Well I can’t believe so much time has gone past since I last wrote…. Is this sign number 101 of getting older?
Not long after I last wrote to you Luna and I went on a little road trip down to Spain to visit my friends and help them out with their olive harvest. Super proud of myself doing the 8.5 hour journey on my own. I had a fabby week catching up and working on the land. The oil that they produce is quite possibly the best I have ever tasted. The first 3 days of harvesting was all done by hand, but on day 4 my friends were able to use a neighbour’s machine, which we called the shaky-shake machine, which made a huge difference to harvesting all the olives we couldn’t quite reach. Here are few pics from tree to bottle with an obligatory sunset photo and a few of the mountains as we drove back home.
Not long after Spain I had a sneaky few days in the UK to see my Dad. A long over due trip, as I hadn’t seen him in over 2 years. When I booked the flights everything was just so easy. But just 3 weeks later Omicron arrived and I went from having nothing to do to needing to be tested before leaving, filling out forms and a pcr on arrival. I left my house at some ridiculous hour of the night as my flight was at 6.45am and I had to get to Bordeaux. I had a horrendous journey to the airport in the fog. First up my card wouldn’t work at the toll booth. I had been scammed recently and had €1000 taken out of my account which had left me overdrawn, needing new cards, pins and codes. It was a bit of a nightmare few weeks trying to sort it all out but thankfully the bank was able to get the money back and waive the overdraft fee. But I digress, back to the journey to the airport. Next problem was the junction for the airport was closed! No signs anywhere of where to go. After 45 minutes of driving around I made a very distressed call to Builder Dave and his wife who somehow managed to work out where I was and get me back on track. I managed to get to my gate 20 minutes before take off. After my drive thru pcr I arrived at Dad’s in need of a cup of tea! The next day I woke up to the news that all the rules had changed for getting back to France so had a frantic morning trying to sort that out and get yet more tests booked. I had a very short walk around Covent Garden but I really couldn’t deal with all the people so headed down to my friend’s house in Surbiton for a day of gossiping and a very much-needed haircut – as you can see in the pre-cut photo!
Home in time for Christmas and just like that it was 2022.
So, what have I been up this year? It was a cold start to the year and we had a dusting of snow – to think I moved here for the weather! The sun came out for a day and Luna and I headed to the Cote Sauvage for a blustery walk. It was Luna’s first trip to the beach and apart from running away from the cold water she loved it.
The gite is coming along really well; the bathroom has been built and is finished apart from the shower, and the kitchen is almost there. My goodness what a flipping nightmare it has been – no service voids at the back of the cupboards, no tap hole in the sink, no template to cut out the sink or the hob and can you believe not a straight wall or right angle to be had?! My living room is looking like an Ikea workshop at present and I will be glad when it’s done. Here are a few pics of progress so far. I will send an update when it’s fully finished, ready and open.
I was due to have the lads here doing some repointing in the garden for me but the weather was against us so they did some work (well a lot of work really) in my wood barn. They’ve cleared out loads of rubbish, removed 20 + wheelbarrow loads of stones up to the allotment, leveled the floor and put down some gravel so I no longer risk breaking my ankle when I go out to collect wood. They also sectioned an area off so that when my back door is fully operational I will have nice outside space that I can use without seeing all the wood/stuff stacked up. Well it will do when all of Builder Dave’s tools and equipment go!
The allotment is looking really good and all ready to go as soon as the weather improves and my seeds start growing. Here’s what I did with all the stones the lads took out of the wood barn.
We sneaked in a cheeky night away to La Rochelle as a surprise for Builder Dave. It was so nice to just take a day out and we were so lucky with the weather – wall to wall sunshine. How cool is the ceiling of where we had lunch? And perfect people watching by the harbour.
I’ve been doing a little bit of painting. The big red one I can’t take any credit for as it is a picture in a local bar that someone asked me to paint for them. Primose duck was designed and taught by Claire Holmes, the heron was designed and taught by Beth Wagner and the hummingbird was an uncredited line drawing I found on Pinterest.
And lastly here is Luna and Chablis having a moment. Malbec is of course sleeping upstairs….
See you soon with photos of the finished gite and an opening date!