The next house was at Abilly, another attractive little village with the river running alongside the road and a few commerces. We already liked Abilly.
The house was right at the top of our budget and was lovely. There was a reasonable sized garden with a potager, rabbit hutches at the end of the garden and a spectacular view of some distant château. In the cellar, apart from the eau-de-vie still, there were neat rows of bottled fruit, preserves and wine on the shelves.
The store cupboard in the cellar at house number two
Outside, there were not one, or even two, but three cottages that came in with the house. All for "doing up". Antony hinted that there had been some discussion recently that the vendor might separate the sale of the main house from the dépendances but that might take some negotiation. For negotiation read aggravation, time and frustration, I thought.
The three spare cottages that came with house number two.
Not for us that one, either.
I can't remember where the third house was. I just remember that it was unattractive, with a huge garden and orchard, a hangar with a small forge in it.
House number three.
We then said to Antony that we would like to go back to Le Grand Pressigny for a second look at the little cottage there. I was trembling with excitement as we drove back to the village. We had seen nothing else that was anywhere near as good and I couldn't wait to see it again.
As soon as Antony unlocked the door and we stepped inside I felt absolutely sure this was the one. The rain clouds had drifted off and sunshine filled the one room downstairs. Standing on the little terrace, with the château just peeping over the top of the house and the view from the garden over the village rooftops I felt completely at home.The view from the back of the house.
We announced to Antony that we would like to make an offer on the house, could he try to find out what the vendor might accept, as we could not afford the advertised price. Tomorrow was Wednesday and he promised to contact the vendor, who lived in Paris and get back to us as soon as possible. We had until the following Monday to sort this out as then we would be going home.
As we walked away from the cottage the neighbour was pottering about in the courtyard. Antony exchanged a few pleasantries with her and I grinned at her and said, "we are going to buy this house". I thought she looked very pleased.