We now feel a little more settled in the cottage and although it’s only been a few days, felt it was a safe enough environment to let the cats outside.  After being on the lead for the last week or so for every outdoor venture…..

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Colin didn’t hang around for long – he has over 7 acres to explore, so we’re not expecting him back any time soon!

Jim and Mouse prefer to be in sight of the house, running the gauntlet of a hissy fit from Charles’ cat, whenever they meet!

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On Sundays, everywhere is closed – quite like it used to be in England, when I was a kid… So we took a drive out to Mayenne to look at a couple of properties we’d seen on the internet, which had potential.  The estate agent warned that while they were nice properties, one had very close neighbours and the other backed onto the Moulinex factory – not quite the rural idyll we were looking for!  She was right, neither were suitable but we enjoyed the drive through the countryside… we wondered if these cows were trying to tell us something!!

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It reached 29 degrees yesterday…  glad we brought the convertible over!  Ed said I looked very French driving in my blue and white top…

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So today, we popped into Gorron, our nearest town with shops and a supermarket, which also has an outdoor laundrette – you pay 4 Euros, leave it while you do your shopping and pick up when you’re done – ingenious!!  While we were there, we booked a small van for September, when we come over to the UK to pick up the last load of garden plants from Mum and Dad’s – it was much more straight forward than booking in England and there we were bracing ourselves for the often mentioned ‘French bureaucracy’….

We then went into the Post Office, where we can open up a current bank account, however, the ladies in the PO told us that the person who deals with new accounts is on leave until the end of August and that this is most likely the situation for all financial institutions – I guess opening an account will have to wait, then!

Back home, we found Charles mowing the garden around the house – we now have some nice spots to sit out…

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and somewhere to hang out the washing!!

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Late-afternoon, and Ed and Charles headed over to Laval to see if they can get hold of some left-hand drive headlights for the Megane, a legal requirement and part of the process for getting the car registered with French plates.  I stayed behind in case Colin decided to return home, which he did, half an hour after they left!

If there is time, we may pop out again later to look at some locations of other properties we thought may be of interest. Then tomorrow, we have booked to see three properties with an estate agent, in the Mayenne department.  We’re looking forward to that and our friend, Amanda, has agreed to come with us – a second pair of eyes is always welcome!

I’m sitting outside the back door of the cottage, as I write this blog.  The sun is beating down but I’m in the shade under a lilac tree.  Mouse is hunting in the long grass, Jim is flaked out in the mown grass and Colin has disappeared again.  All around are butterflies, dragonflies and birdsong and in the distance I can hear the combines, which are out in force at the moment, working long into the night for the harvest….. All the stress, worry and upheaval seems worthwhile at times like this.

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