In the last few weeks, I feel I’ve hardly had time to breathe, step back and take in what we’ve achieved. Since arriving in France in early April we’ve accomplished so many things, although it hasn’t always felt that way. A month after arriving we were back at the notaires in Lamalou-les-Bains to sign the final documents. After 45 minutes of going through the paperwork, along with the notaire, our lovely estate agent and interpreter, our little house in the Haut-Languedoc was finally, officially ours. Getting to this momentous stage has been a long and stressful journey. But the journey hasn’t finished, it’s only just begun.
We our keys in our hands we unlocked the door for the first time as owners; it was a wonderful feeling. Without the furniture, our little place felt a little bigger. Opening the windows and the shutters, we let fresh air and light flood into what has been a neglected and unloved house for far too long.
Our visits to the house are so far only short as we are temporarily living some distance away. The more I visit, the more I don’t want to leave. A day of sweeping and cleaning has made the empty interior already feel more loved and welcoming. Another day in the garden hacking down waist high grass has revealed some of what lies beneath and what potential the land offers. A morning clearing and planting the overgrown stone containers with some bedding plants has cheered the place up no end. And finally, the simplest of tasks, cleaning the boîte aux lettres and attaching our name plate. All small accomplishments, but each small step is taking us further on our journey.
Selecting a builder, connecting the electricity, getting French mobiles and trading in our much loved right-hand drive car for a left hand-drive one are further steps now under our belts. We are under no illusion that this will be a simple, untroubled journey in the coming months, but it is one, because of the house and village that we’ve fallen in love with, we are prepared to take.