On our third night in Blois, we finally had a barbecue with our Barbecook, which is a story in itself. When we were married nearly 14 years ago, it was a second marriage for both of us and we each had two children so finding an appropriate date was not easy, let alone having a honeymoon as well! We did manage an overnight stay in Honfleur though and visited Bayeux next day. And we found our barbecue! Not very romantic you might say, but it’s a wonderful barbecue (and don’t forget I’m Australian). It operates on a really neat system. You put newspaper in the cyclindrical part, then the charcoal on the fire grille, on top of which there is another grill for the meat. You light the barbecue with a match through a hole near the red knob halfway down the cylinder which is used to adjust the air flow (and therefore the heat). It’s really very clever and you don’t need any « starters ». Even I can light it (not that I ever do!).
You may remember that to send my last post, we intended to go to Le Penalty, which turned out to be closed on Mondays as luck would have it. But Relationnel had the wonderful idea of parking outside and seeing if there was a connection. It worked! Unfortunately, Le Penalty is located on one side of a roundabout where you obviously aren’t supposed to park so he had to keep a watch-out for the police. Then of course, my battery was running low but Relationnel has a transformer in the car so I was able to recharge the laptop provided we kept the engine running. Not very environment-friendly I’m afraid.
But apart from the Internet connection, we are slowly getting things up and running. The kitchen furniture is all in place and part of the decoration is finished. When we have breakfast, we can watch all the birds that come to eat the seeds left by the previous owners. I’m a newcomer to bird feeding/watching. It seems you should only put out seeds and fat during the cold months. Otherwise the birds get lazy. There is a pair of blue tits who have built a nest in the tree just outside the window that we love watching.
The next room that is almost finished is the downstairs bedroom where we’re sleeping at the moment because we haven’t attacked the fireplace in the upstairs bedroom yet. I thought I had found a miracle product but unfortunately it doesn’t work. Relationnel put up the wardrobe today but initially found he couldn’t finish it because the hinge things were missing. Fortunately he realised later that he just wasn’t familiar with the system. We also cleaned the rug. Obviously one spray can was not enough so I had to go back to Carrefour and get some more.
I didn’t really mind because, although it’s about 6 km away, you drive through a lovely forest mysteriously called Route du Rain de la Forêt to get there. The leaves are all tender green. And the people in Carrefour are unbelievably friendly. While I was waiting for the butcher to come, the fishmonger came and asked me if I was being served then went off and found the butcher. When I was searching the shelves for the carpet shampoo, a shelf stacker actually asked me if he could help! At the checkout, when I said I hadn’t found the nutcrackers, the lady went and looked for them. They didn’t have any after all, but she came back with a smile. This is definitely not the service I’m used to in Monoprix on avenue de l’Opéra.
I can tell already that I’m going to love living in Blois.