|31 July 2010: weeds to tame and one of our 2 camping chairs|
Over the next few days and weeks we wore a rut in the road to the area of large stores in Joué- and Chambray-les-Tours. We bought paint--loads of white paint!! We invested in a plethora of cleaning materials of all types and colours. When we arrived the house was filmed in a lovely layer of builders dust and dirt. A garden table and chairs were acquired so we had something to sit at. By the end of the furniture-less days we'd whitewashed the entire house and weren't keen on seeing a roller or bucket of paint for a long, long time -- if ever!
We bought things we'd never owned before, but were needed living in the country: a saw horse, a chain saw, hack and hand saws, a ride-on mower, a much heavier strimmer, a wheelbarrow and another ladder to name but a few! Meanwhile Shadow had discovered the ensuite bathroom and the joyful fact that he could just squeeze himself behind a panel and vanish totally from view only sneaking out occasionally to snatch some food. It caused us some serious worries as to where he'd got to before we caught him eeling out of his hidey hole!! Once we'd been here a couple of days we let him go outside to explore and he promptly went onto the roof! Little did he know though, that his days as an 'only cat' were numbered. Katinka took up residence in October 2010.
|Shadow on the roof, August 2010|
The red squirrels, fox and other animals are always a joy. Earlier this morning looking out over the terrace we saw regular visitors: three chevreuil [roe deer]. They ambled along the field boundary. We never tire of seeing whatever wildlife there is on offer, be it large or small; with the exception of the pine processionary catepillars!! Those we do not like!
|October 2010: two cats on the roof|
So here we are two years later. In some ways it seems only months ago that we moved here, in other ways we feel we've been here quite a while--both in the nicest possible way!
Above all we've met many friendly and helpful people:- both French and expat, and we have made some good friends. Looking back on two years life is good and we feel we are beginning to properly settle in here.
Hello Niall and Antoinette:
We have been most intrigued to read this post in which you describe some of the early days spent in your French home. What you do not say, perhaps happily they did not occur too often, are those moments of wondering what you had done and actually let yourselves in for.
Your house looks to be so very pretty and we are sure that, gallons of white paint later, you have made the inside equally charming. It is so good that you feel really settled in France - a wonderful country - and we do so hope that Shadow is still with you and does not mind too much sharing.
I just loved reading about all you've accomplished and seeing how charming your house is -- so very French, isn't it?
Congratulations on your second anniversary in your lovely home! Many haooy returns of the day.
@Jane & Lance - of course we had moments--happily few and far between but they happen anywhere you go and we've lived in a fair few places :-) It seemed churlish to mention them on a beautiful summer's day.
Shadow is still very much part of the collective; he's just far more camera shy than our tabby show off :-).
@Broad - yes it is a classic longere--couldn't be more French or more typical of the region.
Hope you're enjoying the Lot.
@Pauline - thanks :-)
Great post and it is good to learn more about you both. We are lucky enough to have met you, but I hope next time we will have more chance to to talk. Last time there was so much to catch up with and so many people to do just that with.
You sound as if you have made a really nice home for yourselves and I envy you seeing the wild life. Keep well, Diane
You've achieved a great deal and made a beautiful home for yourselves. We've enjoyed sharing it with you, both in person and via your blog.
Keep enjoying the wonder of it all.
Odd how time seems to expand and contract...two years can seem like a lifetime...as if you've been nowhere else....or like a snapshot.
It looks lovely and I'm so glad you and the all important felines are happy there.
Happy Franciversary! It's a nice feeling, eh?
Congratulations, we have had our house in Charnizay and still like it after 9 years! Not full time though. I read your blog regularly and it keeps me in touch with Charnizay when I am in the UK so thanks - and have many more happy years - the Macdonalds
@Diane - the wildlife is a real bonus :-).
@Gaynor - thanks :-) Sometimes it feels as if we haven't done much; other times we're quite surprised at how much!
@Fly - it is a moggie's paradise.
@Walt - eh bien oui!
@MacDonalds - thanks for commenting & glad to hear you enjoy the blog.
Congratulations on your two years in France and the excellent job you have done on the house. Hope to see it in 'real life' one day! And the cats too, of course ;) Martine
Congratulations. You've done a lot with your house and land. And you say the patio is your last big project? Wish I could say the same!
@Martine - standing invitation next time you're in the Loire :-)
@Carolyn - patio isn't the last big project---just for now :-) Need to save up a bit before we take on the renovation of our barn which, we suspect, will be fairly expensive.
Doesn't time fly when you're enjoying yourself?:-) Congratulations on the first two years and here's to many more of them in your lovely house and beautiful surroundings.
PS Painting BEFORE the furniture arrived sounds like a really good plan to me.....
@Perpetua - LOL we know our weaknesses. If we hadn't done it then we would probably still be saying 'we should really paint the walls' to each other now!
I can't believe that you have been here for two years! But then I can't believe that we have been here for over four! Just like you, sometimes it feels like we have been here forever, and other times that we have just arrived.
But now we have our smallholding running the local wildlife has taken a step back, apart from the marauding fox last spring and the deer who got stuck in our field, so we are still reminded that there are wild creatures about.
Congratulation on your two years and all the hard work. My father used to love to deal in real estate and bought several older French homes, then with his buddies they would fix them – it was a lot of work, so I know how much you had to do, and then all of this in a land that is a bit foreign, so it was even harder I believe. But now you have this lovely home and can enjoy it. “Bonne continuation” as they say back home- Google translates it as good luck, but it is not that, it is more like “continue to have a good time.”
@Vera - it is surprizing how time 'works' isn't it :-) Hope the scything is going from strength to strength.
@Vagabonde - merci! Vous etes tres gentille.
We knew the area quite well which is one of the reasons we searched for a house in this region of France. Google translations are dodgy more often than not!
Congratulations on your achievement and anniversary, we know from personal experience what it has taken you to create your lovely home.
@LindyLou - thanks and there are projects yet to come.
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