I don’t know where this week has gone. Life is very different for us in France but it still seems to pass very quickly – more so now, during high season, when we are full and Stable, our chambre d’hôte, is changing over regularly.
As last week, the principal activity has been continuing to cut the hedges – and I’m still not done! I have managed to hack back a couple of hedges that we hadn’t managed to cut at all last year while I was focussed on the garage. I am getting quite concerned that, when all of the hedges we have planted have grown to the point that they require cutting it will be weeks of work! Hopefully however, by then our major projects will be completed and it will only be maintenance required ….
It is encouraging that, where we have cut the hedges regularly, they are starting to thicken out and make a decent boundary. The laurel we cut back to the ground in 2016 has also started to look really good – although there are a few gaps which will take a little longer to fill.
It is taking a little longer to finish all the hedges than it should as I try not to make too much noise in the mornings when we have guests staying and relaxing on holiday so I generally don’t start the hedge cutters until gone 10. Conscious that most people reading this will probably be in the office, or at least commuting, many hours before this please don’t think 10 a.m. is the start of our day!
While Dave is chef for our 3 course meals, I am responsible for breakfasts (as long as there are poached eggs or hollandaise sauce to be made when Dave takes over again!) With Stable proving very popular there are lots of breakfasts to be made and delivered; vast amounts of laundry to be hung out to dry; and dogs to be exercised there is generally lots of things to be done before 10. I did say that our lives are very different here!
Last week I mentioned that we would likely be making a short, Brexit related, visit to Quimper, because, even though the UK referendum was over 2 years ago, there is still uncertainty about the status of UK citizens in France. Unlike other EU members, France never required other EU citizens to register when they first move here so there is no official record of when we arrived. We have no concerns that we will be deported but we would like some certainty about how we will be envisaged by the French state.
The only recommendation about how to do this is to apply for a Carte de Sejour (effectively a Residence Permit.) This requires an interview and, in true French bureaucratic style, creating a dossier or paperwork to prove how long we have been here and that we won’t be a drain on the French state (yet!) Last week’s meeting was just to arrange the interview which, because of the number of Brits doing the same thing now, is now booked – for late March 2019. Still, gives us plenty of time to generate the rainforest of paper that we will need.
Today has been a very relaxed day. We have had a, much needed, deluge of rain – the last one oddly was a Sunday too – so we have sheltered in the house – and our Priory guests have booked the cinema for this evening, the first guests to do so. At least this time the deluge has started to fill up our new water butts and our guests are getting use of our new accoutrements.
A couple of week’s ago we had some guests stay with us in Hayloft one of whom was a photographer and they sent us some lovely pictures of the boys. Hope you like them.
Finally, Brittany Ferries have some amazing offers for short autumn breaks in France travelling from Plymouth to Roscoff which is only 40 minutes from us. Come and see us. Or, if you can’t make it here for autumn but are already looking ahead to your summer holiday 2019, they have released their sailing times now. We’d love to see you.