Sunday, 15 September 2019

Last week at The Old Notaires House

Well actually if I'm honest probably the last ten days or so but we embrace slow living here so I'm not really counting!  We're in a bit of a limbo at the moment, building ourselves up to start work on the house. The plan is to move into the barn conversion over the winter, and probably spring, while we gut the house and make it beautiful again. However even though we're only going next door it's not as simple as it seems.

We've lived in the house for nearly two years now and we've spread! There are still boxes yet unpacked from our UK move because we have had nowhere to put them, as just one example our current kitchen is not big enough to even house the fridge (which sits in the corner of the sitting room) and only contains a counter top mini oven and a single induction ring. I'm trying to only take across the absolute minimum we need to live in the barn so am having to do a lot of packing and working out where to store stuff. Meanwhile there are still some small furniture projects to finish off and planning for the work on the Notaires House.

Andrew has decided to ease himself back into physical work by constructing a small decked terrace at the end of the garden. It's a favourite spot of ours and guests. We'd noticed that as soon as people come through our gates they would start walking down the garden to look at the river, it's only when they walk back up that they spot the view of the old town of Corrèze. It's also a shady spot to sit in, very welcome as we still have temperatures in the low 30's. Like all our projects it took a lot of planning, and a lot of digging for Andrew but we love it. I need to soften the edges with some planting but that will have to wait until we have some desperately needed rain in the forecast.

Close up - needs some planting to soften it

View from the balcony
Apart from the clearing and packing I've polished off a couple of small restoration jobs. I had previously bought a pair of small tables to use in the Phileas Fogg bedroom but wasn't entirely happy with them. They were a little small for the space and too feminine. I happened upon a pair of more substantial cupboards at Emmaüs, nothing special but a much better option. After running the gauntlet of "What do we need those for? Haven't we got enough small tables?" I cleaned, sanded, painted and waxed and then wallpapered them and they look much more in style. However me bringing home yet another small table (although this time for the barn sitting area) on Friday didn't go down terribly well...

The weather here is still really warm and dry. The préfecture keeps reminding us about water consumption as the rivers are so low, we haven't had rain for weeks and there is nothing in the forecast. The trees around us started to gain their autumn colour from the middle of August and some of the conifers in our garden are shedding quite a lot of crispy, brown needles.

A dry Corrèze
A highlight last Sunday was the pilgrimage of Notre Dame du Pont du Salut in our village (and I have to thank our friend Andrew for the photographs). Each year the statue of Mary is taken from the tiny chapel to the church in the old town. Masses and adorations take place during the day and in the evening there is a candle lit procession as she is taken back home to rest for another year. Crosses are lit and the path to the chapel, and the bridges, are lit by hundreds of candles. I'm pleased to say that I understood a lot more than I did last year.

I'm hoping that by my next blog post we will be resident in the barn, but I'm not promising! Meanwhile if you want to find out more about our daily life in France then you are welcome to follow  or friend us on Facebook

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