05 June 2017

Not too long to wait.

Not sure if you will have given up on me,
 as Mr France and I have been missing for almost a year,
 only popping in now again.

I'm pleased to say our house hunting has come to an end.
 After driving many thousands of km. we  have finally found our dream house
 in the South west of France, just over a 100 km from where we used to live. 
The terrain is very different, much more open space,

which varies from agricultural to wine growing.

This impressive building is the  Hotel de Ville /Town Hall.
The stone houses in this region are cream in colour,
 very different to the earthy coloured stone  where we used to live.


We have already eaten several times in this very popular small town.
There are lots of restaurants to choose from & plenty of artisan boutiques.
Already the tourists our buying their summer hats.


I'm sure it will become our favourite  place.

This is the river that passes through our village.

We now have  only 6 more weeks to wait until its ours.
However the previous owners are leaving soon to return back to the UK.
so we have been able to arrange for us to rent it before we sign with the Notaire.

I'll be able to let you see some pictures of new house when it belongs to us.
We'll be very busy these next few weeks preparing for our move.
 So until then 
à bientôt
Barbara Lilian

02 February 2017

Feeling like a Dreamer.

Although we've been officially retired for a good many years,
this year is the start of a new way of life.
No more guests to look after,
 it's just me & Mr France.
Free to do what we want, when we want.
Some people think we are mad to close the door on our home for the last 26 years
put our belongings into storage and jump in the car to start something new.
Others, especially our close family say ' good for you, go off and enjoy yourselves.'

This is the region we are staying in for three months and have started to look for our new home.

This region is classed as the 2nd warmest region in France, having a micro climate.
Also we would have the benefit of the coast, which we love.
So we have the best of both, countryside and the coast.
The biggest problem is where to choose.
 We are looking to have a ' coup de foudre'   
- to find a house we fall in love with.

In the meantime we have rented a small cottage, which is perfect.
 If you'd like to see inside, join me for a tour of our tastefully furnished cosy cottage.

A very good wood burner, which  has been doing its job of keeping the cottage nice & warm.

It's tucked away from the owners house with its own sheltered private walled garden.
We have been here now for three weeks & beginning to find our way around the area.
The first two weeks Mr France was recuperating from a lung infection, so he spent
most of his time relaxing & looking through the window at this perfect view.

It's been a blessing knowing we didn't have anything to do.

A nice slow pace of life, taking leisurely breakfasts,
discussing what we are going to do each day.

and what we would like our new house to look like.
We would like it to be a lot like this.

I must say it seems very strange not having things to do .
 after years of always looking after our paying guests,
We need to take our time and make the right choice.

Our hosts are an English couple with a family, who have lived in this area
for several years, which means they are able to give us lots of helpful information.

In the meantime we are enjoying seeing what the region has to offer. 
We've looked at several properties this week, but haven't 
seen anything I could put my mark on and feel 
this is where we could spend the rest of our years.

In the meantime we will keep on looking and enjoy the beauty this area has to offer.
I'll be back soon to show you some of the places we have seen. 
I have taken photos of the houses we have seen, if you'd like to see 
some typical Charentais houses, let me know and I can show you 
the good, the bad & some way out of our budget.
But what would life be without having a dream.
So until next time I'll leave you, 
feeling like a dreamer.

à bientôt
Barbara Lilian

29 January 2017

Wandering and Wondering.

Although I'm enjoying where I am living, I'm feeling a bit lost at the moment.
It's not my house & its not my garden, I can see new green shoots popping up
from the ground, not frozen like it would be where we used to live.
 I'm wondering if all my plants & shrubs will survive the cold
frosty winter they are experiencing,

The day we left after 26 happy years .

We are still in France but have moved to a totally different landscape and a milder climate.
Now we have the benefit of both countryside and the coast.

The past few weeks we have woken to cold frosty mornings, 
but I hear from the local people it is unusual.
I wander around our little private courtyard looking for signs of new life.
This week I saw the first daffodil bobbing its yellow head towards the sun.
much earlier than my previous abode.

This is where we've been able to sit on some of the mild sunny mornings for our coffee.

Hopefully we will eventually find a house that 
we will be be able to settle into and be able to say, 
'Chez Nous'  our home.

I know it's been a long time that I've been away from the world of blogging.
but I have been reading all my favourite blogs and hope some of my faithful friends 
will still be there. If not maybe I will find some new followers who will enjoy
seeing the photos I share and enjoy reading about my life in France.

Enjoy your weekend where ever you are
and most of all, enjoy life.

Next time you'll be able to see inside our lovely cottage here in the Charente Maritime.

à bientôt

Barbara Lilian.

14 October 2016

Hello I'm back.

First I must say to my followers who have missed me
I'm sorry for just disappearing not even giving you a hint to why.
Thank you to the followers who sent me messages wondering
 how I am & asking if every thing was OK.

Well  health wise I am fine & everything is OK.

What a  busy & stressful time I've had since my last post, 4 months ago..

Now where do I start to tell you why I've been missing.
 Back in my school girl days  &  'The Sound of Music' advice....
we were taught to start at the very beginning.

I'm not sure how much to write, in case some of you might become disinterested
before I tell you what has happened since my last post, 4 months ago.

I did find time to have family here & enjoy a wonderful hot summer.together.


and do some entertaining.

We had many late nights on the terrace discussing our future.

My faithful friends who have been with me since I first started my blog
will know we put our house up for sale,. then shortly after the market for selling was not good..

After a long period of not even thinking about moving,
out of the blue a buyer.came to visit.
and they want to move in by the end of the year. 

Those of you who have moved house frequently might be able to do this quite easily.
But I'm finding it difficult this time .
I think it must be because our belongings are going into into storage.
and I have to be really strict with myself,
only taking with us what is needed for two people, not ten,
when two years ago we used to let our home for two months every summer.
  I've accumilted many vintage items aquired from brocante sales, 
which Mr France calls junk. I can't bare to get rid of them.
so my pile of ' things to keep ' is getting bigger.
However I have found it quite easy to pass on a lot of clothes to the Church charity shop,
items I haven't worn for years, mostly because I can't get into them.

With regard to moving, we still haven't agreed on where we want to live yet. 
In the meantime we shall rent a cottage,
 maybe something like this.

When we have found our new home, where  we want to live  permanently,
it will be much smaller..
so I must be strong and get rid of a lot of my hoarded things.

I'm hoping the new owners will enjoy my garden as much as I did.
 and will add their own touches to make it their style
I'm actually looking forward to having a new garden, where ever it maybe.

Later I will show you where we will be living, while we house hunt.

I will always have Lavender & roses in my garden.

I hope the followers I have will enjoy the big changes that are happening in my life.
as much I am looking forward to a new life, finally retiring from the holiday business.
Even though my posts will probably be sporadic for awhile,
I have been popping in and reading lots of your blogs
,even though I haven't left any comments.
I'm looking forward to being back
writing posts on my blog again.

I hope I haven't lost too many of my followers and you'll come back
and see how our house hunting & moving is progressing.

à bientôt

Barbara Lilian

15 June 2016

Life in Rural France.

A little taste of country life.

The wild flowers are blooming everywhere, even though there's not much sun for June 
I love it now the commune 
isn't allowed to spray weed killer along the edge of the lanes. 

Even the lizards are hiding
and only come out when the sun appears for a few moments.

The first sighting of our green lizard.

The Jay came to visit but now its back up in the trees.

The Hoopoe bird is still about.

We hear them everyday,
but mostly see them from a distance.

The blue tits are not at the bird table as often now.

as they are busy finding bugs to feed their young.
and with all the rain there's lots of them about.

These blue tits made their nest in a hole in the wall.
Not sure if it was the same pair from last year, I'd like to think it was.

This was the last baby to leave the nest.

This year the finches are in abundance .
We think this male & female Chaffinch  were a couple, they were always together.

The Brambling  both males.

The green finch 

This male Haw-finch comes to the bird table
every evening to feed before going to roost.

He's a big bird, with a big beak.

We are pleased to see the gold finches back, we haven't seen them for a few years.

I love to see walls and gates in the country. 

I'll close the gate for now
and look forward to opening it again for you soon.

à bientôt
Barbara Lilian