It’s been quiet on the ‘blog front’ but we have been busy all the same!

Monday we’d originally planned a day out with Amanda but decided to move it to Wednesday as most places are closed on Mondays in this area of France….  Instead, we mooched about the cottage, took the Megane into Gorron to have new tyres fitted to pass the MOT and had a coffee while we waited.  Back home we found an advert for a Victorian brass bed on ‘AngloInfo’, which wasn’t far from St Simeon and so took the trailer over to fetch it later in the evening!

Tuesday and everyone seems to be settling into a routine – after feeding, the cats go out for most of the day and despite the resident cats and dog, don’t appear to be too bothered – even Jim has found a spot to curl up in the sun in the long grass….

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Late morning, we headed over to St Hilaire du Harcouet.  We’d arranged to meet Frances and Geoff who had been so kind and helpful in our hour of need when the sale of the house in Bion fell through.  They had offered moral and practical support and had we not found the cottage with Charles, may well have ended up renting somewhere through them or their associates.  We were looking forward to meeting them and thanking them in person.

Beforehand, Charles had told us about a Brocante that was closing down, near to St Hilaire – it was worth the look!  We ended up buying 3 large and 4 small rugs for around £100 – bargain!!  At least one of them will most likely fit one of the bedrooms….. It’s looking like a rug shop in the cottage at the moment!!!

As we had time to kill, we drove through St Hilaire and on to Ducey, a pretty town, with flowers everywhere and a market, where we bought a load of cheese….

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That’ll all go on the hips!!!

Back to St Hilaire and we met Frances and Geoff – what a lovely couple.  So welcoming, cakes and tea were waiting for us and we stayed for a couple of hours learning more about each other, how to get used to the French way of life and generally chatting.  They run a very successful B&B (Chambres d’Hôte) and gite business and it was easy to see why – they were in a stunning location, just outside of the town but so quiet and peaceful.  It is certainly a perfect place to stay…. [La Hantraye].  We very much hope to stay in touch and may be able to return the hospitality once we are in our own place.

So, on the way home we took the scenic route, via Savigny le Vieux, where we’d seen, what we thought at the time, back in November 2014, was the house for us…. It was still lovely but neither of us felt disappointed we weren’t buying it – the farm in Mayenne will suit us much better!  The surrounding scenery was lovely, though…

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Loads of flowers in the hedgerows….

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The remains of the L’Abbaye de Savigny, a 12th century monastery….

Oh, and Edward, modelling his latest shirt acquisition!!

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Today, Wednesday, we met up with Amanda for our planned visit to Fontaine Daniel, a mill town/village just outside the town of Mayenne.  We hadn’t realised at the time we’d made the arrangements, but Edward and I had driven through the village a week or so ago, when we were looking at different house locations.  We liked it then and were really pleased to be returning for a better look.  Amanda was particularly interested because of its link to textiles and weaving.

First we stopped at Toiles de Mayenne, where you could buy beautiful textiles and furnishings for the home.  It had been restored well and was a great show piece for the village, with a gallery upstairs where you could learn about the history of the village:

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Down in the village, we explored some more, the lake, the factory, surrounding dwellings, shops and cafés….

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The ‘high street’…

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The lake and the factory…

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The village green and boules pit…

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Amanda and Edward having a giggle… (!)

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Oops!  Looks like we got dressed in the dark but it doesn’t stop Edward posing!!

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Outside the factory gates….

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And what looks like a church, now used as a cow shed….

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So picturesque – I wonder if this might make it as source for a linocut….

The gallettes in the café were delicious!

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Thanks to Amanda for taking us out – we had a lovely relaxing few hours and thoroughly enjoyed her company.

Back to Gorron, after lunch and we managed to get the MOT certificate for the Megane – we are now legal and have a sticker in the car to prove it!  Tomorrow we shall go to Domfront to start the official registration process…

At home, I couldn’t wait to look at my purchases from Toiles de Mayenne…

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Aah!  Beautiful fabrics – can’t wait to be reunited with my sewing machine!!