Thursday, December 28, 2006

Karen's Mum having her aperitif Christmas day

The lounge leading through to the Dining Room

We have been back home a week today. Although you may not want to read this we have not seen a cloud for the entire 7 days! The weather has been simply stunning with cold clear nights, dropping to abt minus 4 or 5 with the most amazing sunny days allowing us to have lunch out in the garden every day.

On Christmas day morning I walked to the Boulangerie which was a hive of activity. I took in a walk around the village, the bars were bustling with customers having an early morning coffee & Brandy whilst the church bells rang out 'Joy to the world'. We had drinks before Christmas lunch on the terrace. On boxing day we walked to Villars, a small village about 4 Kilometres away. I think I will be staying here for every Christmas from now on - it is so good for the spirit!

This picture was taken at 8.45am from our terrace on Cristmas morning;

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Happy Christmas!

Well we returned safely from a real whirlwind trip of the UK covering 850 miles! It was great to see so many friends and we really had a perfect week. Thank fully the Fog only delayed our return to Marseille by an hour - we were very lucky!

Our builders finished an hour or two before we returned and they had completed the tiling of the floors throughout the Villa working flat out for the last 7 days!

It is amazing how easy it is to return to the UK and be back with friends. But I have to say its lovely to come back to the peace and quiet of our village, the blue skies and our first Christmas here. England seems to get busier and busier, the roads are hell ( as is the driving which I really noticed), it is cloudy, damp and expensive!Having said that we did a fleeting few hours in London, seeing the Lights, London Eye etc and it was buzzing with atmosphere.

Well what more appropriate at Chrismas, Mistletoe outside our gate, love and kisses from us for Christmas xx

Monday, December 11, 2006

In the countdown to our departure it has been all hands on deck today - Karen has translated over 50 property details before up loading them to the Home Hunts website. I have been painting in the Shower room and working in the garden which culminated in a huge bonfire. Johann & Dominic completed the tiling of our bedroom floor and are back tomorrow to do the grouting.

Above all though it has been a real Provencal Winters day, cold over night, minus 3, a stunning sun rise and fabulous clear sunny day with the sun warm enough to allow us to sit out and have lunch.

And that is the forecast for the week ahead - that's one of the reasons we came to Provence.

Friday, December 08, 2006

On my daily walk to the Boulangerie ( well I confess sometimes I drive - usually on route somewhere)I was amused by the number of Baguettes people buy, wherever you go people always have a baguette under their arm!

It is so French, and then I started thinking of other important 'French ' things, hence the pictures.

Our builders have managed to stretch another week, even working Saturday, thank goodness there is the deadline of Christmas and there are only 128 working hours I could have to pay them for! having said that they are doing agreat job.

Good news from one of the builders, they have generously reduced their profit margin and come up with a price in line with our expectations to build one of the houses - now we are getting somewhere. I paid 5800€, as deposit on having the water connected, representing half, to the land this week so now all we are awaiting is the Yes from the Maire.We should hear in the next few weeks.

We are decorating our bedroom over the weekend, then the floor will be retiled Monday & Tuesday, we then have to move our furniture back in, tidy up and leave for Blighty Thursday morning, leaving Johan working here ( and cat sitting) whilst we are away.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

The house is gradually coming together although it is very frustrating having spent much of last weekend cleaning to see another thick layer of dust over everything, even our clothes in the wardrobe have not escaped. The kitchen is finished ( except for kick boards which follow the floor tiling).

I took advantage of yet another warm Autumn day to give the new shutters a top coat to check the colour - only 6 more sets to go!

The main bathroom is complete,

now work begins on the shower room with the rest of the villa to have all the floors re tiled before the 22nd December!

We went out on Friday with LCI a building company we are considering using to build the new houses ( if we ever get that far!), we met a French couple who are just having a house built. They invited us round to their house this afternoon where we met a Belguim couple. It was really nice to be immersed with a real French family, we played Boules ( and lost), have quite alot in common and suddenly another set of friends are made - I can see one or two evenings coming on !

We have an early start tomorrow as I have a meeting in Marseille with Home Hunts so we set off at 7.30 am, very early for us!