Sunday, 6 September 2020

August notes

August ended with a feeling of comfort for me. I dislike the phrase 'a comfortable life', it has a touch of middle-class smugness. 'The children have marvellous careers, there's a decent car in the garage, pensions are doing really quite nicely thank you and a cheeky little Merlot is ready for Sunday lunch'. It's hard to explain but I realised how much contentment life in Corrèze gives me and how comfortable it fits with me. I didn't realise quite how much until we returned from holiday last weekend.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. August was always going to be a busy month. Work on the house progressed well, Andrew thinks he is still on schedule for his electrics deadline at the beginning of October. It's not just a question of pulling cables (so far 2.5 kilometres), sockets are needed in walls that don't exist and so they have to be built. If it's lighting, he needs to know exactly what type of lights, for example the chandeliers need special fixings. I know I am boringly repetitive but I genuinely don't know how he holds all the information in his head.

I was a little frustrated as I wanted to get the pointing finished in the entrance hall before friends came to stay but I didn't quite make it. I have returned from holiday with new enthusiasm and I've nearly done, maybe another 6 or 7 days to complete the walls and under the stairs. I really enjoy doing it but it would be nice to move on to something new, I think I'll be back to painting duty, windows and radiators maybe? As you can see the original windows are in a bit of a state (toy horses Andrew found under the floorboards so I thought I'd get a bit arty!)

The windows really do need more than a lick of paint!

August is the month that my oldest friend and myself have birthdays and we try to get together to share celebrations. This year was a significant one for both of us and, despite Covid and the threat of quarantine (which did happen), she and her husband drove over from England for a visit. Although they were not here nearly long enough we managed to do some sightseeing, a trip to Emmaüs and some great meals. I was really grateful that they made it and hope it will be for longer next time.

My original birthday plan was to celebrate at home with friends and then a family holiday at the beginning of September to Italy. Understandably family were concerned about flying and so the trip was cancelled. We were always going to drive so for us it wasn't an issue. We found alternative accommodation and decided to spend my birthday in Lake Como instead of Corrèze. We broke the outward journey with an overnight stay in Chambéry (I certainly want to go back) and so had time to take the mountain pass instead of the tunnel. The views were spectacular and I would certainly recommend it.

Lac du Mont-Cenis
We've visited Bellagio previously so didn't feel the need to rush about doing a load of sightseeing, it wasn't what this holiday was about.  We went to markets, spent a lot of time reading and just chilling. I don't think we realised quite how much we needed a break from work but we did know that we needed to try and switch off for a week. We didn't even have to get up early to dog walk as Mortimer stayed in Corrèze being looked after by kind friends, so nice not to have to worry about him.

Morning view
We did the return journey in a day, it's about a 8.5 hour drive for us, and went straight to friends to collect Mortimer. I'm not sure he'd even noticed that we'd gone! He'd been taken to the lake for walks and swimming sessions, had been groomed everyday and looked a very happy dog. We took an extra day off, the journey had been quite tiring, and then of course the usual unpacking, sorting and washing to do. It was on the Monday evening as I walked Mortimer through town that I realised how comfortable I feel living here, Corrèze suits me. The ancient walls cocoon you, I could hear families chatting as they prepared the evening meal and there was the odd snatch of music. Children were playing outside and I got a "bonsoir Madame" as I walked past.  It's a beautiful place but not Disney polished, people are friendly (we can tell who are the  holiday makers as they rarely say 'bonjour'). It's not what I do, or what I look like, it's how I am and how I treat people that's important here. It was a lovely holiday but coming home is like putting on a favourite jumper. I'm happy here.

Our holiday was exactly what we needed and we've started back on the renovations with a new vigour. It has helped that the weather has been perfect, blue skies and not too hot at 22 - 26 degrees. Nights are cooler and I have been able to put the summer duvet back on the bed instead of just a linen sheet. We know that we have a lot of work to do over the next few months but we're enjoying it again.

If you would like to know more about daily life at the Notaires House then feel free to join us here on Facebook or if you just want the photographs then you can find us on Instagram

It's good to be home


  1. Such a happy, contented post. You've put the work in (and continue to do so) and deserve your reward.

  2. Thank you Margaret. The people in Corrèze have made it very easy


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