So as things keep happening – mainly nice things – we spend a week or so house-, pet- and chicken-sitting for friends with an organic smallholding and brand new gîte, near Bordeaux.
“Would we like to house-sit and gîte-test for us whilst we go away for a week? Oh, and pack a few eggs?”, we were asked, by friends Rosie and François. “Yes, indeed we would!”, we instantly replied. So here we are, sitting in a lovely house set amidst the vineyards of one of the most revered wine-producing regions of the world – tending the chooks, guinea-pigs, rabbit, dog and cat, with ready access to actual plumbing, a huge comfy bed and a large fridge-freezer – not to mention endless supplies of Bordeaux wine, a great local market and an amazing boulangerie down the lanes! Tough gig.
We were under instructions to give their new gîte a bit of a test run, which we have duly done. Probably had the comfiest bed I’ve ever slept in (and I’m very particular!). I just hope we can leave the place as shiny and new as it was when we moved in a week ago. (Packing and polishing start tomorrow morning – but without the pressure of a 10am checkout. Happy days).
Meanwhile, we ‘divided and conquered’ by division of labour: OH facilitated (the not insignificant) daily egg collecting and packing ready for the market, and I was on pet and plant detail – an easier gig it first seemed, until the dog wandered off (as he is wont to do) and got picked up by a kind local. I then had to try to make arrangements with her – via the local pet rescue service – in my truly awful French in order to get the poor dog back. Turns out the poor wee hound was only 0.8kms away but it took almost half a day to make the arrangements to fetch him back! Needless to say, the poor dog has been confined to barracks and on lead-walks ever since, (being a bit sulky about it too, but it’s his own darn fault).
In between all this, we’ve still managed to do some worky-work and found the time somehow to sample a few, rather lovely Bordeaux wines, sitting in the hot Gironde sunshine, relaxing after our rural labours.
It’s been a lovely week, and an insight into just how much work and sweat (and investment) goes into creating The Good Life in France. And we didn’t even have to plant, pick or sell any vegetables…
Til the next installment… Thanks for reading. xx