Saturday 30 July 2011

'Gone to lunch'

Metaphorically the sign on our door for most of today. We left the house at 12 noon and got back at about 4:15. Our destination, the Auberge de la Gabriere was about 20 mins away. A Logis de France hotel/restaurant in the National Park of the Brenne; we'd driven past it before but had never gone in for a meal. Today we had something to celebrate--exactly 1 year ago we arrived at our house. The food did not disappoint and over a lovely lengthy lunch we reminisced about our arrival.

splendid food
We'd become the legal owners on 8 June 2010 but had had work done to the house before we moved in. We also had a house sale in the UK to complete. 30 July 2010 saw us arrive at an empty house with 2 Coleman camping chairs, a couple of suitcases, some bedding [the previous owners had left us a bed] a couple of mugs, plates and cutlery and a very zonked cat. Shadow had had a happy pill before we left Suffolk early in the morning.
a peaceful lamentation
It was quite odd 'living' in an empty house, as with the tiled floors it echoed. Even more surreal was the fact that all our things were still in our house in Suffolk; almost as if we'd just pulled the door to and would be back from holiday in 2 weeks time. We'd barely arrived when we were plunged into a mad week of frantic to-ing and fro-ing to the UK to oversee the packers and visit lawyers for the final exchange on the house in Suffolk. Our belongings, all 64 cubic meters, were still classed as a 'part load' and this meant they wouldn't arrive until the 12th August. Fourteen days of camping in one's own house was certainly a novel way to start living in France!

blue heron looking for lunch

The beautiful scenery of the lake opposite the restaurant was certainly a contrast to our mad rushing about of 1 year ago.


Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Niall and Antoinette:
This sounds like the perfect way to celebrate. What a good idea to find somewhere in which you could enjoy delicious food in beautiful surroundings whilst reminiscing about everything which was happening a year ago. And, we are sure, that you are so pleased that you made the move and can now call France home.

GaynorB said...

Congratulations to you both!

What a lovely way to celebrate. We've only eaten at La Gabriere once, but the food was delicious and the surroundings beautiful.

You have certainly worked hard in that time to turn your house into the wonderful home you have today. Well done!

Craig said...

Congratulations guys on your anniversary. The restaurant looks excellent and a lovely way to celebrate.

Jean said...

Yet another eating establishment that we didn't know of and must try!!
Living in a virtually empty house is a very strange feeling - and very chilly in the middle of November which is when we did it!!
You seem very happy and settled now.

ladybird said...

Happy anniversary! Nog vele gelukkige jaren in 'la douce France' ... Martine

Carolyn said...

Happy first year anniversary. Do you have any comments on your first year living in France?

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Jane & Lance - definitely happy to call France home.

@Gaynor - thanks! :-) Sometimes it's good to remind oneself of what has already been done. Otherwise you can get too focused on the things that still need to be tackled. And there's always something!

@Craig - thanks! :-)

@Jean - brave you in an empty house in November! At least we had warm weather!
Yup love living here :-)

@Martine - dank je! We voelen ons nu, na een jaar aardig thuis--ik wou dat mijn frans zo goed was als mijn nederlands maar dat duurt nog wel een tijdje! Het gaat in iedergeval fors vooruit. Werk was de grootste zorg maar dat loopt nu ook goed.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Carolyn - it has been a busy but excellent year! :-) There's always an occasional hiccup when you settle somewhere new, but these you get everywhere as we know from having lived in a variety of different countries. Having a reasonable command of the language before we moved as well as knowing the area from past holidays helped us settle in.
We have work and we've met lovely new people, so we feel we have our feet fairly firmly planted and really enjoy living here.

Tim said...

Belated "Happy first anniversary"... we've just got back from Salbris and the world 2CV meeting and are a bit "zonked" ourselves.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Tim - thanks! If you're 'zonked' then it sounds as if you had a great time at Salbris :-)