Now what? Life in rural Ariege

Burblings about adjusting to life in the deep south west of France or "la France profonde" as they call it here and the challenges of restoring a ramshackle collection of tumbledown buildings. I mainly write about local festivals, events and celebrations and, most of all, the weekly ritual of combing vide greniers and brocantes for pre-loved vintage treasures.

12 September 2011

The connection is made

Work on our rather ambitious restoration project began one day before I boarded a plane bound for the UK in June. I was away for 70 days and during this time the project has surged ahead. Jeff had kept me up to date on progress but I couldn't wait to get up to site to see it all for myself.

I must confess that I found it difficult to enthuse about the deep trenches filled with concrete, foundations and footings but the one piece of work that made my heart beat a little faster was the opening between the "gite" and the "stone house".

Before I go any further I should explain the names. The "gite" is so named because it had outline planning permission to be converted into a gite (holiday accommodation). We have subsequently decided to incorporate it into our future home and it will house a workshop (ground floor), a fabulous bathroom with separate toilet (very French), an office and a mezzanine area. The "stone house" is the original old house and the middle building of our three.


Meet our builders, Gareth (left) and Paul (right) looking rightly proud after making the first opening in the stone.

The reason I got so excited about the raggedy hole in the stone between the gite and the stone house was simply because until now these two buildings had been totally separate with no connection. But now it is possible to look through the "doorway" from the gite, across the stone house, and into the new barn. At last these buildings are connected.

This photo is taken from the gite. I can stand here and can actually really visualise for the first time how the layout of the houses will relate to each other and how we will eventually be able to live here.

I can hardly wait!

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