So I wanted to use my blog to reassure people who were contemplating moving, or making that change, that yes it is frightening, in fact bloody terrifying at times.
I wanted to give examples of how we felt; how we pulled away from our house and sat in shock further down the road; or how weird it really is when you go to the storage facility and realise that all of your life is in a metal container; or how we sat in the hotel bar the evening that we left our house, me with big tears plopping down my face and Rich with his eyes full of tears. God knows what the other people in the bar thought.
At that point however there was no going back and we had to move forward. So we did. At what a pace?!
We signed for our new home in Ambrieres Les Vallees on the 24th of July, excited we went to the house, switched the water on and tried out the very very skanky shower. Water leaked everywhere! As Rich said we had more leaks than a watering can. There was water running through the living room ceiling, leaks from the grey waste pipe in the cellar, and water pouring out of one of the very old and dilapidated radiators.
Not to be daunted we went back the next day and put buckets and bowls down, and every time we thought we had them worked out the leaks changed tack and moved to another part of the ceiling! The hot water wouldn’t work, and I think that day we came both came away terrified that we had taken on too much with a very limited budget.
It is important that I explain at this point that I was aware how vast a country France is but not aware of how vast each Department can be. So when I found our rental property I simply searched using rental properties in the Pays De Loire, found the lovely house we have rented and then established that it was a two and a half hour drive from the area that we were going to search for houses. My advice for anyone thinking of living in France always know the size of your Departments!!
So added to all of the things that we have to do we also have five cats at our rental property that we have to come back to so we have to drive for five hours a day to our house and back in addition to any work that we have to do. We are knackered.
On the Monday we hired a van, collected our new appliances from the supermarket, including an American fridge freezer, and took them to our new house. The fridge freezer wouldn’t fit through the door! It was debatable whether the stud wall was going to stay or whether the we would take it out, needless to say life showed us the way when we cut through the door frame to get the seven foot freezer in after many attempts to force it through.
Life also showed us the way in that there was never any way we were going to want to get into the shower that was in the house, or come out of it feeling clean, but as life showed us we didn’t have to because the shower was broken and leaking and we had to buy a new one.
But you can overcome things.
Rich has fixed the hot water system.
We bought a new shower and our wonderful friends Mary and Den (I think I need to add them to the cast list.) have come over to help us. The shower is in, fingers crossed because we are trying it for the first time tonight.
We decided the oil fired central heating would be too expensive to run anyway so bought a gas heater, along with the open fire that should keep us toasty and in the end we always have blankets and throws (and each other).
So its all systems go. We are moving our stuff over in the next 4 days, and have hired a van. I am sitting in my beautiful rented house waiting for the cats- they have seen the cat boxes so we will have to trick them in a minute because they have all buggered off and are hiding.
Wish us luck.