We try really hard to make Sunday slightly special and not work, we usually fail but last week started off well as we went to the Fête de la Fraise in Beaulieu sur Dordogne. One of our favourite towns, and not much more than 30 minutes from us, it's taken over by strawberry fever in May. We had a gentle wander through the town, admiring strawberries and the artisan market.
|Beaulieu sur Dordogne|
|Obligatory giant strawberry tart|
By mid-afternoon we were home as we had to tackle our first French tax return. It had been haunting me at night and the deadline was fast approaching. I had downloaded the forms but they made little sense so we'd decided to get all our figures together, produced a bi-lingual spreadsheet and to throw ourselves at the mercy of the tax office.
All mornings start with a dog walk and baguette purchase. We are lucky to have several lovely walks which start in the village and Mortimer never gets bored with them. Back home and in the car to the tax office in Tulle, only a 20 minute drive away.
|Our morning walk|
After lunch we were back working in the barn. Andrew fitting out one of the bathrooms and me painting.
With the first of our summer visitors only a few weeks off I had enlisted help with some of the decorating. My gentleman of an assistant agreed to do all the rubbing down, including the ceiling, of the large bedroom/dressing down. I was painting windows and Andrew managed to stay clean as he had some artwork to do for a client.
|Never ending painting|
In the evening we had been invited by friends to apéros, I would have said it was nice to spend a clean evening but I didn't have time to sort my hair out and was acutely aware that it had a light dusting of grey plaster! But it was a lovely, relaxed evening.
Andrew had client work and I was back in the barn painting in the morning, the afternoon was DIY shopping. Leroy Merlin is a bit like Ikea, it has it's own time zone. I think we've only been in there for twenty minutes but it turns out it's two hours. Fortunately they give you free coffee and the bakery round the corner does a mean chocolate brownie so the caffeine and sugar rush keep me going! I know that we have spent too much time in there because we have three, yes three, 10% discount 'vouchers' due to us.
Step & repeat (artwork, painting, dog walking) but with the addition of laundry duty. Somedays are just boring, it doesn't matter which country you're in. Hang on - just remembered that I invited some people over to visit. I didn't 'do' Facebook until we moved here but it seemed the easiest way to stay in touch with friends and also to make new ones in France. I joined a few groups, some I've now left and some I love. It was through one of these groups that I made contact with a couple who have also recently bought a house and barn about two hours from us. Anyway we've been 'chatting' and I've invited them over on Sunday. It's not the first time I've done this and we've met some really interesting people who have become firm friends.
Two packages in the post box. The editor of French Property News kindly sent me a copy of the May edition as I had been picked for 'letter of the month' and my bag of glitter arrived. Now my personal interior design style is muted colours, natural materials and calm spaces but I want to inject some drama into the barn as it will be a holiday rental. There is a defunct chimney that runs through one of the bathrooms so I'd decided to paint it very dark blue and add some black glitter. First coat done today. A quick dash to the déchetterie to get rid of a large, rotting sack of grass clippings had to be done before we could take the trailer to Leroy Merlin to collect flooring. I also managed to persuade Andrew to go to a brocante and I found a lovely little table which will make a great dressing table.
|At 20 euros - rude not to!|
It's our wedding anniversary so we indulged with a bottle of champagne (which we had been given by Leroy Merlin as we had spent so much!) and some raspberry tartlets.
A longer Mortimer walk, supper purchased at the village traiteur and then back in the barn. I finished my glitter wall and Andrew started the flooring in bedroom two. Although I've still got quite a lot to do, particularly with the furnishings I think we'll hit our June deadline.
|Mixing the glitter|