Thursday, 20 July 2017

Are garden fire pits worth investing in?

Are garden fire pits worth investing in?

Image result for fire pits

Are garden fire pits worth investing in?

The outdoors are always exciting for those willing to get up and get going. This is so especially now that it is summer. There is simply too much fun outside for you to remain on the inside. One of the things people will definitely want to invest in is a garden fire pit. To some, the idea may sound old fashioned but when you come to think of it, it’s actually a cool thought. If you are thinking about investing in this pit, then you might want to consider the advantages it comes with.

Why is a garden fire pit a worthy investment?

It gets everyone out

Isn’t that good enough? A lot of time, you are going to find that people simply want to stay inside and watch a film. However, if you want to draw them outside, sell them this idea and you will all be frolicking on the lawn and having the time of your lives.

It allows you to stay out in the PM

Summers are known for their starry nights and clear skies. Whoever gets an opportunity to stay outside and live these moments has memories to pass on a Garden Fire Pit creates warmth in your garden area and allows you stay outside under the stars for as long as you can. To make things even more interesting, grab a pack of your favourite drinks and laugh the night away with your friends.
Allows you to whip up some BBQ

Summer is the perfect time to set up a grill, and a garden fire pit makes some of the best steak out there. Get some meat from your favourite butcher and make a fire. Have the family gather around the fire as the aroma wafts around. 


A garden fire pit is more than worth its weight in gold. It has a great return and promises some fun moments.

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Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Renovation project - Back in France, good friends and good food

Renovation project - Back in France, good friends and good food

Wow that was a hectic couple of weeks and things seem so different, we are now going to be selling two houses in two different countries and moving to yet another country, could we possibly make our lives a little more stressful?
But hey, that’s life and it is almost summer, this is our favourite time of year here in our little bit of Brittany. The sun is shining and friends are coming to visit. Our social life will be bustling and we start to realise how cosmopolitan we are. We have friends coming from England, Spain, Canada and France. This is the best part of living in another country; your friends group becomes so much wider. 
Huelgoat, Brittany France. Good friends

Huelgoat, Brittany France. Good friends

Huelgoat, Brittany France.  le crepuscule. Good friends. Good food
Even the sun is shining on a regular basis. We look around and sometimes wonder are we doing the right thing leaving here, we love this area so much. But if we want to try Portugal, we have to leave now.
But until that moment happens we will enjoy ourselves, we will also get rather large with all the soirées we are attending.

The only thing I miss now is our big BBQ; it would be perfect on our patio with friends and wine, 

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Plymouth, UK. Places to eat and things to see, whilst waiting for the ferry to France

Plymouth, UK. Places to eat and things to see, whilst waiting for the ferry to France
So the time has arrived to say goodbye to family and head back to France. We have a couple of viewings booked in to our French house so its fingers crossed that we get a sale soon.
Though the realisation has just hit me we are actually going to be selling 2 houses in 2 countries, I can see this all getting very stressful at some point in the near future!
But we drive to Plymouth and think we will have a nice meal overlooking the harbour. This is such a nice place in Plymouth; the only problem is the parking. There is nowhere near enough places to park and double yellow lines everywhere. We manage to find a small car park by the harbour but they charge until 10pm at night. We do not have enough change and are on the verge of giving up.
We see a couple heading over to their car and ask if they have some change for a note, no they don’t but they do have a couple of pound coins and happily give them to us so we can park.
It is such a small gesture, but today as we are leaving family to meet a stranger willing to show kindness is so nice.
So parked up we head over to the restaurants to have a meal, but we are here at the wrong time, most of the restaurants stop serving food at 7pm on a Sunday night.  
Plymouth Harbour, UK

Plymouth Harbour, UK

Plymouth Harbour, UK

Plymouth Harbour, UK
I had so wanted to sit here for dinner, the view is beautiful, but one of the staff point us to a restaurant a street behind, we do not get the view but the meal is really good.
We chose to have a whole chicken that was really moist and tender with some sides and a glass of wine. The food cost just 21 UK pounds, the staff were really friendly and the restaurant had a really nice ambience.
Meze Grill may not have the view of the harbour, but the food and staff more than make up for this and if you are in Plymouth and enjoy Greek food (or just nice chicken) then we would highly recommend a visit.
Meze Grill, Bar and restaurant. Plymouth UK. Jenny and John in France

Meze Grill, Bar and restaurant. Plymouth UK. Jenny and John in France

Meze Grill, Bar and restaurant. Plymouth UK. Jenny and John in France

Meze Grill, Bar and restaurant. Plymouth UK. Jenny and John in France
If you want to have a look at the restaurant here is the link Meze Grill, Bar and restaurant

After our meal, we head over to the harbour to enjoy a relaxing drink before it is time to head for the ferry to France.  This is the relaxing part of a night time ferry trip from Plymouth to Roscoff
But for now it is time to get on the ferry and head home.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Big Price Reduction 92,000 euros- House in Huelgoat, Brittany, France

Big Price Reduction  92,000 euros- House in Huelgoat, Brittany, France

The house has been on the market for a few 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 need to head over to Portugal so its time to sell, our sitting back enjoying ourselves is over, So we have decided to reduce the price. 
So now is your opportunity to buy at a massively reduced price of offers around 92,000 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 92,000 euros with option to include all the furniture.

AT todays rate (11.07.17) the current exchange rate makes that only 

$104,890 USD

or 

£81,562 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. 


House for sale, Huelgoat, Brittany France - jenny and john in France

House for sale, Huelgoat, Brittany France - jenny and john in France
2 of the terraces
House for sale, Huelgoat, Brittany France - jenny and john in France
main kitchen


House for sale, Huelgoat, Brittany France - jenny and john in France
living room

House for sale, Huelgoat, Brittany France - jenny and john in France
rear view of main kitchen

House for sale, Huelgoat, Brittany France - jenny and john in France
Dining room

House for sale, Huelgoat, Brittany France - jenny and john in France
vaulted bedroom in the rear little house

House for sale, Huelgoat, Brittany France - jenny and john in France
living room in rear little house

House for sale, Huelgoat, Brittany France - jenny and john in France
bedroom in main part of the house

House for sale, Huelgoat, Brittany France - jenny and john in France
main family bathroom

House for sale, Huelgoat, Brittany France - jenny and john in France
stairs in main house
House for sale, Huelgoat, Brittany France - jenny and john in France
area in front of little house (inside garage)

House for sale, Huelgoat, Brittany France - jenny and john in France
patio garden

House for sale, Huelgoat, Brittany France - jenny and john in France
garage and patio garden

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)
Huelgoat, Brittany France - jenny and john in France

Huelgoat, Brittany France - jenny and john in France

Huelgoat, Brittany France - jenny and john in France

Huelgoat, Brittany France - jenny and john in France

Locquirec, Brittany France - jenny and john in France
Locquirec approx 40 mins away

Locquirec, Brittany France - jenny and john in France
Locquirec approx 40 mins away



Monday, 10 July 2017

Renovation project - Visiting a doctor in the UK

Renovation project - Visiting a doctor in the UK
picture courtesy of http://kidshealth.org/en/kids/going-to-dr.html
I am really enjoying spending time with my baby granddaughter, she is growing up so quickly and I get to spend a few days staying with her, but one morning I wake with a sore throat. I try not to let it bother me but within a few days I feel like I have swallowed a pint of broken glass.
I actually have no idea what it feels like to swallow broken glass, but I think it is a safe bet to say it feels like I do at the moment. My head is banging and my face feels like it has been hit by a base ball bat, more than once!
I try the chemist and get a throat spray that is supposed to deaden any feeling but I am spraying constantly and it is doing nothing, my honey and lemon feels good whilst I am drinking it but nothing is helping. I have no choice I will have to visit the doctor.
This is something I have always dreaded during a visit to the UK, the need for medical treatment, we never take holiday insurance for a visit to the UK as we have our EHIC card for emergency treatment, and to be honest at the moment this is an emergency.
I remember when I lived in this part of the UK, years ago getting an appointment was horrendous, and we hear how difficult it is for people who live here. But I try the surgery that my parents use and I can have an appointment today. I explain that I am from France and only visiting so they ask me to come in a few minutes earlier to complete some forms.
I arrive and complete the forms, and ask how I pay, the staff do not know and don’t think there is a payment due, but they have all my details so no problem, they do not even want copies of my EHIC or my French medical cards.
I see the doctor who is so friendly and nice, and get a prescription for some anti biotics. These I have to pay for and, WOW! How expensive is a prescription!!!!
The following day I start to feel a little better, I realise just how much pain I have been in.
I am still happily surprised at how easy it was too access medical care in the UK and wonder if this will continue and how different it is to France where you need ID and payment up front for a doctor’s visit. But I definitely cannot complain about my recent connection with the NHS, but maybe this was just one doctor’s surgery that is friendly and efficient.

Hopefully I will be recovered when we get the ferry home in a few days time.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Renovation project - Decision made

Renovation project - Decision made
picture courtesy of  http://sandislament.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/decision-made-next-steps-cancer-update.html
The decision has been made we are going to go back to the UK and give notice to our tenants, this is so difficult, they see the house as their home, they have got married and had a family in the house and we are going to put an end to it, I feel like an ogre! But this is the reality of Brexit, something that many people did not and still do not realise. I’m sure our tenants never thought the outcome of Brexit was going to be them losing their home in the UK, but needs must.
This is not something I could do over the phone, so we arrange to visit them, but the children have chicken pox, we cannot risk getting the germs and then visiting family, so we have come over to the UK and still end up having to Skype.
We eventually get to visit and explain our decision fully. IT is one of the most emotional visits I have ever had, it also feels very strange being in my old house, this was my life before John, this was the last home that my daughter lived in before she grew up. There are so many memories here from a very different life.
But life changes, things move on and we want to live in Portugal so the decision is out of our hands.
We will have up to ten weeks to wait for our house,
We decide to make the most of a bad situation and spend some time in the UK with family. It is so nice to see everybody again.
But it does not take long for reference requests to come through for our old tenants, we have to decide if we are going to stay in the UK while they move or go back to France and return later.

The tenants find a new property and the moving date is a few weeks away, it is not realistic to stay  until they move out as we have viewings booked in on the French house, so we book a ferry and get to enjoy some family time, 

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Renovation project - Difficult times

Renovation project - Difficult times
picture courtesy of
http://www.lovethispic.com/image/163039/when-you-face-difficult-times
Hi everybody, sorry for the disappearance and I hope you are all still here and ready to join me again.
We had not intended to stop writing but so much has happened over the last few weeks, that I just have not had the time and to be totally honest I also did not have the inclination most days. This blog has never been political but today I have no choice, we are not doing too well. As you are aware we have always completed our adventures and projects on a budget, we do not have big contingency funds for just in case, and at the moment we are at a just in case situation.
The house has not sold, this we cannot believe and I have spoken to the estate agents who have each said that since Brexit the sales in this area have plummeted.
Brexit has affected so many of us in France in such a bad way, mainly the uncertainty, but for some friends who rely on an income from the UK, that income has dropped dramatically. But this is not a sob story, it is as I said the realities of selling up and moving to another country and this is a reality, things happen outside of your control and there is not a lot you can do about it.
We have a couple of options:
1.    We can do what we had planned to do and actually work from our house, there is the opportunity to make a great income from renting out one half of the house, this means we could stay in France, we will have our five years when Brexit hits so will be entitled to apply for permanent residency with no problems.
2.    We still have a house in the UK that we rent out, we had always intended for this to be our pension (I’m pretty sure that with all the changes with the UK state pension we will both need to be dead before we can claim that) but we can go to the UK and sell it, it would mean giving our tenants notice which I feel so terrible about as they have lived in the house for years. 
But
We really want to go to Portugal and now we want to get there before Brexit hits so that we can be up and running and making an income so that we will be entitled to stay there. The whole thing is such a stressful mess and we have to make a decision soon as we are now running out of money, not a oh heck we are a bit short till we get paid but a big oh hell there is nothing left!
We really love where we are but we had always intended to travel to other countries before deciding where to settle for good, but now the time frame has been taken away from us, we have no choice, we have to sell the UK house. Luckily that is in an area that has very fast moving property, but not an expensive area, but more than enough to buy what we want in Portugal.

So as you can see and understand we have been hectic, we are now a lot more settled so I have the time to start to blog again, I hope you have the time to join us again.