Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Rural France. You know you're a local when.......

Rural France. You know you're a local when.......


We have now lived in Rural France for over four years and this morning as I went to the town square to buy some bread and was given the fresh bread rather than the bread on the shelf (admittedly the bread on the shelf was only a couple of hours old!)  The realisation hit me,

I am now a local!

I thought about this on the way back to the house and all the other things that make you realise you are a local and no longer a visitor and decided to come up with a check list.

You know you're a local when

1.   At the boulangerie you are given the fresh baguette before they are put on the shelf.

2.   The sun is shining in spring you will still be wearing a sweater and scarf as the tourists         wander around in shorts and t shirts.

3.   At a restaurant you think what a cute dog rather than why is there a dog in the restaurant.

4.   At the market you will think what a big dog rather than why is there a big dog tied up next to the butchers van.

5.   You stop noticing the dog poo on the street.

6.   You no longer practice what you are going to say before you go into the shop.

7.   You know the difference between a boulangerie and a patisserie.

8.   You stop noticing that the street lights get turned off and walking home in the pitch black becomes normal.

9.   You never make the mistake of going to the post office/shop/bank at lunch time.

10.  Everywhere being shut on a Monday becomes normal.

11.  You make sure you know when all the bank holidays are and never run out of milk on those days.

12.  Strangers talking to you and being polite becomes normal and expected and you get upset if a stranger does not say hello as they walk past and think there is something wrong.

13.  In a supermarket, you join the rush to the front of the queue when a new till opens instead of letting the person in front go first.

14.  You know never to shop in a hurry, as the cashier may just get up and go and chat to another person or start a completely different job before returning to you some time later.

15.  You can walk around without photographing everything.

16.  You learn how to drink in a bar. A tiny glass of wine is normal as is almost filling your glass with a spirit then adding a splash of mixer.

17.  You stop marvelling at the price of wine in a supermarket.

18.  You stop marvelling at the variety of cheese in a supermarket.

19. You stop laughing at Easter eggs, advent calendars and any other holiday confectionery still being sold at full price the month after the holiday.

20.  You no longer get angry when driving through a village and the car in front stops to talk to a person walking past.

21.  You are no longer surprised when driving through a village and the car in front stops to talk to a person walking past.

22.  You think nothing of stopping when driving through a village and talking to a person walking past.

23.  When you are driving in the middle of nowhere and can see for miles around, you still stop the car for 3 full seconds at a stop sign.

This is by no means an extensive list, but just a guide, what would you add to this list?

If you would like to find out what life is like in France we are selling our current house, click on the link for more info House for sale Huelgoat

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Monday, 10 April 2017

Renovation Project - Fun in the sun

Renovation Project - Fun in the sun
We have just had our first perfect weather weekend, the sun was bright, the sky was blue and the air was warm. It really was just perfect.
I spent Saturday with different friends sat in the garden, and I have now realised I really want my friends garden. I don’t actually want to do the work that is required, (well I would happily do the work I would just need someone telling me what to do and what to plant and when to plant it, in fact help every step of the way)  But to be able to sit here and relax is just perfect.
Renovation project - Huelgoat garden

Saturday evening we are going out for dinner at our local favourite restaurant, Le Crepuscule, if you ever visit Huelgoat, this place is a must, it is so easy going and the chef and owners are so friendly and multi lingual. But it is a great place to practise and improve our spoken French. If you ask them to correct you when you get it wrong, you can quickly learn restaurant French, essential for any holiday or the beginning of your language skills.
The food was fantastic and the wine flowed, unfortunately it flowed so well I forgot to take a photo of the main course!
Renovation project - Le Crepuscule Huelgoat, Brittany, France
But the night drew to an end and we all weaved our way home.

The Sunday I woke with such a bad head, I actually missed the sunniest day of our perfect weekend, but a day in bed never does you any harm and now we are not working in the same way, I am hoping to enjoy many more perfect weekends in our little bit of heaven.

Friday, 7 April 2017

Renovation project - Gardening on a budget

Renovation project - Gardening on a budget
The sun is shining and Huelgoat is looking at its best and we are enjoying time with friends. This actually feels quite unusual as normally we never go out, we are usually working on the house but that is not the case at the moment I am actually sitting at friends houses and enjoying the opportunity to socialise.
But today I am going to make my garden look lovely. I am not a gardener in any sense so the fact that we have the terraces and the stone patio is ideal, but we do need some colour in it and I also have my window boxes.
We have bought a selection of plants from Lidl of all places, we have realised that plants tend to be quite expensive here in Brittany, but Lidl had one of their offers on and we bought three trays for only five Euros.
Renovation project - Gardening on a budget
It’s at this point I realise just how many plants you actually get in a try. The 5 boxes are filled with a variety.
The camellia has a ring of daisies and every other pot I can find gets a selection of bedding plants.
Renovation project - Gardening on a budget

Renovation project - Gardening on a budget
It’s just a case now of waiting for my wisteria to grow, it has already started to bud, so I am not in the same panic as last year when I bought it and had been convinced someone had sold me a dead twig!

Let’s just hope the sun stays 

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Big Price Reduction - House in Huelgoat, Brittany, France

Big Price Reduction - House in Huelgoat, Brittany, France
The house has been on the market for a couple of months now and we have had a number of viewings but not yet sold. this was not a problem as we were going to just enjoy our time here.

But, now we have found another house so its time to sell, our sitting back enjoying ourselves is over, to be honest John has been raring to get started on another project.
So now is your opportunity to buy at a massively reduced price of offers around 102,000 euros for a house with so many options available,
1.      The chance to live in a large family home in the centre of Huelgoat.
2.       A great holiday home with small manageable garden so no worries about spending your holidays taming wild overgrowth
3.      The opportunity to move to France and start a business straight away, a 2 bed house and a 1 bed house either of which can be let out, in a year round tourist location.
Only 102,000 euros with option to include all the furniture.

AT todays rate (05.04.17) the current exchange rate makes that only 

$108,931 USD

or 

£87,168 GBP

Has there ever been a better time to start your new life?
The property in detail:
Habitable Area: 123m2
Land Surface Area: 161m2
Energy Efficiency: D - 227
Co2 Emissions: A - 5 
Living room with new wood burner set in a large granite fireplace.
Fully fitted kitchen with dining area.
Stairs to:
Main bedroom with door to large private terrace
2nd double bedroom
Family bathroom
All upstairs windows have views over the forest.
From the kitchen:
Enter the dining room with external door to patio garden and full utility room.
Doorway that can be locked to a separate cottage with:
Large living room with small fitted kitchen and large granite fireplace, separate external door to outside
Stairs to large bedroom with vaulted ceiling and exposed beams and wooden floors, door to private terrace with views over the forest.
Fully fitted shower room off the bedroom.
Large garage/workshop. 
Renovation project house for sale Huelgoat Brittany, France
House and drive

Renovation project house for sale Huelgoat Brittany, France
the terraces and rear of the property

Renovation project house for sale Huelgoat Brittany, France
main kitchen

Renovation project house for sale Huelgoat Brittany, France
kitchen dining area

Renovation project house for sale Huelgoat Brittany, France
living room in main house

Renovation project house for sale Huelgoat Brittany, France
living room in main house

Renovation project house for sale Huelgoat Brittany, France
dining room and door to little house

Renovation project - house for sale Huelgoat Brittany, France
bedroom in little house and door to terrace

Renovation project - house for sale Huelgoat Brittany, France
bedroom in little house with door to ensuite bathroom

Renovation project - house for sale Huelgoat Brittany, France
kitchen area in little house

Renovation project - house for sale Huelgoat Brittany, France
living area in little house and external door

Renovation project - house for sale Huelgoat Brittany, France
bedroom 2 in main house

Renovation project - house for sale Huelgoat Brittany, France
family bathroom

Renovation project - house for sale Huelgoat Brittany, France
stairs in main house

Renovation project - house for sale Huelgoat Brittany, France
patio garden

Renovation project - house for sale Huelgoat Brittany, France
garage and little house terrace
indoor garden
the front of the little house inside the garage
The house has been completely renovated with new double glazing, new electrics, new plumbing, new fitted kitchen, new bathrooms, new wood burner and flue. 

The property is located approx 200 metres from the town square with a selection of restaurants, cafes, and shops. There is also a doctor and dentist in the town and a supermarket with 24 hour petrol. There are creperies and ice cream shops along the lake and within the forest you will find an internet cafe selling vegan food and organic beers.
There is public transport available with a bus service to Carhaix and Morlaix (Morlaix has a TGV train direct to Paris and further into Europe)
There is a mechanic/vehicle service garage and a taxi service in the town.
Huelgoat has a large leisure lake with cafes and an enchanted forest with many tourist attractions (again only approx 200 metres from the property). 
Although a popular tourist destination the area is never crowded. 
Here are some photos of Huelgoat (approx 200 metres from the house)
Renovation project -  Huelgoat, Brittany, France

Renovation project -  Huelgoat, Brittany, France

Renovation project -  Huelgoat, Brittany, France

Renovation project -  Huelgoat, Brittany, France

Renovation project -  Huelgoat, Brittany, France

Renovation project -  Huelgoat, Brittany, France

Renovation project -  Huelgoat, Brittany, France
Huelgoat is located approx 45 mins from Roscoff ferry port, 30 mins from Morlaix (with a TGV train to Paris) and approx 35 mins to the nearest beach 
International airport at Brest approx 50 mins away.
If you have any questions or would like further information please contact us either on here or via e-mail on the contact page.

Please share with your friends and family, thank you

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Renovation project - Holiday season

Renovation project - Holiday season
The Easter holidays are approaching and with this comes the return of friends and neighbours who have holiday homes in the area.
It is always great to see people who have holiday homes as they bring the holiday feeling with them.
Huelgoat is so beautiful, but you begin to take things for granted, it is only when people come for a short period of time that we really appreciate how lucky we are.
And obviously there are the really big pluses such as having meals out and visiting friends again. 
Such as our Sunday, we spent a sunny afternoon, well actually a sunny 6 hours, eating and drinking wine. This is how a Sunday should be spent.
We head off for home with John agreeing to go back in the morning to give a hand with a DIY job. It is great to be able to help people, especially when they happily cook you a roast pork dinner!

I head out for my evening walk and take time to look at the amazing sunset and some of the sights that I pass everyday and never really think of anymore, but today I am thinking how nice, today I am thinking how lucky I am, today I am counting my blessings as I look around and realise this is my home. 
I am truly one of the luckiest people in the world. Huelgoat Brittany France

Huelgoat Brittany France

Huelgoat Brittany France

Huelgoat Brittany France

Huelgoat Brittany France

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Renovation project - Indoor gardening in Brittany

Renovation project - Indoor gardening in Brittany
I have just realised I have never shown anyone what the inside of our garage looks like.
If you remember we had initially planned on taking the garage down but decided against this. This then left us with the dilemma of what to do with the steps that were in there, removal was the best option but they were so solid and John decided that actually to build them up and fill them in would give him a great work bench.
Which it did, but now it is not required and we want to make it look good.

Here is a link to the garage in case you have forgotten or have only just joined us GARAGE
We start to research indoor gardens but unless you are veer rich and have multiple degrees in architecture and horticulture the websites were not very helpful.
So we put our heads together and remember how much we liked the fake grass in Spain.
We find some cut it to size, ass a few plants and we now have a fabulous little indoor garden for the little house, whilst still keeping the garage.
I still think a deckchair would look good while John is more inclined to putting a small golf course on it.
indoor garden, Brittany France

indoor garden, Brittany France

indoor garden, Brittany France

indoor garden, Brittany France

indoor garden, Brittany France