Scavenger Hunt

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Our Trip to France Part 1

Hello there.

If you've followed my blog for a while, you'll know that Mr Clicky and me and our friends B and S have been trying to buy a little house in Southern Burgundy, France.  
My first very excited post in 2010 about it is here.

I won't bore you with the reasons why it have taken 2 years to buy it but it has.

We got the final nod a few weeks ago and so B, me and DS set off from B's house in Hertfordshire at 4.00am to catch the 6.50am train under The Channel.
As we approached the sun was rising.
We made the train just in time.
We were on the bottom deck this time.
I know some people are a bit bothered about using the tunnel but we think it is fab. In the past we've had two horrendous 6 hour ferry crossings to France with delays both ways.  
Never again.
35 minutes later we were in France.....
........ the sunrise looked even better.
We then began our 8 hour journey along the French motorways, past fields and fields of sunflowers.
The co-drivers had a few sleeps, we swapped over several times and before we knew it, we were in Burgundy.  
Although we were not yet owners of the house we couldn't resist a peep and drove past on the way to the campsite we were staying.
Oh No!  Where had it gone?  
One of the neighbours came out to see us and amid lots of Gallic shrugs, told us what we already knew.  
Beaucoup de travail.  
 Lots of work. 

We tried not to get too down heartened and set off for the campsite in the nearest town La Clayette.
We had bought a bargain £80.00 8 man tent which is staying in the house for future use.  It was hot and sultry as we put it up and a few minutes later a thunderstorm struck.

The next day we were due to see the Nortaire (solicitor) at 4.00pm so a leisurely breakfast was followed by a trip to the Plassard (Yarn) Factory Mill 5 minutes drive away.
Well, it would have been rude not to.
Even DS was impressed by the colours.

I was very restrained and only got two balls. 

A spot of lunch back at the campsite, change into a dress (not DS, obviously)  and we soon found ourselves in the Notaire's office.  We had to sign sheets and sheets of legal documents which were previously read out to us in French.  We'd already sent the money via International Money Exchange (eek!) so 1/2 hour later we came out the proud owners of a house!

We were keen to get to the front door, so changed again into old jeans and drove the 10 minutes to Des Bonnes Amies (The Good Friends) as we're naming it.
The hamlet we're in is called Le Buisson  (The Bush) near to the village of Montmelard.  There are six houses altogether, one of those is a Gite and house owned by a lovely English couple B and D.  We popped around to borrow a scythe, D came with it and scythed us to the front door.
'The Path' looking back to the front gate.
We were in!
It has not been lived in for 15 years and is looking a bit sad.
Living room with stairs off, open door into the kitchen.
Living room window looking into the front garden.
Spiders everywhere!
The next few days were spent removing the worst of the dust and dirt.
We set DS to work in the front garden, a job which he executed with relish.
By the time he finished you could see the front.
Cracking job.
The back garden however, is a bigger job....
.......... it's twice as wide as the front but has less trees and more brambles and nettles.  The French neighbour we had already met appeared with his scythe and helped too.
More Gallic shrugs.
We found a sweet little blue bottle.
The hardboard falling down off the kitchen ceiling.  We managed to get some of it off but when I suggested to B we needed stepladders she told me in no uncertain terms 'There's no way I'm getting any closer the that.'
15 years worth of grime came down too.
We retired after the day's work back to the campsite and a dip into it's lovely pool.  It was very restorative.

Well, I have rambled on enough today Part 2 will continue tomorrow.

Bye for now .........Clicky Needles et Des Bonnes Amies 
(Mr CN, B and S.)


  1. Oh wow! Well done you, we know something of the trauma as we bought our gite 4 1/2 years ago. We have never worked so hard in all our lives, but it is worth it. All that initialling at the notiare's office is scary. Ours needed quite a bit of work but nothing like yours. Bonne Courage! How funny that there is a yarn factory around the corner too. Absolutely love France....and we have only ever had bother with the tunnel, never with LD Lines Portsmouth-Le Havre our preferred route to Charente Maritime, just shows you!
    Fiona x

  2. I can't wait to see the finished product. This is a diamond in the rough. Of course you had to visit the yarn factory! They would have had to kick me out!

  3. Congratulations! I live in the Limousin, between Bellac and Confolens - which is probably about 4 hours or so away from you to the west.

    Interesting about the Plassard factory - I must go there sometime!

    Incidentally I used to use the ferry but now always use the Eurotunnel...

  4. Well done I am so pleased that everything is now going well - it has been a long time. But "everything comes to he who waits" - or something like that the say goes. Well done to DS. Lots of hard work to come - have fun. dojogan xx

  5. What? Only 2 balls!!!!!

    1. You, of all people Romain KNOW I don't need anymore yarn.

  6. What an interesting little house! I just say it looks like it has a lot of potential. Hopefully you can get it up to par soon so you can thoroughly enjoy it :)

  7. what beautiful sunflowers! x

  8. Wow, how exciting, and a lot of work in store but good times ahead I hope. Nice to be so close to a yarn factory too.

  9. What an exciting adventure you have ahead of you. I shall look forward to hearing your tales!


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Clicky Needles.