Another two hour journey to Salford and two hours back again and we had our six month visas.
We were just glad we only lived forty miles away from the centre and not in somewhere like Norfolk. Or South Wales. There are only three centres that issue the visas in the UK; London, Edinburgh and Salford, and you have to apply in person, it can't be done online. Then you have to go back again to collect it. (The reason we have to do all this is Brexit. Of course!)
Arriving chez nous the weather was glorious and it was SO GOOD to be back.
Except that we were disappointed that our new gardener had not found the time in the six months we were away to give the lime tree its trim.
There was however the usual set of nasty surprises to deal with.
They vary from year to year.
This year the mice had had a field day in our absence.
They destroyed the covers on all three sofas in the search for nesting material.
They ate their way through dozens and dozens of tealights leaving just the empty foil shells behind.
Strangest of all, they ate the tops of some of the cleaning products that live under the sink.
Luckily Ikea still supply the same sofas and replacement covers are available.
We like the new covers better than the old ones!
There was also a leak under the sink in the en suite bathroom.
Luckily we had turned the water off and it only became apparent when our house guardians called to turn it back on in advance of our arrival.
The culprit was this joint in the plumbing, an English fitting "mullered" to fit French pipework.
A replacement cost all of 2€! (And a lot of cursing to actually fit it!)
A few days after we arrived we held an afternoon tea party for a friend's birthday.
We soon reacquainted ourselves with village life.
And some of its residents.
We did a lot of spring cleaning.
We got the outdoors ready for spring.
And finally, at the end of the month, the lime tree got its long overdue trim.