Summer commuting

It’s been a few weeks of summer commuting.

Back and forth between London and the South of France. Back and forth between a house with a kitchen and bathrooms, and a flat with a hot plate and a handicapped shower.

On one hand it’s nice to have the break, on the other hand, it’s harder and harder to walk through the front door in London.

Work has ground to a halt in London for the past few weeks but we’re hoping with new structural drawings for the removal of the world’s smallest structural wall, we can resubmit our plans and finally get things moving again. After four and a half months, I’m really ready to move on from the hot plate!

On another note things are progressing in France. We’ve been busy working in the garden, adding new plants, a new arch and my new pet project, a succulent garden.

We had a dusty, dead area under a balcony which was full of horrible spiky plants, the only thing which wanted to grow there. As it’s part of the walk from the drive to the garden, we wanted to make it nicer. And so the planting of succulents began.

To be fair, it’s not so much planting as sticking random plants in the ground to see if they survive.

We’ve discovered that we can rescue succulents as they grow “wildish” in the region so walking along the road and seeing an Aloe Vera is not an unusual sight. A few have been rescued for the garden and it’s coming along quite nicely.

We’re also on a mission to remove all ivy and generally get things looking rustic clean instead of rustic scruffy, no mean feat. Weeds are no longer charming.

There’s a stunning garden centre nearby which provides great inspiration and our catchphrase is “EGC” or English Garden Centre as we strive to achieve the same level of beauty and tranquility.

So it seems the summer of hard graft is set to continue as we have a couple of summer bookings for France which means we have more work to do.

The dishwasher has packed up so will have to be replaced. The carport almost fell down so is having to be rebuilt and we cut a hole in the bathroom ceiling so either have to remove the ceiling and replaster or patch it up. It all costs money and while we knew it would be a hard year financially, we’re haemorrhaging badly.

I have to say though that it’s not a bad lifestyle. Once we get through the refurb (by Christmas?) things will be brighter and perhaps one day we’ll look back and laugh at the trials and tribulations (or not!).

And then we’ll probably be looking for our next project (or not!!!)

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