Friday, 21 May 2021

 May 21st and its still cool with showers but summer must be just around the corner? Everything is growing like there is no tomorrow and the birds are in overdrive building nests and feeding the first of the young. Its a wonderful time of year here in the countryside with everything bursting into like its makes you forget about the dreaded virus problems. 

However things are starting to open up, on the 19th restaurants and cafes could open outside terraces so we went into town to the Paddock cafe and enjoyed cool beers plus burger and chips - absolutely marvellous.









Its amazing how we can appreciate the simple things after months of lock down.

Sunday, 11 April 2021

 Well spring has arrived and the birds are in full nest building work mode. The Blackbirds are hunting for worms and the Great Tits are feeding on our bread and fat balls.



Covid is still causing havoc but the vaccine rollout here in France has increased dramatically in the last 3 weeks. We have had our first injection and receive the second next week and the local situation is very stable, even the local hospital has no cases. What we have to remember is that the population density here in central France is a tiny fraction of that of the UK and an even smaller fraction of England so we can feel safe but we are not complacent.

Wine inundation: well inundation may be a bit of an overstatement but we have noticed that over the past three months a mass of wine has been available at very cheap prices. A local clearance warehouse has been selling excellent Italian Prosecco for less than 3 euro, all with UK labelling so we can only presume its not been going to the UK as restaurants etc are closed. Even French wine is available at low prices so if we survive covid we may be troubled with liver failure!  We read last week that Champagne sales are down 35% , a reflection of the difficult market conditions worldwide.

Maureen's vegetable plot is looking very good and her new small greenhouse is packed with seedlings all sprouting up. The lettuce or 'salad' as the French prefer to call it is also growing well in her 'Trug' 



Yes its a whole scene going in the garden and it keeps everyone busy during these difficult times. 

Take out menu: The local restaurant has been closed for many months but has recently installed a 'take out' menu machine. The Auberge de la Tour has and continues to offer an excellent chilled menu @ 20 euro for weekends but the machine offers a less expensive option @ 15 euro all the week. We are sure that Eric the chef will continue to offer the weekend and machine dispensed fresh food even after the covid situation is over so that's good for anyone camping or staying in holiday cottages or gites. 


Well that's all for now, lets hope we can all plan to travel later in the year.









Wednesday, 24 February 2021

That's life in the country

 Its a sad day today as one of the three beautiful horses that live in the field at the bottom of our garden left us for the horses place in the sky. That however is life here in the countryside.




Sunday, 31 January 2021

 

February 1st 2021

 

Well things have certainly developed since my last post. The UK has left the EU, we now live permanently in France as the Brexit situation would have limited our time here to 90- days and that’s a lot of use if you are retired. Covid 19 arrived in March 2020 and you all know the impact but we have light on the horizon with the vaccine rollout.

The cottage is currently hibernating for the winter and looking fine for the winter and next summer as we painted and stencilled the shutters before the wet weather started so they are all ready and pristine for next year.

 


Life here in our country hamlet continues at its gentle pace. The horses chew the grass and the sheep, chickens, goats and ducks oblivious to human covid problems provide a calming message to all who pass. The local cafes and restaurants are currently closed and we have a curfew between 6pm and 6am but the shops and markets operate to provide all the treats we need to sustain life.

We do look forward to seeing friends and passing motorists and motorcyclists in the future but we fear this may not be possible until 2022…but we can only wait and see.

 

If you need any details do not hesitate to contact Maureen

Sunday, 14 July 2019

PITSTOP for Gold Wing riders

PITSTOP FOR GOLD WING RIDERS 

Although we have closed our holiday cottage business in January 2019 we thought it mad not to offer the excellent facilities we have here to fellow Gold Wing riders should they be passing our location here in central France.

  Goldwing riders touring France or simply passing on your way to some other destination are most welcome here at our home in central France. 325 miles from Calais (circa 6/7 hours travel).


Situated in the south Loire Valley area between the cities of Tours to the North and Chateauroux to the south we are a very convenient location for travellers (Just off D943). We have good ‘camping à la campagne’ facilities in the small field with a very good private washroom / shower and toilet. 

Mains electricity available to your tent if required. Plus we can provide those small items you cannot always carry, a table and chairs, barbecue etc and other larger items such as a parasol for those lovely sunny days. 


We have:


·         Camping: a level small field with well cut grass surface in the country at the rear of our house with bathroom and toilet facilities. 


·         A beautiful cottage with two bedrooms, one double bedroom and one twin bedroom – see main website.


·         Restaurant quality meals available from a menu (booked 24 hrs in advance), breakfast or light meals also available – see main website for main meal menu.


·         5 minutes ride to supermarkets, fuel garage and the regionally famous ‘Paddock’ café serving great burgers and beers with a very bike orientated host (French Yamaha GP Team photographer)


·         Tools and maintenance expertise available if required. Honda specialist / traditional motorcycle shop within 20 minutes. 
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Saturday, 22 December 2018

Sad News

If you are looking at this BLOG you will also have read the message on the home page of our website. 

We have reached a point where the operation of the cottage as holiday accommodation is no longer viable. The past two years, with the very weak pound and ever rising costs has reduced the small surplus we could generate pre BREXIT referendum to virtually zero in 2017/18 and that takes no account whatsoever of the time we spend over the year. In mid December we also received details of yet another French Tax, the 'tax de sejour' , although small it was the straw that broke the camels back. 

We have enjoyed welcoming our many guests over the past 8 years to our beautiful cottage. In 2018 we won 2nd prize once again for the best gite flower garden in the Indre region. However awards do not pay the bills and with so many fixed costs its less expensive to let the cottage stand empty than to run a holiday cottage business. We know of others who are in a similar situation. 

However all is not lost, friends and past guests are most welcome to stay and we ask you to contact Maureen. 

Hopefully this could be a suspension of activity but unfortunately we cannot see the French government removing the many taxes imposed and of course we now await the impact of Brexit which has also affected advance reservations. We are not building up our hopes.

Can we send you all our very best wishes and in this troubled world lets hope 2019 brings you all good health and happiness.

Very best wishes of the festive season

Maureen & John Hindhaugh 


Sunday, 30 September 2018

At the Paddock

Chatillon, a short drive from the cottage is a sleepy little town with a long history of leather manufacturing that is now long past other than grand the buildings once owned by the tannery barons and tannery owners. France, just like the UK also suffers from high street trading difficulties and Chatillon is no different. Fortunately we have a great supermarket and Brico/hardware store so unlike many small towns everything is still available close at hand along with the remaining shops on the small high street (Rue Grand). 

New businesses on the high street are very welcome indeed and everyone was very pleased when a couple from Paris took over one of the small bars and developed a bar/café/brasserie in the centre of town. The couple have a history connected with the Yamaha GP team and Nichole comes from Chatillon so the place is appropriately named 'The Paddock'. In addition to a range of simple food, beers and wine they organise a monthly concert with folk singers etc. 

They are very friendly and welcoming so if you are in town relax and enjoy a coffee or a drink at the Paddock.

Holiday cottage and camping - great for bikers @ www.house-in-france.org.uk

Maureen and me with our 1980 Gold Wing Motorcycle and sidecar at the Paddock