final signing

The house is ours.

The house is ours!

After being obliged to wait 3 months for the land to be claimed by farmers in the area, we could finally sign a paper and shake a hand, making it ours. According to law, the surrounding farmers have first claim to agricultural land. We have 13 hectares of lovely land, including forests with old oak trees, a stream and brooks, hills and pastures, and an abundant animal life.

I had dreams of arriving at a stone house with a few outbouldings surrounding it, making it cozy and I could envision several activies going on in all of them, giving the whole place a liveliness and energy. The dream came to life when we came round the bend and fell upon  three stone buildings nestling closely together and …surprise surprise…a few smaller ones as well! I was ecstatic withmy heart racing in my chest!  That evening we put in our offer.  It was accepted and there we were. The balls were rolling.

In the meantime, we visited often, drank coffees all over the tiny villages, packed picnic baskets, bought vin de paille along the way and lazed in shady corners, just munching away and wallowing  in our dream clouds.

…picnic with vin de paille


On a cold wintry day, the hands were shaken and congratulations were in order. We stepped out Madame le notaire‘ s office, a heavy load of papers in our hands and a light load of money in the bank. Fair exchange. We were quite an audience in the office….Madame le Notaire on centre stage and all the rest of us, spread around her like members of an orchestra; those selling the land, those buying the land(us, of course), those who were the original owners, those who were going to exchange partielles of land with us, those who orignally owned the land that was going to be exchanged and those who were in charge of the process and those who saw to the correct signing of the papers and those….I can’t remember who they were…

The paperload still gets heavier…letters to be written to France Telecom, to provide us with broadband internet, letters to ask the 260 inhabitants of Puy d’Arnac permission ot buy the municipal road that runs through our property, through our house to be exact. Not that the road can be seen with the eye, or has ever been used, but as it exists on the map, it exists in life. Madame le Maire arrived in her walking shoes to take a look at this chemin, shaking her head and confirming…we have to write a letter. But not to worry, it won’t be expensive. So we’ll write the letter and hope it is not expensive.

We forgot about letters and mortgages and paperwork and internet. We went “home” , sat by a fire and watched the sun go down.

…sunset with wine…

a glass of winesunset

The next issue will tell about the findings; an old schoolbook from 1885, a horse cart, wood burning stove, evidences from another lifetime…