Blois, Here We Come!!

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I feel like I’m in a sort of limbo at the moment – on the verge of a great new adventure that I can hardly believe is about to become a reality. In just two days’ time, we will have the keys to our late 16th century Renaissance home in Blois. At last we will see it without furniture (well, practically) or decoration (almost). So difficult to imagine.

The previous owners are moving to a slightly smaller and much more modern home so they unfortunately won’t be able to take all their furniture with them. So we are going to inherit (for a pittance) some original pieces such as a dresser with a built-in clock, a maie in which flour used to be kneaded, various utensils connected with our bread oven, a Henri II sideboard and an art deco bedroom suite.

In the meantime, we are making various preparations. To divide the house in two for rental, Relationnel has devised a separation consisting of a series of door panels (photos later!) and we have bought a trailer for which he has made a réhausse to increase the height of the sides. We lost the panels on the highway last time we were in Blois, nearly causing an accident, because it wasn’t secured properly. Very scary. The new system, however, can’t possibly get away!

I have been sorting through cupboards in the apartment to find anything we aren’t using here that might be useful in Blois. Need I tell you that I am amazed at what I’m finding. It’s also giving me the opportunity to throw out things I know we’ll never use again. One of the things I’m getting rid of is my Encyclopaedia Britannica, bought on credit in 1975 when I started freelancing as a translator. Who could have imagined then that those twenty or so volumes, not to mention the Year Books, would be replaced by just one CD-Rom?

All the moving and throwing out is going to give us extra space for our home exchanges as well as I won’t have to play musical shelves to provide room for our exchangers to put their belongings. I’m going to make sure I leave all the top shelves free so that I just have to move our things up from the bottom shelves before we leave each time. It’ll make them easier to find as well. After our Madrid exchange, it took me a while to remember where I’d put things!

Yesterday, we continued our purchases through the second hand site,, with a new 44-piece porcelain dinnerware set for only 15 euros. We’re waiting until we’re in Blois to buy the rest as we’re running out of trailer space and time! We did go to Leroy Merlin though to buy an amazing array of power tools. One of our first tasks, before we move into the main bedroom, is to clean the very sooty fireplace. It seems we’ll be donning masks, hoods and boiler suits and enclosing ourselves in a PVC tent to do the job. I’ll post photos!

So, bear with me for the next few days. We’re supposed to have an internet connection but I imagine things will be quite chaotic for the first few days. I may not be posting as often.

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15 thoughts on “Blois, Here We Come!!”

  1. All the very best for your big ‘take over’! Its always hard work but so worth it. We purchased a little run down house in Stanthorpe Qld a few years back…Lots of travel and work.each weekend for 6 months , .but had sooooo much fun fixing it up to look pretty for weekenders (and me!) Not ours anymore..I just hope who ever is living there is enjoying it 🙂 Thanks for weight loss tips 😉 Amities Jill

    1. Thanks Jill! I’m sure whoever is in your Stanthorpe house appreciates your TLC. I know that we are delighted with the way in which the previous owners renovated the house. I am sad for them they had to leave it (too much maintenance on a small pension) but they are pleased we bought it because we appreciate it!

  2. Dear Fraussie
    Good luck with it all! Amazed that you’re going to tackle the fireplace cleaning yourselves! It looks a very difficult job, there’s probably a century or more of charcoal and soot in there. But from the photos it’s a beautiful house that you will love living in, so all the hard work will be worth it in the end. Just don’t work too hard and do be careful not to hurt your backs with all the moving. Will follow the before and after pics.
    Best wishes.

    1. Thanks Pamela. I think the fireplace cleaning will be fastidious more than difficult. Relationnel discussed it all with the guy at Leroy Merlin and I asked whether the tool (meule) would be light enough for me and he didn’t seem shocked that I was going to be helping. I’m taking my back support belt with me and making sure I wear it whenever there is any risk of damaging my back (I’ve done that before!). Tell me, where are you from in Australia?

      1. Good to hear you’re going to take care of your back! It’s so easy to overdo things when you’re moving furniture around and renovating. In answer to your question, we’ve lived happily in Canberra for many years now, but my husband and I have also spent around 10 years at different times living overseas. We love to travel and will be in Europe again later this month for a long holiday, spending the last three weeks of June in Paris (our favourite city). Best wishes.

  3. Very exciting! Looks like you have inherited some amazing furniture. Good luck with cleaning the fireplace!

  4. This all sounds very exciting amd I’m looking forward to seeing the photos as well as the final product in August!
    Can’t wait.
    Enjoy the buzz!

  5. I am so excited for you and Relationnel. I feel like I am moving with you to Blois and I am sure other readers feel likewise. I am looking forward to ‘our’ Blois weekends until we all move in with you in a couple of years time. I bet you’re glad we are only virtual guests. It could become crowded otherwise.

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