Thursday, April 24, 2008

The French House Continues....Pt 1

I am almost back to what constitutes for normal around here. The older I get (and as you know I am getting pretty old) the harder the jet lag hits. Plus I had to hit the ground running as I had a new listing to get organized when I returned and it has been a pretty hectic week ever since.

This is it - not so pretty now - but we have big plans. Note the big hole in the left hand of the roof - that was caused by the strong winds they had in February

Still to get back to our week in France, we arrived full of good intentions and a nice long to-do list however the fates conspired against us from the word go.
When we came over in November to close the deal we stayed at a lovely B & B and met a very nice couple with whom we got on very well and they were happy to help us in our search for quotes for the various works and recommend various artisans that they and their friends had used. To this end we left the keys (the only set) to the house with them so they could take builders and the like to the property to facilitate the estimates (or devis as they are referred to in France). Well unfortunately in the intervening period this couple split up and somehow the keys got misplaced.

This sunny corner at the back is a real sun trap and from here we spent many minutes standing (because we never got around to purchasing some chairs) surveying the view below

However, this couple did hand us over to another friend of theirs, H, who has been coordinating between us and the roofer (who he had recommended due to work he had had done on his place). H has been a god-send, speaks wonderful French and is the genuine article, a very nice decent person who just wants to help. We had arranged prior to our arrival to meet H and the roofer at the property first thing Tuesday morning, therefore we needed to break into the house to allow everyone access.

Promptly on Tuesday morning at 10 we all met to discuss the final arrangements on the roof replacement and installation of dormers and velux. This all went very smoothly with H translating all our concerns and the builder putting our minds at rest and we now feel confident that we are leaving this first step of the renovation in very safe hands.

H then invited us to dinner with his wife A and himself that evening and the four of us spent a lovely evening checking out their place and all their renovations. We also saw the work that the roofer had done for them, lovely quality workmanship.

They have a wonderful garden that they have designed themselves. A very traditional formal kitchen garden with lavender and box wood separating the beds. It was lovely and had me itching to get started.

Our little acre of France - not our horses ! Note the phone on the upturned bucket in the foreground, strategically placed in the hope of getting some signal!!


dND said...

Oh so France, including the splitting up bit too, according to Stew on Night on the Tiles. Something to do with when the renovations stop so be warned :-D

I've my fingers crossed for your house sale, I found it hard enough being just the English Channel away, being as far away as you must be really difficult.

Carolyn said...

Oh man. What a "Quaint" place. Is that the right word? When you get the hole in the roof fixed let me know and I'll upgrade my rating to "Cozy"...

Hole or no hole, I still wish it was mine!!

Debra in France said...

It's gorgeous! I bet you cant wait for things to get going. It can't be easy for you, doing it all long distance, it's hard enough when you are right here!! Good luck with everyone, I can't wait to see photos as it progresses. Love Debra x

aims said...

It's divine SITH!! How lucky for you!

I'm so glad you had time to spend over there even tho some of it is frustrating.....still - your dream right before your eyes! Just absolutely lovely!