A slight nervousness today as we departed for a week in France. In the past, Wife has not always had the best sea legs and tonight would be her first ever overnight sleeping crossing. And in addition, Wife was also very excited about the trip. This is her first visit to our house in France since we bought it and she is now very keen to make her mark on things.
So we have a nice meal on the boat, two half-bottles of wine, and a quick drink in the bar where we talk to a rather odd couple who are on a weekend cruise to St Malo sponsored by a local radio station. I would probably preferred not to make small talk with them. But when quiz night starts in the bar, we make our excuses and are off to the cabin for the night. How well would it go?
The answer is - not bad at all. A decent night's sleep for both of us and a complete absence of any seasickness. Indeed we are both up for a big breakfast on the boat.
This morning's journey is the familiar St Malo, Rennes, Nantes, motorway to St Jean route. We are down at St Jean by 12:30 or so and go straight to the house. I persuade Wife to let me take the covers off the new sofas and open the shutters before she goes in for the first time. It was actually August when she last saw the house and the first go round it again is rather overwhelming. By now I am pretty used to it all, but it was quite a revelation for Wife. The work I have done is greated with much enthusiasm so that's good too.
We spend a couple of hours sorting out our stuff. I unpacked the huge amount of stuff we had crammed into the land rover - four side tables, lamps, towels, suitcases, DIY stuff, etc and then assembled the rest of the new IKEA bed that we are going to use.
Then off to the Leclerc supermarket in St Jean for an initial stock up for the next few days and also a chance to buy some cheap red wine for me from the Cave and to have a quick look in the brocante.
I had hoped to have a meal out at Le Scorlion tonight to celebrate our first evening together at our house but it is fully booked so it is Le Cabanon instead, and actually a very good meal indeed. For the next couple of days we are working more or less none stop on the house, so we are now suitably charged up.
Wife has started on the huge task of cleaning the kitchen and organising all our stuff in it. I am initially working on the doors upstairs; a repaint and re-fitting of door handles.
In the afternoon we are visited by Grant, our property manager. He and I have our usual run through the pending work while Wife expresses concern about the cleaning of the outside of the house, especially the terrace. But all seems in hand to me.
We now have a large dining room table assembled - another IKEA purchase - and are beginning to see how the whole area will fit together.
I cook a variation on the meal that Jerome did for me a few weeks ago - frozen fruit de mer cooked with shallots, garlic and creme freshe and served with rice and a salad. We are both really hungry after a full days work - always a nice feeling I think
An improvement in the weather over night and some blue sky. Work continues on our various tasks but I take a few minutes to go out for a brief walk and see the donkey in its field across the road.
We are joined for lunch by two cats who sit on the kitchen window looking in as we eat. The tabby was around when I was here last time and we think it is an un-neutered male, which would be a very bad thing to let in the house. I hadn't minded it wandering around before, but now it is banished.