Les Fragnes

Les Fragnes

Observations, a bit of history, but mainly the ups and downs of life in this brilliant but bewildering country with husband, 3 kids and an ever-growing menagerie of llamas, alpacas, goat, dog, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, turkeys, ducks, chickens and carp. Follow us as we strive to become ever more self-sufficient and expand our llama trekking and fishing holiday businesses.

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It’s the Changeover Saturday season. Let me explain for any non-gîte owners out there. Changeover Saturday is when one set of guests leave your rented accommodation and the next arrives. So it means the owners have to rush in and clean it from top to bottom - make beds, scrub loos, wash out the fridge degrease the oven, and generally sweep, dust, polish, not forgetting to cut grass and vac the swimming pool, if there is one. It’s hard work and I don’t think I’m alone in hating Changeover Saturdays. The departing guests generally leave late and the new ones arrive early so it really is all systems go in the meantime!


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I’m quite enjoying the run up to the French presidential elections, even though none of the five of us can vote in them. That situation will have changed by the next Presidentielle though. As soon as Caits turns 18 in April, I shall go to the Mairie in Nouzerines and get the paperwork going for her, Benj and me to become French nationals and thereby obtain the right to vote. Rors is still too young and Chris is happy to stay British for the time being.



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It’s minus 10 degrees C in Creuse and falling fast out there, so time for something warming.

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I was hanging the washing on the clothes airer in front of the fire the other morning, which is how I dry the clothes in winter since neither budgetary nor planetary concerns will allow me to invest in a tumble drier. I idly wondered if Carla was doing the same thing chez les Sarkozy and quickly realised that was extremely unlikely. I also imagine it’s equally unlikely that they keep just the one room warm during winter, or buy stuff from the reduced shelf in the supermarket.

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Our water bill landed in the post box with a moderate thunk this year, fortunately not as heavy a one as I’d expected. However, we’re still paying €530 euros between the two houses and pool. Of this total, almost half, €220, isn’t actually for water.


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Just over six years ago, on 13th December 2005, I arrived in France to do some final checks on Les Fragnes before we went ahead and signed the Compromis de Vente.

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The end of term was marked, as ever, by the Christmas specatcle (show) performed by the co-operative of three local schools, one of which Ruadhri, our youngest, attends. He starts at collège (secondary school) next year so this was the last one for us - no more seasonal jollity.

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I was going to blog about the forthcoming AIPB Anglo-French carol concert. This will be only its third year but it’s already become a tradition in Boussac. French people have taken to the ‘meenzpiess’, which are served up afterwards with mulled wine, with a vengeance. It was the first répétition for the concert last night. Now, répétition is one of those wily faux amis (false friends) in French ...

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I’ve done it. Best of Blog in France is finished and in ebook form. What's more it's free! It took a lot of time and effort, but I’m pleased with the results and I hope it will prove to be informative and interesting reading for anyone thinking about moving to France, or who already has.

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Gigi, the cat, has just brought another mulot into the house, and been quickly chased out. Mulot is the colloquial term round here for any sort of small country rodent.

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