Back to London by rail

In a moment of madness I volunteered to forego my EasyJet flight to London and accompany Big T and Agnes on the journey of insanity back to London taking many more hours than flying. What was I thinking?!

We started at 8:30am with a taxi to Antibes, had to wait for almost two hours for the delayed train to arrive (due to an accident on the track), missed our connection in Paris and managed to get the last train to Calais. I rescheduled our dog taxi pick-up en route for an additional £42 and negotiated a drop-off at Ashford International for an extra £20. 

What this all added up to was a very expensive journey, all to get the dog back into the UK and avoid going on the ferry. Each time I do it, I declare we’ll be buying a car and this time was no different!

We arrived home at 10:45pm. All things considered, we felt pretty good and even with the delay, it wasn’t nearly as bad as the ferry and eight trains. 

Still, perhaps we’ll be looking at cars this weekend!

Free Furniture

One evening, driving through Le Rouret, we spotted some old furniture out on the side of the road and so, of course, stopped for a look.

There was an old brown chest of drawers which looked a bit tatty but we thought it was worth taking to see if we could do anything with it. After all, free stuff is good stuff.

Hard to see, brown chest of drawers

I decided to break with our traditional grey and so, on a whim bought a dusty pink called Marrons Glacé. After cleaning all the dead spiders off, I sanded and painted and the tired old discarded chest of drawers cleaned up remarkably well. Perfect for our downstairs apartment.

After the makeover

Just waiting for the bed

All we need to do now is play musical beds as we move a bed from upstairs down and move a bed from London to France… maybe!

Rognons or Fondue

To celebrate (or commiserate) our last night in what has now become our very cosy winter home, we went out for drinks with a few friends in Valbonne and then off to our local Auberge du Clos des Pins in Roquefort for dinner.

My French has dropped off since attempting the French Conversation group last autumn and it’s fair to say I’ve suffered a crisis of confidence. Hopefully this is only temporary and having learned a new word by disastrous ordering, I’m feeling somewhat inspired to get back on the cheval.

It turned out that rognons of veau were veal kidneys. Not a word to be forgotten in a hurry and certainly not something I would ever be able to eat. Big T gallantly stepped in and ate the offending rognons, despite disliking them intensely himself which goes to show what kind of person he is.

This week it also turned out that fondeur meant cross-country skier as opposed to a restaurant serving fondue, something we learned when attempting to order fondue the other day only to discover it wasn’t on the menu…

It would appear that learning French needs to be resumed post haste.

Progress down below

We’ve made some progress on the Caretaker’s Cottage (or downstairs apartment). 

A tiny new kitchen is installed and almost working. The new kitchen island/trolley is installed and a new rug to cover a floor we don’t like very much. And of course, everything has been diligently painted by Big (Painted) T.

Window before
After, just waiting for furniture
After, the new kitchen

The walls have been sealed with swimming pool sealant to (hopefully) stop the 150 year old damp and replastered.

Bedroom with free chest of drawers we found, waiting to be painted…
The entry hall!

With some ambient lighting, we just need to add furniture and we’re all ready to go down below!