My family and I recently made the move out of Paris to the lovely tiny village, Saint-Rémy-Lès-Chevreuse. It’s a 45 minute RER ride to Chatelet/Les Halles (1eme) and takes me now in total about 60 minutes door to door. In the morning on the 7:03am train I see the sun rise behind the changing suburban to urban landscapes. Before, I was either rushing to two metros or a long bus ride. Though the morning bus was lovely as I passed by the post-card looking 6eme buildings and cafes, across the Seine in front of the Louvre and down the Asian noodle street Rue Saint-Anne but it doesn’t compare to my tranquil life in Saint-Rémy.
Deciding to move out of Paris was not difficult for us. We lived in a 60 m2 apartment with an unresponsive landlord and mold. Yes, there was the charm of crown molding yet that became irrelevant when my bathroom sink was unattached from the caulking and shifting along the basin. The landlord told us to re-caulk it ourselves. I might note that once we moved out, the landlord replaced the wiring (half our plugs didn’t work) and remodeled the kitchen and bathroom. Therefore, I was happy to take the brico (handy work) into my own hands. I had also begun to tire of the day to day Parisian logistics. I spent one Sunday evening going to three different laundromats looking for available dryers. Now, I spend my Sundays going downstairs to my energy efficient dryer, grabbing my clothes and folding them with my daughter playing next to me.
There have been a few unexpected discoveries in the house. There is no hook up for our dishwasher so we are back to hand washing until we remodel. The heat is either on or off. No adjustments in the rooms and the downstairs is far warmer than the upstairs. Strange. The wonderful discoveries have been in our garden. We have 10 healthy rose bushes, a batch of tulips and a beautiful blossoming cherry tree. Stella loves to play in the front yard and chase Chaussette who is now officially an indoor/outdoor kitty. On my way home from the RER, I see cows grazing in a pasture and yards bursting with flowers. I have almost the best of both worlds, living in the peace and quiet yet staying connected to Paris each day with work. The commute can be long and exhausting but also peaceful and easy. It all comes down to attitude and I feel fortunate Stella can have a yard to explore and I can have space for my art. We all have different priorities for our lives and for me, this house and village encompass those most important to me. Here is a selection of images of our house and my daily commute. It’s all in how you look at it!