Raindrops keep falling…

I’ve always thought May was the perfect month to visit this beautiful part of France. Pre-summer so not too hot or busy with tourists, but with perfectly warm temperatures, spring in full bloom and rivers full with winter’s rain, the landscape was near its best. But, two weeks in so far here this May has been a let down. Bloody wet and I’ve not had my shorts on once. We’re still in lockdown (light) too, so social options plus those in the hunt for rusty gold have also been limited. But… Rochechouart and its environ are blooming and the view from our terrace is getting greener by the day. Plus this, the final lockdown, is only five days from ending. After that, shops, outdoor bars, terraces and with fingers very much crossed an up ‘til now swathe of unavailable social options will be ours. We can’t wait.

We have some gite news. It will be ours on June 1st! Again, we can’t wait. It needs work, mostly decorative plus some creative flair to bring it to life. Le Terrace de Citron is currently not living up to its name, other than a lemon tree we hope is still alive. We have been gathering a few suitable outdoor accessories in la citron theme and are currently refreshing our interior decorating skills helping Carole and Frank paint their freshly plastered top floor. Their impressive house renovation continues at pace.

… So, just to prove my point perfectly as I was writing the above text the heavens opened. A torrential downpour. Our kitchen/diner is a relatively new extension to our historic home and the rain just proved too much for its roof. Within a minute ceiling drips quickly turned into a very steady flow, for a short while pouring through the kitchen light. Two hours later three large bins and two large saucepans are still catching the drips. The lights are off and thankfully the rain has stopped, for now. Our ceiling isn’t looking great, but its still there. We may not sleep well tonight as more rain is forecast. I’ll take my mind off the ceiling by writing more words…

As I was saying, we’re currently painting walls next door. We’re also still loving our daily walks, with nothing but utter wonderment at nature’s way. Being able to enjoy so much time together outdoors was the main reason behind our move to France, and to see the daily changes in our beautiful surroundings is a constant joy. Pepper is amazing. She’s picking up the new language fantastically well and is on first name terms with the cows, sheep and horses she meets every day. We think she loves the view from our terrace as much as we do, judging by how long she spends looking out from her terrace bed. Four weeks ago that view was grey with hints of green tones, now those colours are reversed (winter and spring terrace views above). The recently ploughed fields are also showing signs of life and with each day their crops reveal themselves to us. Oh, and puddles are back with a vengeance.

Our search for Etsy stock has been limited to online for the last month. Whilst it’s nowhere near as fruitful or as much fun as flea markets we’ve managed to source some vintage and antique gems. We’re not new to vintage items but we’re new to French-sourced stock and we’re new to Etsy. That said, so far we’re doing okay, selling our pre-loved curios to all corners of the world, from Bedford and Belfast to Strasbourg and the Seychelles. The USA is our most popular destination and one of the most enjoyable aspects of our Etsy experience has been communicating with potential buyers all over the world. Our American buyers are as patient as they are super-friendly, having to wait twice as long for delivery, having paid twice as much for the service as our European friends. We’re learning about Etsy and can’t wait to get back out on the hunt.

We’ve been here nearly six months now. Time flies. It certainly flies faster than French bureaucracy. Thanks to the help of friends and our lovely French administrative helper we’re slowly but surely getting there with our admin duties. Our covid jabs are imminent too. Next week we very much hope will be our first injections. The thought of life getting back to somewhere near normal is as thrilling for us at it is for anyone. Whilst the thought of Rochechouart opening up and revealing its true self to us is hugely exciting, that excitement is trumped by the possibility of seeing our families again. It’s been too long.  

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