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July 2006

One down

It is with bleary eyes as I write this post.

Our firsts guests left this morning at 5.30 for the 2 hour drive to Bordeaux to catch their flight to London. A very successful week I think for us as Gite landlords and our guests as the pioneers.

They have left a few pointers for us as feedback like hooks in the bathroom & fruit bowl for example.

We are now about to do a changeover run (although the next guests are not due for 2 weeks) to see what it is like. Mind you the place seems as tidy as when we opened the doors for the first time so it looks pretty routine this time around.

I have just services the pool and now its back to do some other jobs and get into the routine again.

Clos d'Yvigne

We have had an amazing 17,845 hits on our website now since we moved over to the Google Typepad.

A fantastic marketing tool for advertising your business.  Our site has enabled us to maintain coverage and exposure to what we are doing here. We know from the feedback that there are lots of people who are planning or even in the process of doing what we have done and many of the hits we get are a direct result of their on line searches.

For instance, do a Google using the word airflex insulation and we nearly always come within the top 10 results.

Why the title of this post as clos d'yvigne you ask? Well we covered the story of Patricia Atkinson and her amazing story on Perigordvacance and significantly we get a huge number of people worldwide who visit our site as a direct result of searching using that criteria.

St Foy La Grande, a nice day out

St_foy_le_grandI think we have the best of both worlds.

This week we have our very first let and our guests are long term friends. We have used it as an opportunity to have a complete break ourselves. Plenty of eating and some wine tasting too and of course generally relaxing.

A visit to St Foy la Grande yesterday was extremely pleasant and a meal in one of the arcades made for a very peaceful day.

The whole town is strewn with colourful decorations for what seemed like a whole summer of fet├ęs and activities.

Continue reading "St Foy La Grande, a nice day out" »

A Big Thanks

Thank you everyone who has sent us their best wishes for yesterday. We made it in the end by the skin of our teeth and now we are set for a long break.

Dont worry, I hope to continue writing the blog and I am sure there will be some howlers we have yet to perform that are worth reporting on:)

Time for lunch and maybe even a small glass of wine too.


I am pleased to say that Miel seems to be hanging in. Whilst there is inflamation and sores these have not weeped or opened in any way. He is eating and drinking well too.

We put drops in his eyes daily but there is little else we can do but monitor and hope.

We've done it

Rodders, we've bloomin done it!

Yesterday started quite slowly and not that early considering there were none of the main furnishings in the Pigeonaire or curtain poles or blinds or bed linen Oh and lamps or light bulbs or towels or..................get the picture?

The outside was still in need of attention. At 8 am the lorry carrying the gravel for the terrace and general titivation arrived and was plonked outside the front door of the gite.

Thierry, the carpenter who made some of the windows arrived with fresh croissants and we sat under the lime tree with orange juice and coffee. We are to work together in 3 weeks or so. Firstly he is going to bring some tooling which will fit my Kity to make a front door and in return I am going to do some plastering and tiling in his house.

Thierry said goodbye and left us to our work and we set about reaching our 7pm goal. By 12 midday we felt comfortable but every job that needed doing seemed to bring another and a minute ticked by quickly. That minute soon joined with 59 others and bingo off trots another hour.

Lunch was made by Henners and Fleur and eaten on the hoof. we didn't even have a cup of tea.

By 3pm we looked at the clock constantly. We knew our guests were now in the air en route. What we thought was a relatively  easy target was stretching our resources. The kids were phenomenal and we were quite a unit. Henners worked solidly and was revelling we think in the pressure, excitement and anticipation. After all, this project has not been a run of the mill renovation and he had gone through a lot more than us to get to this stage.

7pm on D-Day, the target was rushing towards us and we were far from finished.

Henners and I turned our attentions to the outside and began spreading the gravel. 8 tonnes of it. Not the kind of job you wanted to start so late in the day in 36 degrees of heat when you are exhausted and dehydrated but we had to. Mind you, lets not make it sound too prissy! I had a digger to load and level and the telescopic to move it. The raking and shovelling was hand work though.

Donna made the beds and hung the curtains and filled the shelves. Her efforts were now coming to fruition. The whole vision was becoming a home.

7.30pm, our guests had still not arrived and we were happy with the extra time. The plan had been to be showered and changed and maybe even a swim before hand but it was not to be.

We had just finished the terrace and at 7.38pm,  honk! honk! came the greeting of the little grey car coming up the track. A fog of dust from the track swirled behind . Time had run out, it was over.

We were now quite forcibly 'OPEN FOR BUSINESS'

We greeted our friends and guests and the children took up where they left off 2 years ago as we awaited the house sale in England.

I looked at Donna and Henners, the two stars of the day sweating, dirty and visibly tired and with great pride felt contented and victorious.

Time for a well earned beer and a swim and 2 weeks break.

The big day

Well, it had to come! We are now just hours away from opening the doors for the first time.

7pm is the anticipated arrival time of our guests.

Yesterday I put the tiles on the pool house dry because there was very little time to cement them on. Still they look good and the house looks very pretty and traditional against the countryside.Pool_house_00322222 Today a few finishing touches like curtain poles and pictures and gravelling the terrace and pathway to the pool etc.

Maybe if theres time cut some grass and generally making the place homely.

Back to work we go!