Our next visit to the little French place is in the pipeline. We are very diary-challenged this year: launching a new event and managing our little biz in the UK, and of course, doing up the French place in any remaining spare time. Absolutely no problem at all. It’s all about diary planning…
So, our Feb ‘reno’ trip is already in the diary (ferry is booked, to make us focused!). And certain fairly big projecty-y things need to happen during our next wintery visit. Such as roof mending (replacing the broken 150-year old Ardoise tiles with ‘new’ ones), fitting a new chimney ‘hat’, applying woodworm treatment, connecting the water (yay!) and possibly dismantling the lean-to timber barn. And making friends at the dechetterie (local municipal dump).
However, trying to secure reliable builders/roofers/other skilled tradespeople is proving a teeny bit challenging. While we need to do as much as we can ourselves, there are certain tasks that we need others to do for us. Maddening! Husband isn’t so patient at waiting for people to get back to him very slowly with quotes, etc. Quite a few emails are being issued from HQ trying to find ever-more polite (yet passive-agressive) ways to say ‘For the love of God, will you respond with a quote like you said you would last week or month’. Those that do respond promptly with helpful info are fast gaining hero-like status in our house.
Meanwhile, a project plan and scary budget has been produced (gotta love an Excel spreadsheet), and we are being grown-up and realistic about how much work is needed and how very much money it’s all going to cost! Hey ho, what were we expecting? Hard work, lots of exhausting long journeys, money hemorrhaging out of our bank account and a crap exchange rate, that’s what! The ‘fun part’ seems a long way off right now.
Also, the darling doglet gets to come too. We had thought about leaving him behind for the next winter trip (shocker!). But it’s such fun having him with us, lightly terrorising our lovely neighbours and covering the caravan soft furnishings (such as they are) with mud and hair. We would miss his darling cuteness, so he comes too. Ferry and vets fees be damned.
Still, we keep telling ourselves, summer will be easier…
Photos courtesy of Unsplash – gorgeous photos