Another cleaning session in France and the house was ready for guests. Everything was finished, cleaned out, cleared, stashed, stored and emptied. The house looked lovely, the garden was spectacular and not a leaf to be seen in the pool. It was a lot of work!
We decamped to the studio for the rest of the weekend where we celebrated both Bastille Day and our sixth (London) wedding anniversary at the local bistro in Le Rouret.
We stopped on the way home to listen to a band in the Le Rouret square playing ’80s music to a rockabilly rhythm in English. It was an odd combination which seemed to confuse some of the dancers. Very French!
On Sunday we decamped to the river in nearby Villeneuve Loubet where we claimed a pebbly island in the shade. Silver birch trees dappled the light and the water was very cool and refreshing. It was certainly better than listening to people in our pool but we were eventually invaded by a noisy family so decided it was time to head home.
And then it was back to the airport with a few busy weeks ahead as we now reach peak season with birthdays, weddings, airbnb bookings, house renovations and it all culminating in a trip around the Turkish islands on a boat.
Fun times ahead!
The third room is done, well, done enough for now.
This is how it looked in January…
I have assembled the bed and made it up with clean (albeit slightly dusty) bedding, all ready for our inaugural guest arriving from Australia. Lucky it’s my brother who, as an architect, surely must have lived in worse conditions than these! Who needs a kitchen anyway?!
This evening I installed a blind. It looked brilliant, the perfect colour and a rather good installation, or so I thought. All went well until I tried to roll it down with the chain, and nothing happened. And then the chain snapped.
I decided enough was enough and ignored it for the rest of the evening. Plenty of time to find a solution or claim it’s purely decorative!
And it turned out that by reading the instructions, all was well and the blind was working perfectly. Who would have thought?!
After carefully tending the poorly bay tree, I was encouraged and slightly hysterical to discover a new sprig of tiny green leaves on a branch. I may have even cheered!
I had repotted the poor thing, fed it, watered it and spent each evening carefully picking up the fallen leaves whilst talking to it like a lunatic and rubbing its crisp, brown, burned-looking leaves as I was convinced it had been lonely.
The upstairs neighbours are probably laughing at my efforts as they spotted me cycling home with a large bag of soil balanced precariously on my handlebars.
We decided to take a morning off to get some inspiration and so off we went to Cap Ferrat, one of the nicest parts of the Riviera to see how the other half live, or at least, used to.
The gardens were what we’d really gone to see and we weren’t disappointed. Overlooking the Med on all sides, the gardens transitioned beautifully from Spanish, to Stone, Japanese, Cactus, Provencal, and Formal where fountains playfully splashed in time to orchestral music.
Very lovely indeed and it would seem we now need a fountain, and I have just the place for it!
I had decided to take a week off work, to do a week of work! With a list of projects to get the house ready for Airbnb guests, it was a week of cleaning, gardening, pool maintenance and more.
One of my unfinished projects was to continue the side garden which we started last September.
The side garden (formerly referred to as Mosquito Coast) has been an ongoing project since we went to Hampton Court Palace last summer. From a shade patch of dead grass with a giant hedge, we’re starting to make some progress.
As the South of France has been sweltering with a heatwave, I got up at 6am to finish the path. Big T has been planting a lovely Provencal garden and while I’m still sure there’s room for a pentanque court, it would be very narrow!
Fifty shades of green…
The view from above complete with art installation (top right) or rotten supports from the rebuilt carport.
How lucky to find a copper circle lurking in the goat room, the perfect fit for the “eternal flame.”
From France to London and back this summer.
It doesn’t feel much like summer with constant rain in London. What better to fill the time with a little DIWhy?
Stepladder and tools, old wiring and wallpaper and rocking the wife beater.
My life is all glamour!
Sunday afternoon and what’s nicer than a swim and a lounge in the shade under a large umbrella?
Well, apparently it’s being encouraged to climb up inside a very large hedge to prune the top.
The hedge is a behemoth which we’ve been trying to tame for the last two years. We’ve cut it back considerably but with renewed vigour it comes back with a vengeance.
So with secateurs in hand, I spent a couple of less relaxing hours climbing like a monkey before finally emerging hot, scratched and bloody.
Not sure there was much of a before and after moment…