30 September 2018

Burnt Buns and other stuff

Today I cleaned the oven.  It’s a job I detest but the oven was black with grime and grease; I burnt my rock buns yesterday because I couldn’t see through the glass door.  It is now clean and sparkling.

Yesterday Paul waited in all day for the delivery of a post hole borer via Amazon Prime.  Mid afternoon he got a text to say the driver had been unable to deliver the item because he couldn’t find the house.  This place is really not difficult to find but in any case why didn’t he just call us. We were then promised a delivery today and Paul was able to track the courier on his ‘phone.  He could see the driver was in the village when another text came through to say the item couldn’t be delivered.  This time Paul jumped in the car, chased the courier down the road and managed to stop him.  “Sorry mate, I couldn’t find your house.”

Paul was now the proud owner of a bright blue post hole borer.  He set to straightaway because Rick needs his garden to be fenced as soon as possible.  It worked perfectly until it struck an underground drainage pipe.  Work has been suspended until tomorrow.

28 September 2018

Friday in Lincolnshire

It’s been another busy day. Paul doesn’t like the grass to grow under his feet.  Actually that’s the last thing we shall be doing, cutting the grass. We haven’t even got a lawn mower yet.  First thing this morning we drove into Gainsborough and bought some fencing, posts and gates so that we can make the garden secure for Rick.  I bought myself a cheap, plastic garden rake.  Paul said it was false economy.

This afternoon I took a break from unpacking and used my rake to collect all the windfall apples in the garden.  The rake kept falling apart but I persevered and made neat piles of apples before tipping them into a big, garden bag.  The bag was then too heavy for me to lift so I gave up and took Rick for a walk.

It is a pleasure to walk the lanes around the village, pretty cottages and virtually no traffic.

The carpet man came late afternoon with carpet samples.  He lives in the village.  Measured up the bedrooms and is coming back next Thursday to fit new carpets.  His brother-in-law is a carpenter and is going to talk to us about new doors.  All we need to do now is find a plumber and an electrician.

27 September 2018

The good, the bad and the ugly

an abundance of delicious eating apples and blue skies
damage to the sideboard during transit
this monstrosity has to go (even though it does have music and flashing lights!)

25 September 2018


heading for the Eurotunnel train

We have arrived in Lincolnshire, and yes, Rachel, it was a tad cold last night!

everything in the trailer arrived dry and in one piece

I am currently sitting on the floor waiting for the removal men to arrive.  It all seems a bit daunting right now and I'm slightly overwhelmed by the work we have ahead of us to get this place shipshape.  To be honest I am very overwhelmed.

a jungle to tame

pretty view from the garden room

23 September 2018

Halfway There

all my worldly goods

checking the trailer is still following us
Hotel in Paris, eating pizza, drinking red wine, watching Netflix.

21 September 2018


Bungalow, derived from the Hindi word baṅgala, for a house in the Bengal style.  Yes, we have bought a bungalow!

When we first bought our French house all those years ago we were young enough not to be fazed by all the hard work needed to maintain a very old, stone farmhouse.  The stairs didn’t bother us; we could easily run up and down several times a day. Carrying logs up a flight of steps to feed the log burner wasn’t a problem.  The wooden shutters and windows needed regular coats of varnish and I happily cleaned all the individual glass panes. It was a happy house, full of character and charm and suited us well.  

I suppose Paul and I could have continued to manage this house for many more years to come but we always knew that it would become harder as we got older.  Earlier this year we decided to look for something that would be easier to maintain in the future, back in the UK where we would have a secure and permanent residency.

Our search for a new home covered an extensive area; we wanted something modern, spacious, big garden, village location and far from any busy roads.  We finally found a property that ticked all those boxes in Lincolnshire - a bungalow!

The property is deceptively large with three double bedrooms, two bathrooms, two lounges, dining room and kitchen.  There is also a workroom in the attic that Kat has already earmarked as her sewing room. It has been empty for a while and the garden is overgrown.  It is a project that will keep us occupied for many months but I’m going to turn it into my dream home.  And there are no stairs (apart from the ladder leading to the attic!).

20 September 2018

Precision Packing

This week is going by incredibly slowly.  There is a huge amount of sorting and packing to do but it is tedious work.  On the surface everything looks the same but the cupboards and drawers are now empty.

someone's stolen my pedals!
just enough room for the bikes on top
checking the nose weight with my bathroom scales

Paul has spent hours trying to figure out how to get everything in the car and trailer, loaded carefully to ensure the correct weight distribution.  The trailer is legally permitted to carry 270 kgs; it is currently 30 kgs over.  Philippe has just presented us with a box of conserves, I think it weighs about another 8 kgs!

not sure what's in the big jar
The car is filled to the brim, Rick is having to share his crate with Kat’s teddy bears.  He knows something is afoot and has been carefully watching the activity.  Tomorrow he visits the vet to get his passport stamped.  We don't leave until Sunday morning but there is still a lot to do before we leave Maison Pierre for the very last time.

Rick is going to have to share his crate
A sudden thought – will the trailer go through the new gates?  It hasn’t been taken out since we built them!

18 September 2018


I did a double take when I walked past Monique’s house this morning; I thought someone was sitting in her garden! 

We shall miss our neighbours.  Even if they do have questionable taste in garden ornaments.

my very own scarecrow

16 September 2018

Savouring the Moment

Seven days before we leave this house forever.  Today is another perfect, blue sky September day.  I have been lounging in the garden, relaxing, reading, and taking a few snaps with my camera.  I am enjoying the beauty of my surroundings, savouring every moment.  I still find it hard to believe we are leaving all this behind.

The pampas grass is looking splendid
Paul is different.  He cannot relax.  He is eager to move on and start his new life in Lincolnshire.  He has packed and re-packed several times, trying to work out the best way to get all our worldly goods into an estate car and trailer.  He is currently struggling to remove the pedals from our bicycles for a more streamlined fit.  He is desperate to shut this house up and start the journey back to the UK.  He is on edge and finding these last days here difficult and uncomfortable.  

Autumn crocuses

Our climbing rose blooms all summer.  We must remember to take a cutting back to England

Grapes ripening in the sunshine
We have lived the dream.  All too soon this will be just a distant memory. 

'don't forget to pack my favourite ball'