19 September 2023


One day last week I found myself house hunting.  This came about because a couple I have known for a few years, and who have been coming to the village on holiday every year, hanker after buying a property as a holiday home.  This one cropped up and I offered to go along with them and take a look.

It's a short distance from the small holiday home we had and in a great position.  It was clearly two dwellings at one point, now joined together.

Unlike many houses in the village it has good access to generous off road parking. 

As you can see, it's literally at the foot of the château.

The land at the back has two levels of garden as well as plenty of hardstanding parking space and a lovely outlook over the village.

Inside it was not in good shape, suffering from layers of badly done alterations over decades.

The main living room had a fireplace and was a good size, although it was actually a step down from the other part of the house.  It looked like this was the other dwelling and below the level of the road because of the way the road had been built.

The agent who showed us round had never seen the property before.  She struggled to open windows and doors and was unsure what some of the rooms were for, such as this one.  The electricity was off and it was hard to see in some of the rooms.  If I do this again I will go armed with a torch!

The bathroom was horrible.

The house was not really habitable although it had been lived in until fairly recently.

At the back there was a large garage.  After the visit we retired to the bar for "debriefing" where we bumped into a local builder who knew the property.  He said that at one time it had been used as a garage business.

There were also numerous underground spaces.

This cave seemed to go way back and probably goes as far as the château.

The couple rejected the house because it would have required too much work to bring it up to an acceptable standard.  It reminded me of many of the properties we looked at when we were house hunting ourselves in 2007 and again in 2014.

It's in an excellent position and has enormous potential to be turned into a really nice home - if you have plenty of time and money.  It occurred to me as I looked round it that if it had been for sale at the time we found our current house we would have seriously considered buying it.  We could have lived in the little cottage just a few door away while it was renovated, doing some of the work ourselves.

In actual fact it also occurred to me that we could still buy it, selling up in the UK to release the funds to do it.  We would then have the choice of a village house or a rural house for our dotage, being fully committed to living in France and no longer having an option to go back to the UK.  

Realistically it's a lot of house for the money but it's not for us at this stage of our lives.  If we do burn our bridges and sell up in the UK we would be more likely to move to somewhere more modern, easier to maintain and cheaper to run.  I think a time comes when charm has to give way to practicality.  

 The little house we bought in 2007.

The house we have now.

Unbelievably it's now nine years since we moved into our rural house.   How time flies!

16 September 2023



There have been rich pickings recently at brocantes, vide greniers and vide maisons.

These items were for a fancy dress evening that we went to a few days ago.

This coffee table was actually free, left at the déchetterie in the "servez vous" area.
It needs a bit of TLC but is solid wood and will be very handy.

You can never have too many Tupperware boxes, found at a vide maison.

A vide maison is a house or yard sale.

This planter was a vide maison purchase a few weeks ago.

It now houses my spider plant which was a vide grenier purchase last year.

I couldn't resist this pretty little trinket box for 1€.

Two jigsaw puzzles to help pass the time on long winter evenings.

They look rather challenging.  2€ each and hopefully no pieces missing.

Two nice mugs, a cake stand, a small weck jar and a small Tupperware jug.

All from recent brocantes.

As set of 12 wine glasses, useful for parties, for 2€

A ceiling lamp 3€.

We're undecided whether to put it outdoors in the picnic shelter or on the landing.

A lovely set of cake forks and a server, 3€.

An actual pick, 2€.

Very handy for breaking up the unsightly concrete spillage on our drive following the recent building work.

The weather has been through several changes.
The heat wave gave way to a few days of "mists and mellow fruitfulness".
Then summer returned in a warm, pleasant fashion, more typical of September.

Our log delivery arrived, 8 stères.
A stère is a cubic metre.  That's a lot of wood!
The wood shed is full and Nick stacked the rest in the well house.

Last but not least, Daisy is still with us.

The corneal ulcer eventually healed and she no longer needs the pain killers.  There is some scarring which is no doubt affecting her eyesight in that eye but it doesn't seem to bother her.  We just administer lubricating eye drops twice a day - more often if we can catch her!

The tumour is growing steadily but she is still eating well and doing "cat stuff".  Three nights ago she presented us with a bat in the bedroom at 4.00am.  I grabbed her as she dropped it and it flew up into the beams.  The only solution was to open all the windows and decamp to the spare bedroom.  Come morning, Elvis had left the building!

2 September 2023


 The starlings are gathering and performing all around us.