June 17, 2019

I have a nice little routine forming... every Sunday (if it’s not pouring with rain) as Roddy hits the road by bike, I take myself off to any brocante which happens to be on that day. 

As early summer shakes away late spring, brocante signs suddenly seem to pop up everywhere by road sides advertising village names in black capitals on loud fluorescent paper.

There are huge brocantes out here like the many car-boots in the UK, but here, they generall...

June 10, 2019

In 2013, I flew out to the house to open it up for summer and Roddy was to follow a few days later in the car, by ferry with our three lurchers. As I sat on the plane mentally preparing myself for landing, I wondered what sort of creature ‘delights’ I would find. We were still in the process of renovating the house and so as it wasn’t completely sealed yet, I wondered if I’d find another snake skin, or a mouse. I knew the grass would be around 5ft...

March 18, 2019

I’ve just experienced the most amazing day with Saskia Marjoram  such a deliciously fitting surname for a lady who’s spent the majority of her life around flowers & herbs. 

I have been learning all about the powers of flowers and have to admit - I’m hooked! 

So for those cynics out there, do you remember the scene in Notting Hill where Hugh Grant is fixed up with a blind date - the fruitarian girl with the bunches? The one who believed that “Cooking...

January 29, 2019

B... B... B. 

I can’t even say it.

That word... The one we’re all sick of.

Not to B is my wish.

Today is the 29th of January and with a one way ferry ticket booked, in two months time to this day we will be in France. Two months today we will finally know any arising difficulties we could face, though as you are so aware it’s apparently all speculation and scare mongering right now, all to do with damn ‘B’. 

I try to be philosophical about life’s rich...

December 28, 2018

Christmas in England after the usual crazy endless build up, hectic hype and fuss is now history phew and with 2019 now rapidly approaching, I’m pondering on what I can resolutely relinquish at the start of this forthcoming fresh new year. Though I will be a tad sad to see the gradual decline in brussel sprouts

from the supermarket shelves over the next few months as they head towards the end of their season...

Roddy and I usuall...

November 16, 2018

Seven days later I’m at the vet in Ruffec getting the Iggys checked in preparation for our return trip.

We have had a full week of working on the house. Four days in a row white washing walls to start with. Roddy then gave up suffering snow blindness and decided to paint the stairwell instead using all sorts of left over paints he’d mixed from old pots in the garage. 

Finally, I have finished painting the dormitory, landing, the front bedroom of the...

November 9, 2018

After a 3 hour car journey in torrential rain and strong winds we arrive at Portsmouth half expecting the ferry to be cancelled, though surprisingly its just delayed by 1 hour. Think we are in for a bit of a rough crossing...

Onboard, we head up to the bar wondering where our friends are. They came out to france a few years ago looking for their maison secondaire in Charente Maritime and used our house as a base for their property search. After the...

September 2, 2018

Back in Moutardon after a days diy, we slump on the sofas. We’ve achieved just a little more of what we needed to and with our batteries now running on low, we stop.

I glance over at Roddy and can’t help but laugh. The splashes of white paint lay heavy on his clothes in obscure patterns and he’s absolutely covered in them. The expression on his face reads as if the paint he is wearing is really weighing him down.

I’m no better, it’s clumps of tiny f...

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Charente Cycling, Moutardon, Nanteuil-en-vallée, 16700 France

Telephone: 07595 050880 / 07515 681828

email: roddypayne@charentecycling.com tibbyyoga@charentecycling.com