We’ve been in the Dordogne now for just over three months. It’s been fairly hectic settling in, but we’re getting there. Here’s some of the things we’ve accomplished / done in that time:
- Installed a wood-burning stove
- Had the roof insulated
- Had the ridge tiles replaced
- Installed electric radiators in the kitchen and bathroom
- Had a lovely Christmas dinner at L’Auberge des Tilleuls
- Attended the annual Repas de Chasse
- Started taking French lessons
- Been abandoned by our French tutor
- Found more French lessons
These are just a few of the things I’ve not found time to write about. I intend to remedy the lack of writing.
It’s funny how simple differences between countries and cultures can trip you up.
This October we’ve been impressed with the huge sales of chrysanthemums in all the supermarkets. Even marquees full of them in the car parks. Huge tubs of brilliant bright blooms. Well, we love chrysanthemums, so at the weekend we bought a huge tub and set it proudly on our kitchen window sill for all to see.
It was only last night that we discovered that ‘mums in France are associated with the dead. The French buy then at the end of October and, on All Saints Day (1st November) they take them to the cemetries to decorate the graves of family and friends. Ooooops!
Needless to say, we’ve removed our display from the window sill!
Anyone who knows me will know I’m a bit of a weather nut. So I was delighted today to see the temperature peak in the 40s for the first time. 40.8C to be precise.
Now it’s 9.30pm and were sitting out in a balmy breeze enjoying a beer. What a great life.
The bed problem was solved by cutting the beds in half and reassembling them upstairs with pre-drilled metal plates and plenty of screws. Job done!
It’s been a hectic week and a bit. Nine days ago we packed about half our furniture and belongings (including new beds, sofa and chairs) onto a Luton van in North Wales and 48 hours later we were unloading them into our house in Badefols-D’Ans.
The removals went pretty smoothly, thanks in main to the assistance we had both loading and unloading the van. We couldn’t have done it without some muscle. In the end we were able to load everything in an hour and unload in 2 hours. The company we used was European Moving; they were very friendly and efficient and, while these things ain’t cheap, they were reasonably priced for a full 20m3 van load. We were also able to pay them in Euros which suited our circumstances.
Most of the last week has been spent tearing up and down to Brive-la-Gaillarde for everything from a fridge-freezer to a draining board. Of course a new Nespresso machine was one of our first purchases. The white goods should be delivered tomorrow and it’ll be good to have somewhere to keep things cool in again.
Not everything’s been plain sailing. One of our biggest headaches has been the new single beds (2 of) we shipped over from the UK for our guests to sleep on. They proved too big to get up the stairs to the guest room! So our poor guests are currently just sleeping on mattresses (which did go up the stairs) whilst the bed bases wait to be dismantled, taken upstairs and reassembled. Much of the last week has been spent agonizing over doing a “break-fix” on brand new beds.
It’s still more than a month until we’re back in the Dordogne so I’ve been experimenting with digital watercolour using Artrage 5. Here’s a painting of the house painted on a Lenovo X1 tablet with a Wacom Bamboo Smart stylus.
Here are some interior shots of the new house
It was with heavy hearts that we had to say “A bientôt” to our new home today as we have to head back to the UK tomorrow. We’ll be counting the days until we’re back to bring our home to life.
Did I mention that the sun forsook us today and it rained heavily for most of the day with temperatures a much more season 12 to 13°C.
Still we managed a lovely lunch at the traditional cuisine restaurant “Le Clos du Périgord” of entrecôte and confit de canard. Very tasty. This was followed by a very brief sightseeing tour in the increasingly heavy rain. So here’s a couple of hastily taken shots. We must get back here in the summer to do it full justice.
A few firsts today:
- First time to visit the Corrèze departement
- First time to visit the city of Brive la Gaillarde (well, the outskirts)
- First time to visit Mr Bricolage
- First time to eat in Flunch
Brive la Gaillarde is our nearest decent sized city with loads of retail opportunities. The visit to Mr Bricolage was principally to look at wallpapers and we’ve got a few likely candidates picked out for the kitchen and sitting room.
We also picked up some cleaning stuff so after our lunch at Flunch we headed back to the house and began the job of cleaning up. The house has just been used as a holiday home for many years and hasn’t been lived in for some time. So you can imaging there’s a bit of cleaning to be done.