Thursday, 4 January 2018


Happy New Year! 

We can keep saying that until the end of January, because we're now in France and that’s what happens here. Finally after years of planning we made it, Mortimer and myself at the beginning of November and Andrew a few weeks later. Some of you will have followed our progress up to this point on our old blog but to new readers, welcome, and I hope you stay awhile. Like The Nelson House Diaries you can follow our progress as we restore two, yep we wanted another project but two houses!, and find our feet in France.

I left you hanging in October and all you knew was that we had bought a house in France. Everything happened so quickly that there were days I felt there was no time to breathe. We put our house on the market at the beginning of July thinking it would take a few months to sell and we’d have time to get organised, how wrong we were. Like most Francophiles we'd spend hours scouring the internet for French properties, rejecting dozens as they didn't meet our search criteria. Then we found an interesting one in Correze town, Correze. Andrew really wanted the blog to be called ‘Correze, Correze so good they named it twice ‘ (you had to be around in 1978 to get that Gerard Kenny reference!) We managed to locate it on Google maps, no mean feat as French agents rarely give the town let alone the address, and street walked it. All looked good. Research was done on the town and region and we were still happy. We emailed Carole Cusworth at Agence Newton about the property and she returned my email promptly but said it was getting a lot of interest and we hadn't sold our house yet.

That was on Thursday, and we had a couple of viewings booked for the weekend and I knew that Carole had two as well. Our viewings on Saturday went well, Carole's didn't but she had another one booked for Wednesday. Tuesday morning we accepted an offer on our house, three weeks after it had been listed. Thursday morning I phoned Carole, how had Wednesday's viewing gone? Too much work for them, I interrogated the poor woman over it's condition. We wanted a project but needed it to be habitable. Andrew and I took a deep breath and decided to see it. We have kind friends who at a drop of a hat took Mortimer from us, we booked the ferry, found a hotel as close as we could (it was an August weekend) and told Carole we would be there Saturday morning. Friday we left at 4 am and arrived at 6 pm exhausted.

Arriving early for the viewing we explored Correze which was lovely. Everything you needed for daily living and good mobile phone reception. We met Carole and spent the next 2.5 hours at the house. The woman is a saint and I would certainly recommend her, patient, a wealth of information on the area and a good knowledge of the property. The house, actually two houses, were definitely project material but we were smitten. That evening we sat in a bar number crunching, we thought it was doable  Carole had kindly said she would meet us on Sunday (her day off) if we wanted another look. We did and spent another hour and a half examining the things that had given us a sleepless night and decided that indeed, things did look better in the morning. An offer was made, which included some of the furniture, and on the drive back to England on Monday was accepted.

I’ll tell you how the move went next time and find some photographs which are currently scattered across various devices, but there are some on The Old Notaire’s House page of the blog. The good, the bad and the ugly!


  1. Wow, Sharon, you don't hang about, do you? :) Welcome to France - and to the never-ending delights of renovating and running a French house! Yours looks beautiful and I'm looking forward to following its transformation ... having done little but renovate and restore for the 11 years we've been here, we've finally reached the maintenance (aka Forth Bridge) stage and breathed a long sigh of relief x

    1. Kalba it's lovely to hear from you :-) At the moment we're between elation and blind panic but we've been very lucky that the people have been so welcoming. I know that we're a fair way from you but if you want to head north sometime you'd be really welcome.

  2. We are coming to see you soon, should we bring paintbrushes? Frank & Caroline

  3. We are coming to see you soon, shall I bring paintbrushes?

  4. Maybe a little premature! Although we do need to treat the beams for woodworm!


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