Two weeks ago, on monday the 21st of January, we got the house.
On the first evening Aya was still with her grandparents. She stayed with them in Denmark for two weeks after New Years. They were on the way to France and would join us in the house the next day. The three of us went to the village to buy some groceries and when we drove back in the dark, uphill from Bargemon, we reached our gate and drove up the narrow, foresty road to the house. For the first time we had it all to ourselves. All alone under the stars we cheered and howled as wolves. It felt great. Never have I looked so much forward to a thing and actually felt truly happy when the moment arrived. It was huge.
Now we’re setteling in and trying to build an everydaylife which looks pretty different every day. The kids started school in Bargemon last week, so it’s all new, but they’re doing really well. Eddie actually seems to be happy and accepted it from the beginning, whereas Aya had more difficulties having to leave her friends in the old school and start over. It will probably go back and forth for both of them along the way. Luckily the staff is sweet and they seem less strict than in Seillans. We can actually enter the school if needed. We’re trying to give them (and us) a slow start but we will soon be busy renovating the house, doing marketing, finding furniture, meeting locals, planing group travels and lots more and then we will need more than three hours working time.
As for the house we’re busy talking to plumbers, carpenters, masons, painters and air-con specialists. After several talks and offers we’re getting an idea of where we wanna go and who we trust going there with. It is foremost a question of professionalism and trustworthiness. Parallel it’s a question of economy and budgets. But in the end it’s really difficult to compare offers, when you don’t know exactly how they’re going to solve the challenges, if they do it good and if they have all you thought they had included in the offer. Second my French is pretty challenged talking renovation. But I’ve learned a lot of new words. Since Teis doesn’t speak French it’s difficult to share the job. We’ve talked to some English-Speaking builders and it’s definitely a benefit if Teis can talk to the builders since he will help out with the physical work, whereas I have other tasks to do.
The plan is to start building end of February and throughout March and April. We will build two new rooms with attached bathrooms, change the septic, paint everything and then there’s a lot of smaller renovation work to shine everything up. We decided to concentrate on one building and then in time we’ll see how we can optimize and renovate the old ‘bergerie’ building.
I try to hold on to the feeling of how amazing it was to take over the house and wake up in these surroundings every day. It is so beautiful. It’s hard to believe this is our home. We’ve been searching for a house in Provence since July 2017. A year and half later we’re here. More milestones will come. But this is a big one.