Monday, 4 February 2013

Another weekend whizzes by...

Well, considering we are retired and weekends are no different from weekdays, it's amazing how quickly they whizz by and it's Monday morning again!  For us nowadays,  Monday mornings mean Danny going off for his French lesson while I do a bit of housework.

So what did we do this weekend?  Well, on Saturday we went to look at a fireplace and wood burner to see if they would be suitable for our lounge.  To explain, our lounge must have had a fireplace at some stage in the past but the whole wall has since been dry-lined and we don't actually know what's been left behind it.  To give you a better idea of what I'm talking about, here are Finn, Liam and Whisper taking advantage of the current arrangement...

Ever since we moved into our house, I've longed for a proper fireplace but because of the potential cost, we've always thought it would probably not be possible to do.  However, a friend of ours told us about a friend of his, who is having his granite fireplace removed and is selling it along with the wood burner in it.  The price was a lot less than we imagined so we went to see it on Saturday..... and we're going to have it!  This is what it looks like in its current home...

Obviously, the people who have it now don't want it removed until the end of winter but we want it installed before the start of next winter so we'll be in limbo for a while, hoping that it all works out right.   We have another building project before the lounge can be decorated and that is to open up our staircase..... hopefully, it'll all tie in together and we can have our new look lounge by the winter.
From there, we went to a village called La Chataigneraie to see a new shop that's opened up there.  It's run by a young lad called Charlie and I believe it's known as "The British Shop".  Now, Danny and I would not normally seek out British food  (not least because normally  it's sold at extortionate prices that we're not prepared to pay!) but  we had heard good reports about this lad and his prices so we decided to give it a try.  It would be more accurate to describe the produce as food liked by the British rather than British food.  I say this because the first thing we noticed in the shop was a range of  Indian curry pastes, spices and pickles!! Aside from those, there was an array of goodies that we didn't even know we wanted or missed.....and we came away with wine gums, pickled onions, lime pickle, Robinson's fruit juice for a friend and some poppadoms! Oh and 22 euros poorer!
Just one last word on the subject of British produce...there is one thing I simply cannot do without.  It is available here but is rather expensive.  So whenever anyone comes to visit, all I ask is that you bring with you some ENGLISH TEA BAGS, please!
I had hoped to meet up with a friend and some other 'Ladies in France' on Sunday to go for a dog walk but I had two or three important jobs to do and having got up rather late... and having had a pretty lazy morning... it didn't happen.  One of those jobs was to fill in yet more forms in our ongoing quest to register Danny's Dodge Dakota truck over here.  Another was to finish shortening the lounge curtains and making the tie backs from the excess material.  I didn't finish the tie backs but otherwise, by the time Sunday evening came around, I felt that I had achieved most of what I wanted to achieve this weekend.
And look what I spotted in our garden this weekend..... our first crocus of the year...right by the front door...
So another week has started and as I write this, even Monday is already drawing to a close.  This afternoon we spent a couple of hours with a lovely guy, Keith, and his wife Sue, who are helping us to turn our out-of-control, unruly but otherwise gorgeous Red Setters into two well-behaved model dogs!  (The truth is it's Danny and I who need the training!)  But seriously, Keith was amazing....most of it is about being firm and and not giving in to letting them have their own way.  We'll have to see how we get on.  I'm going to take Liam to Keith's actual classes to try to train him the basics like recall and walking to heel.  Liam is so eager to please and we think he'll learn well as a result.  Danny may take Finn too but that may not be so easy as Finn acts like a recalcitrant teenager!!!!!
One last interesting fact about today.... Keith and Sue bought a house that Danny and I viewed in June 2011.  We liked it very much (it had loads of  'potential') but at that time our house in the UK wasn't even on the market so we were not in a position to make an offer on it.  By the time we returned in October 2011, having sold our UK house, that house in France was no longer available.  Now we know why..... Keith and Sue were buying it!  But, funny how things work out, they have had no end of unexpected problems that have cost them a fair bit of money.  So it seems we had a lucky escape.  Plus the fact that we prefer the house we finally bought anyway!!  But what a coincidence, eh?


  1. Love the fireplace Roz - it's gonna be a real talking point... has a medieval look about it too!

  2. I lovw fire places - we have bought a 1920's repro a couple of years ago and even that made an enornous difference to the room.