John’s blog resumes after a very long layoff.
Janelle and I came over in april this year. I decided that I would keep a notebook with me at all times so that I would have lots of interesting materials for the blog including observations on the French way of life. From these notes and observations I would produce the blog about once a week , sitting in our delightful courtyard under the olive tree.
By the end of two weeks I was totally behind and my good intentions were in tatters!
So I thought I’ll do a deep and meaningful summary blog when I get home.
That didn’t happen either.
But in august I went to America to try and sell an old car ( successful ) and I did a blog nearly every day. So I’m quite conditioned .I know that I just have to set time aside each day or two and just do it!
So here goes–
First a bit of general stuff before we get on to this trip.
This year has been our first full year of renting the house. We have had guests in the house for the best part of four months. They were either people we knew or people who saw our ad. On the VRBO site. We had one lot of guests from Air bnb. Never again.!
The house has been really well treated by our guests and for that we are very grateful.
We have a Visitor’s Book full of compliments ( except for one guest who didn’t like the swallows). So our decision to rent and to trust people with our lovely things in the house has been vindicated , we think.
When we bought the house we opened a bank account with Credit Agricole, about which I have written. We get at least a letter a week from them in Australia– in French. This is despite the fact that they have a whole department in Nimes devoted to expats. Each time they communicate in French I ask them to do English. No response. But a couple of weeks ago we got something in English — a very carefully and cleverly worded letter asking us to provide some very personal and private information so that they could better advise us how to minimise our French taxes. I was nearly overcome by their concern for our interests. In English ,too!
Since we bought the house here I have been importing wine into Australia. I love the wines of the South. The flavours are quite familiar to our palates and the wines for the most part are very well priced. I have been importing them a pallet (56 dozen) at a time. Two of the wines are on the lists of two of Melbourne’s best restaurants , so we must be doing something right.
When we were last here Janelle got very excited by some linen dresses she found ,as well as some Belgian linen cloth which she wants to use to make cushions. From this has sprung the idea to set up a business in Australia called Our French House. There will be a shop at Bunyip and we will expand this site into an e- commerce site to sell what we bring in. We hope to have it up and running in the new year. Stay tuned.
Next year we already have a number of bookings. We are booked for 3 weeks in May, a week in July, 3 weeks in September, all of October and a week in November.
Having sold my beautiful Sunbeam in America I am looking to buy a car to keep in France. This should provide some interesting material for the blog