Perry's January notes.
"Your good health", "Santé", "Gezondheid".
We say it so often as we lift a glass with family and friends, that we take our health for granted.
The sudden, bad news from a friend has shocked me and caused me to reflect on my own mortality.
Seeing the amateur films of the awesome power of the tsunami, washing lives, plans and dreams away, I am so happy that Caroline and I decided to change course in our lives and build our own dream, instead of waiting for 'the right moment'.
You make the moment.
In two months time, we will receive the keys to a lifetime project. This is no holiday.
We have watched the series No way back (Het roer om), all about families that decide to jack it all in in the UK and start a business, like a bed & breakfast, in southern Europe.
There are a lot of them surviving on dumb luck. Little funds, no language skills and blind optimism. We thought we had prepared well and learnt quickly, but there is still so much that can go wrong.
We fight hard to make sure it doesn't. And sometimes with ourselves over important decisions. Caroline's organisational skills keep us on course and speaking French is essential. How some of the expats survive here without speaking French is beyond me. I'm sure they pay through the nose, every step of the way.
Our house is just a few steps away. So many plans, dreams and ideas. They will only become something more than that, once we roll up our sleeves and get stuck in. Who knows what we will discover and uncover.
But that's in two months. I hope that my friend gets the chance to see it. He's bloody well going to try.