May 26 - 29, 2006
As soon as Susan arrived back in the UK, I started planning the next trip to France. This was going to be undertaken with military precision.
Because the fares were cheaper, I decided we would fly into Paris (for the last time) and drive to Loches. The hotel was booked for the Saturday and Sunday night, but I decided to leave the Friday night to chance, because we didnt know how far we would drive that evening. The flight arrived in Paris at 9.15pm, and by midnight we were in Blois looking for a hotel. At 2.15am we were still in Blois looking for a hotel, because of the French custom of "faire le pont" - taking the Friday off if Thursday is a public holiday. Every hotel was full. I now know the back streets of Blois like a local. We eventually found a bed in possibly the most expensive motel in town. So much for military precision, then.
Saturday morning found us on the road to Loches. Once again we visited the market, which, if anything, is even busier on a Saturday than on Wednesday. Then it was time for a quiet lunch, and off to the Immobilier's for our first visit.
We returned to Loches with the agent. As it was still mid afternoon, we went for a drive around Loches and environs, visiting Loche sur Indrois and Montrésor. Montrésor is a beautiful village with a chateau and water meadows crossed with walks. The demoiselles were really busy (but this is Susan's field of expertise, so more of that from her).
Over dinner (at the Gerbe d'Or and including, once again, the Cointreau Souffle) we made plans about what to do with the boulangerie. Sure it was a challenge, but we felt ourselves equal to it. The plan was to spend all day Sunday visiting the Brenne Nature Park and the area around Preuilly so see what was actually there. The day was rainy, so we spent a lot of it in the car talking endlessly about the boulangerie and our plans for it. Although we knew the work would be expensive we thought it might be the right place for us, lack of garden not withstanding.
On Monday morning it was back to Preuilly to see a couple more properties, including one arrangement of 3 houses around a courtyard. Most odd, and none of the rooms in any of the houses were of a decent size. Then we were taken (almost as an afterthought) to see a three bedroom house with garage and attached barn which had once been a granary.
I think we decided there and then that we would make an offer, but not until we had a survey done, and we wouldn't say anything to the agent. Unfortunately neither of us knew the French for "Building Surveyor", so it was difficult communicating to the non English speaking Immobilier what we wanted. A very nice lady wandered in off the street to look at another property, and was immediately roped in to try help because she spoke a little English. We now find out that there is no word in French for building surveyor................
We left the agent, promising to be in touch.............and so back to Paris and the Aeroport Charles de Gaulle. Never again!