I went back to the UK this week for a few days, I flew from Bergerac airport. The airport is only about an hour and 10 mins away from The Farmhouse and its a nice easy ride through the countryside. Once in the Dordogne you pass the vineyards of the famous Bergerac wines. Monbazillac Chateaux, home of the surprisingly named "Monbazillac wine" is not far from the airport. Here there is a beautiful castle to discover, wine tasting and contemporay art exhibitions. Perhaps worth a stop en-route.

Yesterday I flew back from Stansted, which is an airport that has grown on me. This is mainly due, I must admit to the "Escape Lounge" which I like to frequent when I am at this airport. Anyone who knows me understands how I love a good airport lounge, though opportunity is usually left to the vain hope of an upgrade! Access to this lounge is granted because of our bank account, which gives us six free passes, you can of course pay and I think it would be worth it.

As I left the lounge for my flight, I shared the lift with two other ladies who were coincidentally also going to Bergerac, they had only just met too! We marched our way to the departure gate, it was a bit of a jaunt, then we joined the lengthy queue to board the aircraft. I know now more than ever we are not unique or even rare to have or renovate a place in France. If the people I spoke to yesterday are a cross section of the people on the plane, then there are lots of us living the Franglais life, traveling back and forth between these two countries. Blonde lady was only able to stay in France for a couple of days and was going to check out her partners progress at their house. She had to get back to meet the italian designer of a glass desk that was arriving from Italy. Brunette lady was returning to France after a trip to see her son, she and her husband had been developing their house for a while. The three of us stood sharing our stories until the seating arrangements of the aircraft sent us on our separate ways.

Delighted to get an isle seat, I settled down next to two other ladies, lone travellers too. Perhaps it's women travelling alone, but they too, were ready for a good natter and the flight flew by. Window seat lady was going to visit her son and family for the twins birthday and middle seat lady was on her way home to France after helping her daughter move into her new home. She had lived in France for twenty years and was a fluent french speaker (this always impresses me). The three top tips that I can share from this encounter are: Number one,  a mixture of frankinsence essential oil (1/2 teaspoon) and almond oil (1 tablespoon) massaged into the skin twice daily will help with arthritis. (I have not tried this, please do your own research). Number two, "cook in" bags for chicken, pork and fish are amazing. Finally, number three, writing french words phonetically can really help with your pronunciation. A case in point, I have a lot of trouble remembering how to pronounce wood burning stove (I know it's a bit obscure but believe me it's a regular word in my vocabulary). So the word is poêle à bois, it is pronounced pwal a bwa, simples!

Returning to The Farmhouse a lot has been done, the sand has gone and so has all the sandblasting equipment. Metal tracks are being put on all the beams ready for the ceiling board to fit in between and preparations for the bathrooms are underway. However in the grenier, waiting for the stairs to go in so it can be moved to the gite, is a pwal a bwa!

The grenier showing the sandblasted beams and the poêle à bois. The stove will be removed and the ceiling will have plasterboard and insulation.

 

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