The Weekend TO DO list

Every weekend seems like a massive TO DO list and this was no exception. As the Airbnb deadlines loom, we are running out of time to get things ready.

There are things we can’t fix like cracks in the old walls and a broken mirror which was cemented into the wall in the bathroom (before the wall settled) and so our focus is on getting everything clean and tidy rather than perfect. Despite that, it seems endless!

This weekend we discovered how to change a lightbulb in a swimming pool without being electrocuted. Actually it wasn’t as hard as we thought and the replacement bulb wasn’t too expensive. Standing waist deep in water with an adjustable spanner removing the connectors from a large light bulb, we weren’t entirely sure what was going to happen but apparently swimming pool light bulbs don’t have the same effect as dropping a hair dryer in the bath. Good to know.

We went to look at new fridges as we have a relic from the 1980s which doesn’t really reflect the concept of “boutique hotel” and really needed to be replaced twenty years ago. We bought lots of cheap wine glasses, guaranteed to be broken and even more crockery and cutlery. How many forks are enough?

We managed to find a pet sitter for the Little Dog so Big T can come to London and have a break from a group of Russians who have booked to stay for two weeks. We met a very nice family near Valbonne who look after dogs and are happy to have Agnes to stay. We stressed that Agnes can’t be trusted and if a gate is left open, that will be the last they see of her. Hopefully all goes well when the time comes.

We did a lot of packing up in the kitchen so that drawers and cupboards are cleaned and not full of old elastic bands, candles and miscellaneous crap. And then there was the relentless gardening which Big T tackled with a new hedge trimmer as it seems things insist on growing enormous due to a very wet Spring and it seems as though we’re constantly pruning.

While we did a lot of work, we also managed to enjoy a little of the weekend with an evening spent in Cannes on Thursday, a very nice (and exorbitant) G&T at the Carlton Hotel started the weekend off and then on Sunday, having worked and worked and worked, we decided to go to see the lavender fields in Provence, something we’d never done properly before and that was completely exhausting!

And so with less than two weeks (and only one weekend) we have a lot to do!

Back to London and more work…

Welsh Terriers can’t fly

We had spent a very pleasant evening in Cannes having a drink at the very swanky Carlton Hotel followed by dinner in the backstreets where things were a little more reasonable and people-watching was a little more real.

From there we decided to drive around Cap d’Antibes and enjoy the golden light of the sunset, something we don’t always take the time to enjoy.

Agnes, as usual, was standing on my lap with front legs hanging over the side of the car. the top was down, the wind blowing in our fur and hair respectively when suddenly Agnes jumped or slipped and was completely out of the car. Hanging on by her collar I managed to wrangle her back into the car, there wasn’t time to think, it was pure reaction. Luckily we all kept our cool and we didn’t end up with a small and rather squashed Welsh Terrier on the road but it was a lesson learned by all.

A hand will always hold the collar, two legs outside the vehicle are the maximum allowed and we suspect Agnes may have been a bit scared and might refrain from jumping out of a moving car with the roof down… time will tell.

Apart from that, it was a lovely evening very much enjoyed by all.

Tragedy averted.

The First Paying Guests

We had our first paying guests downstairs, a German couple and a dog, and all seems to have gone well.

Luckily I wasn’t there as I’m far too uptight about how people look after our stuff and luckily Big T was there to catch the dog when she ran out of the gates and down the road…

The worst thing that happened (we think) was Big T finding a cigar butt by the pool which seemed to indicate a certain lifestyle choice. I don’t even want to know what was going on… best not to think about it and wash the sheets on a very hot wash.

Too much information

Other than that, the Germans left on the dot of 10am as promised and the occupation was over.

Open Gardens London

It was a rare weekend in London and I spent the entire weekend cycling around the city in the sunshine. A rare weekend indeed!

On the agenda was the Open Garden Squares weekend, a weekend of open gardens belonging to private apartments and mansion blocks not normally open to the public.


On Sunday morning I set off to Little Venice and Notting Hill to explore how the other ‘arf live. I wasn’t disappointed!

In the end I went to eight spectacular gardens and completely fell in love with two of them. I would happily live in a flat overlooking one of these lovely settings, money being no object of course!

It helped that the weather was perfect, the gardens were in full bloom and everything smelled of roses.

Another Friday

Another Friday and another early start. It was back to Heathrow yet again. All I can say is, thank God it’s not Gatwick!

As the summer really gets into gear and I’m doing this weekly commute, I’m finding my days at work are longer and more productive as there are less of them.

I’ve spent three days in the office this week due to the Bank Holiday and have worked late each night. Now on Friday morning I have another four nights in France. It all seems to be working and apart from missing a dentist appointment yesterday, things haven’t fallen through the cracks.

I am however completely dependent on my online calendar and if it’s not in there, it’s not happening.

Here we go again!

Finishing the studio

With Airbnb bookings on the horizon (what were we thinking?) we had a big push last weekend to finish the downstairs studio as our first booking is for downstairs.

Painting was done, lots of cleaning took place and the bed was made up with lovely lavender scented sheets. We decided we should have a trial night to see what it was like and so on Saturday night, we locked up the house and went downstairs to spend the night in the basement!

Let’s just say it was challenging…

The Little Dog was confused and kept asking to go out. In the end I opened the door and let her run out into the garden.

The light from the nearby street shone directly into the window which kept me awake and forced me to come up with a design for an indoor shutter which will be implemented next weekend from my cardboard template.

The bed was too small and we were too hot, the fridge was too loud and all in all, it was a horrendous night with no sleep.

As we’ll be spending quite a few weeks of the summer in there, hopefully we’ll get used to it and let’s hope our first paying guests are more tolerant than we are!