Well that has been an interesting Easter break. We completed on our new home on Tuesday before the two week break. Thanks to baby sitters we managed to move the contents of two of our three storage units to the house, overnight we grew a forest of boxes in our living room. Let the unpacking begin!
It was a great experience picking the keys up with the children and driving up together for the first time, it was now ours we had really gone and done it!
We spent most of the two week Easter break there, including an Easter egg hunt, and Domaine La Castagne is great for this, however the Easter bunny was good and kept the eggs near the house rather than scattered in the big field.
We had lots of exploring to do:
• Making sure the pool had the right levels and getting the heating going so we could have a swim!
• Getting the Rayburn going and working out how to heat the house.
• Trying out the ‘little tractor’ or sit on mower to begin keeping the site in the condition in which we inherited it, which was fabulous.
We explored the local shops to stock up on everything as there were six of us for Easter. We warmed up one of the gites for its first (non-paying) guests. We got our heads round all the keys!
The children loved the outside space, free to roam and explore and most of all to have a trampoline once again, both complaining of sore tummy’s after the first day.
We decided to stock up on logs so that we would not run out. The weather did suffer a bit from school holiday syndrome and it was not the Lauragaise at its best, but there were a couple of days when we were in the pool.
Tracking down Monsieur for the logs was a challenge, as it often can be with French ‘entrepreneurs.’ The road was not on any map but we did track it down, by spotting the huge stacks of logs and driving in circles around it until we found the very small track leading to it. It was ‘open’ Friday afternoons and Saturday mornings… although no one was there both on occasions. We did eventually make contact and he was lovely and gave us a link for stoves as they work ‘ensemble’. France really is about the personal touch and who you know.
We spent time really getting to know the house, the gites and the field. Supported by string and bamboo canes we spent a lot of time working out the layout for the tents and the comfort block (the personal kitchen and shower rooms for the two tents). We also got a chance to work out what needs to be done and where our priorities are if we are to be up and running in July. The biggest element of this was confirming and getting the dates for the installation of a new ‘Micro station’. This a replacement for the existing ‘fosse septiques’ as we are not on mains drainage, like most part of France, it is a big country! A big (and expensive!!) project but necessary to get the additional capacity for the tents, conform to the regulations and it is also more environmentally friendly as it produces fresh water that will flow into the stream below. More on the works later no doubt.
It has been a manic and incredible few days, and we already love Domaine La Castagne. The most striking thing is the bird song, all day you can hear multiple tunes being played out, and spot the large birds of prey that are always around. Kind of like the fact there are a few little lizards and the sound of cicadas. Almost like a holiday!!