No wonder you could not focus! Hugo will always be in your heart and you and the Farmy in his heart. Look at all the wonderful things Hugo and all these young adults have learned from you! Bravo!

  26. I didn’t like the post – but I empathise. He’s been your longest and best helper, you met his family, you shared his grief over the attacks in Paris, and shared so much more. It’s okay to be so sorrowful.

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