The day I returned to France again, was the same day we were expecting Becky and the children to arrive. I was due in the morning, and they were due to arrive late the same evening ! Not great planning, but just the way things panned out. The main difference this time with their visit, is that they were driving, and that they were all coming, all four of them. They were travelling from Euro Disney to stay with us for a few days, and both Craig and I were very excited.
It was all very hectic, as I am always quite tired after several weeks away, and the journey home, but we had to get on the case as soon as I landed so to speak ! Shopping, unpacking and general catching up. As we were unsure how long it would take the Sumner crew to drive and what time they would be leaving Paris, I had decided that I would have an early night, and catch a few hours before they arrived, but we had a message during the early evening to say they were an hour away, and that the children had slept in the car, and were awake again ! No early night for me tonight then !!!
Craig had been on a tight schedule while I was away. His plan was to convert the attic space into a bedroom for the family to sleep in. After such a hard time knocking through the wall downstairs, he was tired to start with, which didn't help. Also, he had to carry many sheets of plaster board up two flights of stairs ON HIS OWN ! I had helped on the day I left for the UK, by helping him carry 20+ sheets inside, and left them on the kitchen floor. That was the sole input that I had with the work !
It went from this....
which was quite a while ago (so despite our promises to ourselves, was full of boxes and all sorts that we had just moved 'out of the way' upstairs)......to this..............
I was thrilled to see the room with furniture in - bed, two chests of drawers etc etc. It looked great. Craig was disappointed that he hadn't managed to get it painted and completely finished, but I was, and am, very proud of his achievements.
One very big problem, as a result of this, was that Craig hurt his back. After all the physical work involved, all the carrying of plaster board up the stairs, and the furniture too, his back went while carrying a mattress up the final flight. I think it was the last straw, and it put him out of action for several weeks, and put us out of schedule for the finishing push on the house.
There was a bonus, as it made Craig slow down, and gave the rest of his body a chance to recover from the strain put on it. He even managed a daytime nap with his little grandson....
Of course, we had a lovely few days with the family, and it wasn't all play time of course.........
There are always chores to do !
But you can always make time for little people eh ?
The weather was kind to us, and we even managed the obligatory trip to the beach, and discovered that Henry still hasn't mastered eating an ice cream without making a meal of it !
All too soon, their visit was at an end, and we were left to clear up, and store those happy memories. They are hoping to visit again in the Summer - unless of course, we have sold up by then !! That is wishful thinking though !
The remainder of my time at home this month was spent at a quieter pace. Craig's back was playing him up, so he pottered as far as the pain would allow him. Some days were better than others, but then he paid the price if he did too much. A bit of a vicious circle really - if he sat down for too long he was in trouble, but if he did too much, he couldn't move later either.
This incident has made us all the more determined to finish and get the house marketed. When I am away, Craig is so vulnerable if he is sick. He cannot go far from the hamlet, but still has to complete the day to day chores, however he is feeling. Time to be nearer to family. I would love to be able to take the house back to the UK with us - all the time and effort that Craig has put into it. It is lovely, homely, and ours !!!
Maybe you know someone who is interested in a new life in France - a new adventure maybe ? Someone who wants some land to become self sufficient ? Someone who wants a tranquil time, with space for the children to roam around, or plenty of room for grandchildren to visit ? Maybe you want to set up a Glamping Site ? Have a think, and let us know !