24 June 2021

It was a busy time

As usual when we go to France, not only is it to see our family, but it is to help out. 

Their task is monumental and what with Covid restrictions and such they are up against it to get their gite finished in time for the (hopefully) summer season.  Whilst working on the gite there is also the garden, woods, and farmyard to attend too.  Everyday family life, school runs, shopping, and just day to day stuff.  The B&B has been closed due to restrictions, but whilst we were there they did have two couples stay for a long weekend, one from France and the other from Luxembourg. That alone means extra work in preparations and shopping, then attending to the guests.  Under normal circumstances this wouldn't be a problem but for just one weekend its lots of extra work. Both couples had been moved from last year.

So what did we do?  Gardening, cooking, cleaning, ironing, stripping chairs for reupholstering and general help - me.  Labourer, gardening, electrician, general dogs body - him. We worked more hours in the day than we have in a long time.  Four weeks, 6 days a week, our bodies didn't know what hit them.  We survived. We also managed to take some walks, a few meals out and a couple of visits and a dinner party. We had every type of weather, even a tornado!

I decided it was easier just to add collage pictures in no particular order, so here we go

before and after steps to the lake

some of the Chateau flowers

Mothers Day lunch out with Rebecca

old kitchen at Chateau de Sourches, Saint Symphorien
(where they hold the peony festival, see at the bottom)

handsome boys at the Sille Plage lake cafe

wheres Fred?

farmyard - before

weeded bark under the trees - it is an ongoing battle


evening walkers

Brian in my newly weeded well top

looking tidy

sunset walk

emptying the sand - child labour

filling the trailer - more child labour and first treasure hunt

Treasure hunt

tidy avenues, me and Rebecca, building the zip wire platform


lakeside strimmed and a few more cherries

Strawberry mint tart made by Rebecca

Camping in the garden

Sunday in St Ceneri le Gerei


evening walk

my toad gardening friend

5 trees down, two over the drive

dealing with aftermath of storm and a nasty wood eating grub

Rufus at 11

Le Mans

rhubarb for jam

Fraisier cake made by Rebecca

We attended a Peony Festival - here are just some of the examples

The gite is nearing completion. The kitchen and cupboards are setup.  Bedroom one is complete and dressed as is its ensuite bathroom.  The salon is partially dressed, as in rugs, sofas and chairs in place.  Bedroom Two and ensuite still needs a final coat to the floors. The outside still has work to do, but is looking smart with its newly rendered walls and lighting.  I can't share any photos yet.  They have friends testing out the bedroom this week, so look forward to hearing what they think. It really does look rather lovely and I think they should be very proud of what they have achieved. 

We are finding it a bit hard to relax after such a full-on time and with not being able to go out its a tad frustrating. We have both had calls from Test and Trace, so they are keeping an eye!  Hoping for some better news today on travel restrictions for the summer season, lets keep our fingers crossed.

22 June 2021

We are back

 Hello, back to the blog today.  

For the last four weeks we have been visiting our family in France.  We were lucky enough to arrive just before the French imposed a ban on UK travellers again.

What a performance it currently is to go travelling to an amber list country.  A negative PCR test is required to enter France.  Then to come back to the UK you need either a negative PCR or Antigen test, then 10 days quarantine with a self-administered PCR test on day 2 and day 8.  It certainly not for the faint hearted and you really do have to want to travel. Its also very expensive and adds a hefty sum to your trip.

Anyway, it was certainly worth it.  We had a lovely time, very very busy, lots of gardening and helping with the finishing of the gite. The boys didn't know we were coming so it was a complete surprise for them.  Rufus was overjoyed and couldn't stop talking and Laurie bless him burst into tears and kept saying "I think I'm dreaming".  It was a wonderful reception. Of course Monty went crazy too, and didn't leave Peter's side for the whole visit.

There will be quite a few blog posts as we did so much.  We did manage a few trips out too, so lots of photos to share.

As we start our quarantine, these arrived today. Whilst we are supposed to self-isolate we are allowed to leave home to post them!  I missed a call today from the Isolation Team, I'm guessing to check up on me!! I was in the garden, and my phone was in the house, they say they will try again tomorrow.  Peter didn't get a call ........

It seems very odd being back home and not being able to go as we please, I think it will be a long 10 days. I do have some knitting to get too.  The boys want a blanket for each of the cats, so I plan to make 4 -12"x12" ten stitch blankets.  The zic zack scarf is finished.  The shawl I started got ripped out after an afternoons knitting two weeks ago as I just wasn't happy with it. The yarn was too nice to use on something I didn't really like.

Time to get back in the garden.  I suppose I'd best take my phone outside with me just in case ....