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French move - March update

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Thanks for the update, Sarah...keep them coming! Sounds like a lot to get your head around.....did the lightning strike cause much damage or was that something that you were going to have to tackle anyway?

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Thanks.

 

Yes, we are working our way through the list to register the car. We also have to get a certificate from the tax office, plus we had to change the wheels completely. Off to the Prefecture next week to hopefully tie it up.

 

We are not going to report the theft of the sign this time, although all our land has vigorous private property and no hunting signs put up by the previous owner. We don't mind them in our woods...we have told them this, but not in the meadow. Without seeing our set up it is hard to explain, but the meadow butts onto the road with no fence. There has never been a fence but we will be putting one up....and a darn sturdy one too! Its for the safety of our animals as much as to keep the hunters from traipsing across it. We will have gites overlooking the meadow at some stage so privacy is paramount. The meadow is about 2 acres with about 8 acres of wood next to it. We are going to open a way further up the woods for them. Whoever stole our sign had to walk about 200ft onto our land to do so.

 

Husband has been in the building trade for 30 years so knows all about the weird electrics.

He is actually loving the differences between British and French building methods but is exasperated at the price of materials here and the lack of some things altogether.

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Thanks for the update, Sarah...keep them coming! Sounds like a lot to get your head around.....did the lightning strike cause much damage or was that something that you were going to have to tackle anyway?

 

Hi :P

 

Yeah, the roof had to come down on thst barn at some point anyhow, so its saved us a job really!

The storm was phenomenal. Never experienced anything like it. Being very high up and living in a tin can doesn't help.

 

Will hopefully be able to post some photos soon. Its been fascinating uncovering the secrets of this old place.

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Thanks for the update, Sarah...keep them coming! Sounds like a lot to get your head around.....did the lightning strike cause much damage or was that something that you were going to have to tackle anyway?

 

Hi :P

 

Yeah, the roof had to come down on thst barn at some point anyhow, so its saved us a job really!

 

Will hopefully be able to post some photos soon. Its been fascinating uncovering the secrets of this old place.

 

So every cloud DOES have a silver lining then :dance: Are you going to compile a big s"Ooops, word censored!" book of photos...start to finish? I love watching George Clark :oops: on his design prog (can't quite catch the name just now :roll: ) but he always gives the 'restorees' a book cronicling their build!

 

As a 'blast from the past' I was in Waitrose, Henley on Thursday evening (dentist's appt in Bell St for us all at 5.25pm!!) and looked at all the 'girls' with their heads down - it was manic - and thought of you in a better place! Bet you don't miss it one bit :lol:

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:lol:

I miss my friends...some customers who became friends too.

I certainly do not miss my boss or some of the other customers!

 

I am really missing the Christmas buzz that you get from working there this time of year, when the decorations go up and we put on our Christmas aprons.

And I REALLY miss Waitrose mince pies!

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Sorry S, that was a bit thoughtless of me :oops:

 

What is happening in France, Christmas wise? Have things kicked off already and, if so, whats going on? Not sure if France has Christmas markets like Germany :think: ?

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Sorry S, that was a bit thoughtless of me :oops:

 

What is happening in France, Christmas wise? Have things kicked off already and, if so, whats going on? Not sure if France has Christmas markets like Germany :think: ?

 

Don't be daft, you were not thoughtless in the least! :roll::lol::lol::lol:

 

Still nothing going on Christmas wise here - I think it may all start soon though, now that Armistice Day has passed, which is a huge holiday here.

French Christmas Markets are very popular in the big towns like Lille, & we are hoping that our little town, which seems to have something going on all the time, will have one too.

The Harvest festival and market a few weeks back was just brilliant, so we have high hopes.

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Some photos....

 

This is the house. The little part of the L shape is going to be our home, along with the corner bit.We are also claiming a section of the long barn as my office downstairs & a second bedroom upstairs. Externally we are going to build a covered area where it dips in, which will also be where our front door will be. The long barn, which is massive, will eventually be gites. Where there is an arched window with white shutters on the short part of the L, there will be a Dormer above, & this will be echoed further along too.

This part will be an open plan living, kitchen & dining area, & upstairs.........

 

2016-05-30%2014.21.21-2_zpsyvjdodtw.jpg

 

which is this room, will be our bedroom suite, with a dressing room & en suite bathroom. The blocked up window at the end is being opened up again, with a Juliet balcony. You won't see the roof beams apart from the big arched ones that go across the room as we have to make an internal structure to put insulation into.

 

2016-10-08%2009.32.16_zpszo08wrqx.jpg

 

Back downstairs, this is going to be our dining area, with the fab local stone, 2ft thick walls & little niches.

next year the Christmas tree will be in the corner hopefully!

This part of the room is directly underneath the blocked up window pictured above.

 

 

2016-09-19%2015.22.32_zpssfmpbq6i.jpg

 

It is great fun uncovering the secrets of the house. We found some etched stones which we found out are to keep evil spirits away, & many other weird & wonderful things too.

 

To give an idea of scale, this is the front meadow. There is also around 15 acres of woodland, complete with wild boar & beautiful red deer. The long barn, which will be Gites, is the part of the house you can see in this photo.

 

Plenty of room for Chickens!!!

 

2016-09-11%2012.39.55_zpsxpbyigit.jpg

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It looks so beautiful Sarah. It's easy to see why you fell in love with the place :D

All your discoveries sound fascinating too. Can't wait to see how your renovations progress!

 

Hoping you're starting to feel more settled :)

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That's lovely Sarah :D

 

Have you become Builder's navvy?

 

Nope!

 

It's all pretty heavy work at the moment, so I am off the hook as I have a frozen shoulder and busted leg.

Brian has been brilliant...he spent a week washing, sanding and replacing enormous oak beams which has been stained black....he was black too by the end of each day.

Once we get onto the wall building, pointing up and decor stuff I will be busy!

At the moment I am mainly making coffee, washing up, doing laundry and cooking.

Oh and sorting all the admin stuff for both France and here.....nothing is simple or straightforward in France as they love their beaurocracy and paperwork.

Living in a caravan is ok really, but all my clothes are getting damp and I am really missing a decent cooker and a nice hot bath 8)

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It looks stunning and huge :D

 

I am sure it will be fabulous when it's finished as it has such good bones, the stone really is lovely, with that warm hue to it :D

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Loving it all very much :D

You are lucky to be able to do something so exciting and adventurous with someone you love that wants to do the same thing.

 

Soooooo much sky too. I am very, very envious of that :mrgreen:

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I love your barn! It just looks so big and I can really picture a Christmas tree in it next year.

 

Ive done a quick google and you can get dehumidifiers for caravans. Might help with the damp clothes. Or some people put several bowls of salt around and replace it every few weeks. Worth a go, esp as you will be in there over the winter.

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Yes, we have a dehumidifier, which is out in the awning where it is also needed, as that is where my washing has to dry & all my paperwork lives.

It has made a massive difference :P

 

I am going to get a couple of those little absorbent plastic boxes with the crystal gel I think - getting fed up with the bath towels being wet and claggy all the time ..... not fun when trying to dry off after a shower :roll:

 

Will try the salt too!

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Amazing pictures! I love the beams and the stonework and all your little discoveries.....you will be able to write a book by the time you are finished (are you keeping a diary?) Mind you, French paperwork sounds like a nightmare...do you have someone who translates it all for you?

 

Do keep us posted on progress........it sounds as though you have done quite a lot already so, with all the rest to finish, at least it will enable you to keep warm all winter with lots of physical exertion. Do you have a timescale in mind and a potential finish date?

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Our estate agent Ingrid has been a Godsend...she has set up all of the utilities for us even coming and meeting the Broadband people here in her own time.

As for paperwork....Google translate is my new best friend!

No real time scale (or budget), but we want to be in the house by late Spring, even if we are sleeping downstairs.

We are relaxed about it and doing what we feel like doing as each day comes. For example today is lovely here, sunny and 17 degrees, so while we should be doing woodwork inside we are actually enjoying the sun and putting our fencing up.

Plenty of time for indoor work when the rain comes back!

We are also insulating the caravan as damp is starting to form :x

Thank goodness it is only 1 winter...

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Very lovely looking place Cinnamon, with good land as well. Can see why you bought it.

 

Noticed the trees are quite close to the house (unless the picture is misleading) and may be worth looking into the fire regulations at some stage before moving in. I seem to remember a figure of 50 metres clearance between house and woodland, but may be wrong?

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The photo is somewhat misleading I think.

There is a lot of scrub near the house where the previous owner cut the woods down but it has grown back. We are going to be cutting this back again next year.

The big trees are a good way from us, and in fact there is a clause stating that we cannot cut trees down, although out Notaire said just cut what we want, but be discreet about it.

There is enough dead wood and fallen trees to last us several years in firewood :D

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Oooh it looks absolutely delightful - can imagine all the work to be done but even more gorgeous when finished!

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This is brilliant, I love reading about renovations and your place looks fab! My aunt bought and renovated a French "chateau" just outside Paris and I loved going there as a kid (although sleeping overnight there scared me stupid).

For anyone else who gets a kind ck out of this type of this check this website out

http://www.chateaugudanes.com/the-project

This is an Australian family renovating a French castle, very beautiful pictures!

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Quick update.

 

We have been here for 6 months now & are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

We are still in the caravan, but thst is fine...its a very nice caravan with plenty of storage and has everything we need. That said, I never want to see a chemical toilet again :?

The worst thing about caravan living is the weather. We have had huge storms here and with only a thin roof over your head it is pretty hairy at times! Last night it rained heavily all night and it was so loud that we barely slept. We are both feeling somewhat zombie like today!

 

The house is coming along slowly. The Husband is building the fireplace at the moment, then its the underfloor heating to go.in, levelling compound, tiles and we are good to go.

We will be sleeping downstairs in what will be the cooking and living area while the upstairs is worked on. At least we will have a proper toilet and shower, even if I will need to cook in the caravan for a bit.

 

Spring us around the corner, with daffs everywhere and our Nectarine tree covered in pink blossom.

The temperatures are on the up, with a few days so nice already that washing has been on the line.

We are planning the landscaping of the huge area of land around the house, and bought out the local shop of its fruit trees ready for our orchard. Its all very exciting!

Chickens next!!!

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