So I won’t bore you with the year it took us to actually buy the place. There were unusual french laws, strange bank demands and a bizarre incident where Sebastian pulled the 1970s style lace curtain down in our solicitor’s office (a child with taste – obviously). But almost one year to the day after we put in our offer – we had the enormous, Scooby Doo-esque key to the house!
From memory I think Peter went twice before us on his own taking down Calor Gas heaters and some thermals to get electricity and water connected and all that sort of thing. He has his own ‘building blog’ with the deets on it http://www.gensachouse.co.uk
And then we all went for a holiday. And there was no water for loo flushing so I learnt how to do this by pouring water down with a bucket. We had a fire to keep us warm in the kitchen and nowhere to sit except for four old wooden chairs we’d taken with us.
And it was AWESOME! We discovered the joys of the local Super U – ate out – A LOT, met our neighbour Serge – more on him later, discovered the joy of the vide grenier (literally translated it means Empty Attic and is the french equivalent of a car boot sale but with the odd hidden gem!
And we spent our evenings in front of our fire, drinking wine and planning. Planning how we would transform our new french home. Thinking of how we would redecorate each room and how to best utilise the space. Dreaming of a time when we would come here and it would be warm, comfortable and chic. And until then we were happy as it was. Happy with Scrabble and a bottle of Madiran. A steak cooked on our Smeg range we had driven down with us in the back of our car bought on ebay. And happy to go upstairs and see our two boys sharing a room with a fireplace big enough to climb into. Like something CS Lewis would have written about. And if you think I’m exaggerating about just how bad it was…