Setting up our House in France
After spending the day and evening with Mary and Mick, we all went together to the notary in the nearby town of Ruffec to complete the sale the next morning. They then headed off around lunch time and we were on our own in our new house wondering what on earth we had let ourselves in for. They had given us so much great information but we felt somewhat overwhelmed with the enormity of what we had undertaken.
We then embarked on the adventure of setting up our new house! The next three weeks was a whirlwind of shopping, moving furniture, decorating, painting etc etc. Certainly a labour of love but a very busy time. We foraged in the local brocantes and trocs and picked up some bargains and interesting old pieces. Our favourite was Le Caverne du Dernicheur in an old railway station in St. Michel on the outskirts of Angouleme. The place was packed to the brim with old furniture. home wares and bric a brac. Had lots of fun trawling through the junk to find some treasures – an amazing alabaster stand, old pictures & lights, rush chairs, wardrobe, bedside tables, a marble topped outside table, full length mirror on a stand etc etc. Some pieces were fine as they were but some needed some restoration. Amazing what a lick of white paint will do!
I was in my element, shopping almost daily for household items and even Peter who hates shopping, enjoyed the experience. We now know what the saying means -“shop till you drop”, especially after a very long day at Ikea in Bordeaux. (Two trips to Bordeaux and we still haven’t seen the city but getting to know Ikea well.) Wine and cheese in front of the fire at night was very welcome!
Had a few ‘interesting’ moments such as getting stuck half way up the stairs with the wardrobe and realising that the doorway narrowed as we tried to move the table from the kitchen to the lounge, but all in all the two of us managed well. Luckily we had bought Mick and Mary’s trailer which certainly came in handy and the only things we had to have delivered were the beds.
We think that the house looked wonderful by the time we finished with its mix of old and new but then it was time to pack up and leave to come back to Australia. So sad to lock it up and say goodbye – till next time!