Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Ryanair and wild boars

Our 2nd trip to the new house in France has enabled me to feel much more "at home"...and already some of my anxieties about not being settled in either home have faded.

The ease of the journey between homes has helped, and I never expected to be declaring Ryanair to be so good. I keep hearing horror stories, of stranded poorly treated ripped off travellers and await the first time we have a bad experience....but so far.....the company can't be faulted.

Early morning fog in Carcassonne meant our flight had to be diverted to Perpignan....Carcassonne hasn't got the facility required to enable planes to land unsighted. The air crew assurred passengers that buses would be available to take us all back to Carcassonne, and they were. All was well organised, the bus journey from Perpignan to Carcassonne was delightful, and all passengers arrived where they should have been, just a couple of hours later than expected.....and just as the fog lifted to display a beautiful clear warm winter's day.  Basically, whilst the weather is not under Michael O'Leary's control, everything he was responsible for worked perfectly.

The house looked amazing as we approached it.... some of the pine trees and gorse that I  had wanted removed, to give the almond, olive,  and oak trees more space, had gone....so the view from our terrace over the village was even more spectacular than 5 weeks ago.

We turned on the electricity, the gas, the water.... and amazingly ( or at least to me) the TV, the phone and the internet all worked perfectly, immediately. I was expecting all sorts of difficulties.... but we were there, in our own little bit of paradise, and connected to the outside world.

We did all sorts of practical things this time..... put curtains up, delighted to discover an ancient pair from at least 2 houses ago, were perfect for the living room.....bought some decent secateurs to replace the rubbish supermarket ones I bought last time, and made a soul destroying trip to Ikea in Montpelier. We vowed never to go again, but I always say that ... I just hope that this time, I never have the urge to buy something with an interesting Swedish name again. I have to say it is the only place I was able to find measuring spoons !
Curtain framed door to the terrace

New garden tools

We organised logs for the fire.....

and learned that the log burning stove is easy to work, and very very efficient.....it also made our French home look just like Abraham's barn, where we used to live in Mankinholes, before all the selling and buying of new places to live that 2011 has involved.

We did some exploring, went to Citou, a couple of local walks, into Carcassonne, the much maligned Montpelier trip... which was beautiful, apart from the 2 hours in Ikea, Mark played golf a couple of times, we entertained our first dinner guest, I baked a cake, and played in the garden.

The walk into the village

One of the gorgeous Caunes marble statues in the village

We discovered that we had a night visitor....le sanglier.....The hills behind our house, are inhabited by all sorts of wild life..... and we now know, quite clearly, that there are wild boar there. We heard noises one evening, but couldn't see anything, but found irrefutable evidence of snuffling rooting snouts, under the tree where we had hung bird food. When a local gardnener told me that from what he could see near our grape vines, there had been "pigs" in the garden, I thought he meant that the previous owners had kept pigs, which seemed pretty unlikley... but no.... he meant.... we get visitors.....les sangliers..... so I am very excited at the prospect of coming face to face with one at some stage. I did get up at dawn one morning, just to have alook around, just in case one was still rooting around. No luck with les sangliers, but a fabulous dawn all the same.          

So all in all.... yes, this is  already home, just need a few more pictures of the kids around the place.......so that's the next job.