Back in Blighty!... But Now With The Ability To Transport Myself Back To France and Walk Around My H
(Apologies that this has only just been posted and was obviously drafted last Monday - Unfortunately there was an error with the below link, so I thought I'd hold off until it was sorted! ;o) )...
Hope you have all enjoyed a good summer!
I would like to start by sharing with you the advertising link of Leggett Immobilier, who are now actively marketing our beautiful 'Dame Blanche' and where you have the opportunity to actually go in and have a nose around with their live tour!
Hope you like it! Spread the word by liking and sharing away on facebook/twitter/insta...wherever your hangouts are! Who knows - you may know the next owner of our beautiful cottage!?
So, we have been back on home turf now for a whole week, our eldest daughter, Summer is full swing back into school (8th birthday fast approaching - where does the time go!!?) and our youngest, Amélie has just begun nursery 2 mornings a week, which she is absolutely loving! Cannot believe how much more I got done on those two days, given that she sleeps during the afternoon until school run time - it's win win all round!
We celebrated yesterday evening in very British style! (Although, it's not like we don't get these in France - our local French owned restaurant does a spankin roastie!! Probably the best we have ever tasted, but then the French usually do get our vote on the cooking front!
(Let my husband, the gravy monster pour the gravy!....WHY!!??? :o( Still tasty though!)
Thank goodness our lettings agent agreed to move our house inspection day from last Tuesday to next week! Although I had cleaned before we left, as soon as we were back and all the bits off-loaded from the van and car, the house was a complete tip!! Must have washed about 10 loads of laundry since being back and only just got the last bits of sorting done over the weekend, which I had been gradually attacking when I could through the week. When we go away for the summer, it's not your usual holiday packing, as it home from home and we are shifting building materials, tools and furniture around a lot, as well as our bedding, suitcases, gifts, baby paraphernalia, supplies of fave things we can't live without from either country, bikes, pushchairs... you name it - we've probably got it! It's enough to fill a long wheelbase van anyway! It's actually a good thing to be having a house inspection happening here as it has spurred me into action and given me a deadline to work to! With work orders coming through too, it is all go go go! But in a good and positive way!
Scott was back into work the day after we got back and has had a really tough week given that the company who supply the kitchens he fits have mucked up majorly on deliveries (nothing new there!) and also gave him huge granite worktops to remove, which is a little difficult for a 1 man band! That teamed with various maintenance issues to attend to at the houses we manage locally here is not the easiest of starts back home, but it is what it is and you just have to keep the focus of why you are doing it - there is a long term goal!
Having the muck up on the ferry home that the last cabin which was flashing red on the screen when I booked, actually was not booked and non-reclining seats were the only thing reserved for us - only 2 of them being together, resulting in us sleeping on the floor with my cardi as a cover and our clothes as pillows; a sandwich made up of Summer under the two chairs, then Amélie, then me, then a wall and Scott on the floor just above our heads doesn't prepare you well for returning home and a change of scene and work... I have to say, although I was stressing at first and having nightmares of how the night on the ferry was going to proceed, the girls absolutely blew me away with how they just adapted to the situation, no fuss made and just slept through the night! Whilst I consciously 'slept', listening to the conversation between the two French men who had returned from the bar and didn't seem to realise the other 40 people in the room, the other English man blowing up his extremely rustly plastic bed, the little girl who wasn't very well and the loud and varying snoring styles of the many, I was overwhelmed and rather humbled by my two little sleeping beauties! Would have hoped our tickets were A LOT less expensive for the experience though as it was more than the usual cost when we do have a cabin!
Although the week has gone very fast, it Feels like we were in France weeks ago now, but suppose that is due to us hitting the ground running on both sides and always having lots of different things to focus on and get done. Although this can be tiring at times and we are constantly kept on our tippy toes, if we are honest with ourselves, we wouldn't have it any other way and it's what keeps us going! I am definitely in agreement that variety is the spice of life and love that the choices we have made and our work gives us the chance to spend time in both countries, which we love equally in different ways!
We definitely feel this year that we are finally finding the right balance for our little family!
All of this year's summer lets were nice and straight forward and everything seemed to run like clockwork. I spoke too soon in my last update though and all the lovely holiday guests we had had for the first 4 weeks were a stark contrast to the guests we had for the last two weeks, who I have to say were some of the most arrogant, rude, unnecessarily demanding and extremely ungrateful people we have ever met. They showed no positive reaction to anything, had no smiles or thanks to give us and were just plain rude, treating us like the onsite concierge, rather than the owners of the house. This was a real shame as we were looking forward to clocking off for the last couple of weeks and enjoying a nice chunk of real family holiday time, but instead we were running around dealing with the constant requests (the customer is always right!) and bending over backwards to try and ensure they were happy. We have had to develop a thick skin in what we do as sometimes you just have to deal with unpleasantness, even though it feels personally upsetting to both you and your house - at the end of the day, you just have to see it as business and know that it is only for a short period of time!
Not quite sure what to do with the Air BNB review request for that one, which has been sat in my inbox for a week now... Couldn't believe it when I received an email from them stating they had had a wonderful time and might see us again next year!? Absolute news to me!!...Hmmmm, think we'll see about that one!
Thank goodness we had decided to stay with my mum 40 mins away for the last 5 days so the van could be packed up and was ready to go last Saturday. Not only did it mean we could wake up, drive to our house, check them out and do the clean before locking up and getting on our way with the 4 hour drive to the ferry, but we enjoyed a full 5 days complete break as a family without any unwanted disruptions!
We are continuing to market 'Dame Blanche' and have been getting some positive feedback and viewing requests, which is a great sign - but we know how slow the French market is and that it could take a good while to find a purchaser who is serious and feels their requirements, plans and ideas fit with what the place has to offer.
I will be busy drawing up the new inventory very soon ready for our next tenants who we will be meeting and checking in for a 3 month let in October. They seem a lovely couple, who have had the French dream for a while now and decided to rent as a 'taster' to see what living in rural France is really like. They have indicated that if they enjoy their stay and feel at home there - like it is 'right' for them, they may possibly be interested from a purchasing point of view! Who knows!!?? Just wish they were staying in the warmer summer temperatures when the place really shines and comes into its own...although I loved it all year round when I lived there! ;o)
Next stop when I get a few minutes is to off-load the France pics from my phone! I will be back soon with the photos of little bits we were able to do to the barn while we were there!
Until next time!