Our first foray together was to the south of France (Le Cap d’Agde) which was a bit like a holiday camp with sunshine. We escaped for one day and drove around the Camargue where we saw loads of wildlife and especially birds of prey. We didn’t know the Hawk Conservancy Trust then so we were suitably non impressed. Anyway, I digress (my favourite pastime)
Once the children were old enough to look after themselves, we went to France again for Keith’s birthday (he couldn’t decide what he wanted as a present so he got a surprise – 5 days in a tent in France) We looked at the map on the ferry going to Calais and just drove until we stopped at a little place in the Burgundy region called Château-Chinon where François Mitterand used to be Mayor. This was in the Morvan National Park and the scenery was wonderful. That’s where we started our search many years later.
We always thought that Burgundy was the region to be in – all that wine and good food so we began looking for our “dream” home. Well, you know how things don’t quite go according to plan?
When we started looking we thought our budget was much smaller that it actually ended up being and as the search began it became apparent that we had enough budget to look a little further south. We tried all sorts of areas and were given lots of advice on where we should settle but after many house hunting trips we eventually landed in the Auvergne. I can’t believe I’m saying it now but, I was dreading another trip to France looking at houses. I can’t tell you what a chore it is coming to this wonderful country – meeting estate agents and looking at about 4 or 5 houses a day and let me tell you, some of them were pretty grim.
Almost at the point of giving up until after Christmas, we had one more look on t’internet and selected another batch. If you look at the pictures of our house on the main site, it looked a bit tatty on the website to say the least and we very nearly discarded it as a non starter then we looked at the second picture of the stonework just inside the front door and decided to take a further look.
We looked first at a house that was a very strong contender on paper. When we went to look at it it had been snowing and the view from the house looked straight across to the Puy de Dôme and it was stunning. If willing it would make it so, I would have willed the house to be bigger and in better condition and all would be well but, alas it wasn’t to be – everything about the location was wonderful but everything about the house was just wrong, (it only got a 5 out of 10) so…
The next house was the one in Terjat, the one we called “The Electrician’s House” because, strangely enough that was what it was! I think I have the houses in the right order?? they all blurred into each other and I had to start writing things in a notepad just to keep a handle on everything. This house was very good in terms of rooms etc and was in good condition but the location was wrong and I was still reeling from the other house – you know, the one with the view.
After one other disastrous viewing – a bright blue house in a village with lots of work to do on it we arrived at Beaugut. The view was different from, but every bit as good as the other one. The house looked a bit “shabby” on the outside but… when we went inside – we were sold but then you know the rest, all we had to do was move in but, that’s for another time.