29 March 2023


We have been successfully ticking things off our to do list.

We have bought and fitted new blinds for all but one of our new Velux windows.  The bathroom looks so much better for having its window and now a blind.  

The blind for the window over the bed was out of stock in the colour we wanted at Leroy Merlin so I looked on Amazon Fr.  There it was about the same price but also out of stock.  I then looked at the Velux website where they were in stock but cost €30 more plus shipping.  Just out of interest I looked at Amazon UK and found they were in stock and £30 less but with free shipping.  All very odd considering that they are actually made in France!  So I ordered it from Amazon UK and had it delivered to my brother's address where I will pick it up next trip back.  A bargain!

We are going to get the Rolls Royce of electric gate openers.  Our lovely builder asked his supplier for a recommendation for our particular gates and that's what he came up with.  It's somewhat more expensive than we could get from the Brico shop but we decided to go with it.  The path of least resistance which will save us yet another trip to the shops and it should see us out!

Our lovely builder's lovely wife contacted EDF for us and arranged for our electricity supply to be upgraded from 30A to 50A so that it can cope with the addition of an air conditioning system.  I listened to the conversation between her and EDF and thought that actually I could probably have done that myself - except that there would have been much umming and ahhing, many more pauses while I worked out what was being said and consequently the outcome might not have been so certain.  But our French is definitely improving.

A very jolly chap called Jérôme from Leroy Merlin came to weigh up the installation of the air conditioning upstairs.  We only need it upstairs and already have one eyewatering quote from an AC firm nearby.  We nearly choked on our cornflakes when we read it so are hoping for a more favourable and affordable quote this time.  The jolly chap's ideas were certainly more simple and less heavy on the expensive gizmos.  Fingers crossed we could have it installed by summer.

The internet here seems to be even worse than ever this year which is tragic considering that the fibre optic cables that would improve it no end go right past our gate.  Sadly they end in a large reel of cable that's not attached to anything further down the road!

We made an appointment to visit the Orange shop in Loches to talk about other options as we are currently paying a small fortune per month for truly lousy service.  We managed the whole thing in our best French (with a little help from the young female assistant who was keen to practice her English) and thirty minutes later came away with a new live box, the order for an upgrade to 4G which can be changed once cable is available, and a French mobile phone SIM card.  One of the things we have found is that you need a French mobile number for so many things so a basic service using one of our own old phones seemed the way to go.

We celebrated our internet success with a delicious café au lait in the square opposite the Orange shop.

We then thought that while we were on a roll we should go and have a look at some French cars.  There is a Citroën that Nick has been hankering after so we went to the shop and were delighted to find one at the right price in a fabulous bright red colour.  However, the only sales person on duty was busy trying to sell a van to an older couple so we wandered off in the direction of the Peugeot shop.

There we got talking to an extremely pleasant man called Bruno who found us a newer version of the ROP which would have suited us very well.  Nick however was still hankering after the Citroën so we popped back there to see if the salesman was free.  He was but the car turned out to be a disappointment, the fact that it is apparently not possible to fit a tow bar to it put the tin hat on it.

We decided to go home and think about it, over a glass or two of fizz.  Note Daisy's new Dreamies tin!

On Monday we went back to Loches and arranged to buy the Peugeot.  

It's a very sensible car and although a less funky colour it's the right price and will do us fine.  Having made the decision and ticked that off the list we don't need to go looking all over the place for a car.  The path of least resistance again.

I took Hugo for a walk around the lake at La Celle-Guenand the other day.  A total joy with the trees just coming into leaf and the cuckoo calling somewhere in the distance.


  1. You can't go wrong with a Peugeot! I've loved both of mine, and our ROP (a 206 estate) is not so ropy ... 15 years old, over 200K on the clock, and still goes like a dream even when it's been unused for months.

    Pleased to see you have residence now -- it makes a lot of sense. My latest phone is a dual SIM, so I have a French and a Spanish SIM in it -- so many things in Spain can't be done if you don't have a Spanish phone number, and I have a contract that I can pause when I'm not here (in Spain).

    1. We were very impressed with how the ROP got us here with a heavily laden trailer and top box! The extra weight did not slow it down at all. It rattled a bit more though!
      I fancy one of those dual SIM phones when we need to upgrade ours.

  2. I've had at least three Peugeots over the years and all of them have been pretty reliable. My last but one - a 206 purchased new 23 years ago - is still going strong. A friend's daughter bought it and I still see it around town. I replaced it with a Peugeot - traded up from a 206 to a 207.
    I love your house - it's the style that we particularly liked when we house-hunted years ago after deciding to move permanently from the UK. France was our first choice, but the weather conspired against us, and we ended up living in Spain for the warmer winters. It's currently 24ºC and sunny.
    However it's nice that we can just pop over the border - we and the dogs, have had many nice breaks in Southern France.

    1. We see a lot of these cars around here, various vintages, so presume they are popular because they are reliable.

    2. My Peugeot 206 is 22 years old. I drive it all around the region.

  3. When we were living in France, we often ordered from Amazon uk, once we'd compared options, and got it delivered to Braye. There was no problem in doing that. It could be helpful for you for the future. Elizabeth

    1. Unfortunately, Brexit has scuppered that option. When I looked on Amazon UK delivery to a French address was not possible. For some things it is but incurs hefty delivery charges.

  4. My goodness you are making great progress, you don't fancy going to Italy to connect a new water supply do you. Thought not, stay where you are and enjoy the results of your efforts.