Saturday, 17 April 2010

Shabbiness is next to Godliness.....

I have had a number of e-mails, comments and enquiries as to my well being, generally wondering why I have not blogged for a while. You will be relieved to hear there is a very good reason for my shabbiness on the blogging front. I couldn't post or write anything because no matter how hard I tried,  I simply couldn't be arsed.

Mel and I returned on Tuesday from our Holiday in France. Leaving our house in Chalus is always hard but this week was particularly difficult. So much work is going on now in our barn renovation that I find it difficult to tear myself away. The plumbing is in, the wiring is being installed and my Father-in-law Fred has worked relentlessly to push the whole project forward. We are immensely grateful for his and Pat's help as they have spent the last two months there, organising, sourcing and managing the whole project.

In addition, We are having two old outbuildings demolished in our garden plus a number of connecting walls. The whole garden, belonging to our house and the barn will be landscaped and the whole place will look totally different when we return in July.

I spent most of our ten days there stressing and fretting about everything, sticking my nose in where it didn't belong and desperately trying to appear like I understood the finer details of what was going on. Fred humoured me and tried to explain complex and technical things to a man who struggles to change a plug.

I am learning though and things are beginning to make sense. We made several really important decisions regarding the pool we are having installed at the back of the holiday home and the surrounding patio. We also chose internal fixtures and fittings and compiled a budget for completion which is a little scary but it is vital we push on and complete this year as we want to start renting the holiday home next year to recoup some of our investment.

Having said I was stressed and fretting, it's important that you understand that I enjoy every single minute of our time there. It's a different kind of stress from the everyday hub-hub of life in the UK. Seeing the project come to fruition is immensely rewarding and I forget all about my real life and instead become some kind of cider quaffing, cheese eating, workaholic that finds it difficult to sit still for a single minute.

Just prior to our arrival my new sit down mower had been purchased by Fred and after a cursory driving lesson I was off whizzing around the garden mowing grass that won't even be there when we return.

We spent some time just holidaying too. Either discovering new places in the Limousin or in my case spotting and investigating lakes that I intend to fish in future. We visited a lovely town nearby called Brantome which is just 40 minutes drive away in the Dordogne.

We had a lovely day there lunching and drinking Cider by the river.

I also managed one afternoons fishing with our friend Neil which was almost wholly unsuccessful from a fish catching perspective but just wallowing and relaxing in the amazing nature was a complete privilege right up until I saw this fellow swimming towards me, at which point I hid behind Neil just emerging for long enough to take this photo.

I had no idea that Adders could swim but will bear this in mind now the next time I decide to take a dip in one of the local lakes.

We socialised plenty with our friends old and new who are lucky enough to live there. Neil and Roz were very generous with their home-made cider despite being up to their eyes in their own renovation projects. I tried to lend a hand putting up a new fence but it appears that my practical skills are unbelievably even worse than anyone had previously assumed.

We had a lovely meal at our friends Matt and Helens. Thankfully for them I drove on this occasion sparing them my red wine fuelled diatribes which I normally bless them with. We also met new friends at a party Tamira and Marco who have opened a campsite and Gite business near to our property and we took great inspiration from them as to the life we will eventually lead when we move their permanently in a few years time.

On the whole a fantastic trip. My heart belongs to the Limousin, it is literally my favourite place on earth and our future guests who holiday at our property are guaranteed an amazing relaxing time in fantastic surroundings which for my money equal the beauty of anywhere else in the world.

After a stress free 24 hour drive back we returned to the UK with a bump. I had two days of meetings in London this week where the hustle and bustle was a stark contrast to the serenity we had experienced for the previous ten days. On a positive note the grounding of all UK flights due to the Volcanic ash meant that our apartment in Cheadle has been unusually quiet without the constant drone of flights overhead.

Today Mel and I are off to watch the Manchester Derby which will be Mel's first. I really don't think she has mentally prepared herself for the cauldron of passion she will witness later today and I am praying to the gods of football for the right result otherwise work will be a tortuous experience next week.

1 comment:

  1. We've seen snakes swimming in our lakes too. One of our chickens also decided to do an end to end about a year ago. We watched in helpless amazement, certain she would sink. But she paddled her way across at surprising speed. Possibly there was a snake behind her. Anyway, she hasn't been back in. The turkey fell in the duckpond once. Husband Chris nobly sprang into action to save his Christmas dinner.
    Enjoying your blog - thanks for reading mine - and good luck with the renovation. Hope it won't be too long before you're here full-time. It's certainly interesting being an ex-pat in Limousin.
    Amitiés, Stephanie