Monday, 18 February 2013

A week in France Part 2


Wife is so settled in to cleaning the kitchen that she is not keen to come out on any tourist like trips, so I went to Saintes alone this afternoon.  My main issue was to buy a "wifi enhancer" from the Orange store.  Much to my surprise, I am able to get it working first time and our house broadband now extendes through most of the house, but in particular, to the main lounge, the terrace and the area by the pool. 

We have dinner out at Le Scorlion and excellent it is too.  Langousitine ravioli, followed by rump steak and the really awesome tripple dessert that I had a few weeks ago. Sadly they are full for Valentine's Day on Thursday, else we could have gone there again.


Into St Jean this morning for the market and to have a bit of a wander round - the first break from work during the day so far.  We bought delicious pastries and macaroons.

Another job today - to trim up the dining area and take a few photos for the house website.  I have now finished the doors upstairs and am working on the re-paint of the stairs, replacing the rather horrible purply-brown colour they were with a rather nice grey.

Another large meal tonight after a satisfying days work - chicken, chorizo and rice - followed by four episodes of "Big Bang Theory", our current favourite show


More jobs to plan work on for later visits.  I am returning in two weeks time for a longish stay of nearly three weeks and have all sorts of stuff to door.  The priority is the upstairs bedroom after the work is done to knock a door through the thick stone wall, plus the downstairs shower room.  But I am also keen to look at my latest plans for the new kitchen in the other part of the house - "Petit chats".

The current kitchen in Petit Chats

Finally, the office is tidier

But there is lots to do in the downstairs bathroom

Another upside today when we get our first booking for the summer season.  This is enough to cover half of our on-going costs of owning the property but conrtibutes nothing yet to the refurbishment.  Now we just need another 10 weeks of bookings and we'll be very happy.

A nive meal in for valentine's day - we have salmon and prawns for starter, cook chicken with peppers and left over rice from last night and have two delicious pastries for dessert.  And we finally finished the 8 pistachio magums which we bought earlier in the week


We are packed up and ready to leave by about 10:00 and I had hoped we could have a nice drive round the area - maybe go and see Jerome's proposed barn purchase.  But there is thick mist everywhere and we can barely see 50 metres at times.  Still the vines do look nice.

So we heading for St Jean and a quick walk round before meeting Grant and his wife at L'Annexe.  In the Ellis Park cafe, we got talking to an old lady who was leaving the area after 10 years to move back to the UK.  She was complaining about how the English ex-pats wouldn't include her in anything because she was single.

Lunch was good fun - and lots of ideas to think about from hearing of Grant and Karen's experiences.

Then off on the long drive back to Caen, kept going by Gideon Coe and Marc Riley radio shows.  And a trip into the IKEA at Caen where we bought rugs and things.

Just before we arrived in Caen, the brakes gave out on the land rover!  Most likely a fluid leak.  We inched onto the ferry and assumed that if we got off the ferry ok, we could then call the AA to tow us home.


We had some brakes when we rolled off the ferry and as it was 6:30 in the morning, we took a chance that the roads would be quiet and we could inch home.  Braking just once in the first 80 miles of the journey home, we got back home ok.

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